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Spine Care & Strengthening


Spine Care Program

From Injury to Responsibility – Is this program right for my back?

Any back or neck injury requires a very careful approach so symptoms are not made worse.  Please consult with your doctor and ask for a prescription indicating your readiness for incrementally increasing back and neck motion and your readiness for light, moderate or heavy strengthening.   If the program looks good to you we do all that’s possible to ensure a safe and collaborative approach to minimize or eliminate any extra discomfort.  When a new program of physical exercise has begun, particularly in an area of the body that has been long neglected,  there is often a period of from 1 to 14 days of some increased discomfort.

As an Occupational Therapist my job is to improve the functional quality of your life.  This may mean analyzing your work habits, adjusting sleep posture and supports, progressing athletic performance carefully, improving your independent self care strategies, even optimizing your diet and health in general so you are better able to heal your back.  So,  making big changes in your Spine Health starts with making small changes in multiple areas of life.  One of these is in the area of spinal strength and flexibility.

MedX – World Class Back and Neck Flexibility and Strengthening Machines

MedX increases spinal mobility and strength using precision computer based nautalus machines, called MedX Lumbar and Cervical Machines.  These were developed at the University of Los Angeles and the University of Florida under the direction of Very Mooney, MD for the sole purpose of measuring and strengthening the neck and low back.  The benefits of these “Intensive Specific Exercises”  has been further researched many peer review medical journals , including Journal Spine, Archives of Physical Medicine, and Journal Orthopedics.   Findings in nearly 40 articles confirm scientifically what most of us know intuitively: if done safely in small increments, strengthening the back and neck is measurably possible!   Not surprise, exercise at most any level increases blood flow and nutrition to discs, bones and muscles, builds muscular stability around the spine, and in the end increases function!  I invite you to look critically at the research articles provided at Medxonline.com.

Back and Neck Pain Relief

Preparing muscles and soft tissues for movement and stretch using heat and massage can be very helpful. I use heating modalities such as moist heat and ultrasound in combination with gentle assisted stretching to relax muscle and increase motion in directions not addressed by the MedX technology.  Often, preparation with these techniques helps to prepare for and/or recover from the strengthening provided by MedX machines.

Back and Neck Education

Analyzing and correcting ones posture in a variety of settings can greatly reduce the daily strain on your spine. To accomplish this we may analyze and correct your postural alignment in different settings, such as bed, car, work, and the living room.  Sometimes with the aid of photographs we can discuss alternatives and adjustments that create the best possible alignment. This may involve changing the equipment at your workstation, changing the way you type and the way you sit, changing your sleep position, and adding supports wherever needed. Your ability to discern good confortable positioning from poor positioning is often a matter of taking the time needed to focus on how slightly different positions effect your spine.

Success

Success can be defined in different ways.  For me and my patients using Medx machines to test flexibility and strength we have the pleasure of seeing proof positive that your spine is getting stronger, that improvement is or is not being made. From having treated nearly 300 back and necks using this technology I can assure you that seeing proof that your back or neck is getting objectively stronger can be very exciting.  The old definition of “bad back” or “bad neck” is reversed.

Finally, Monitoring your comfort at home, work and in hobbies or sports as a result of treatment success is also measured and validated.  Finally, efforts made on your part to improve your strength at home, maintain your flexibility, and recover the maximal amount of function possible, is after all the best proof of all.

Tom Petzoldt

MA, MOT, OTL, CHT

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