Posted tagged ‘physical therapy’

Doctor, What Exercises Should I Do?

January 18, 2011

I get this question frequently from my chronic pain patients.  They see some relief and they want to do more and whatever they can to get there faster.  The short answer is whatever feels right.  If there is a pull or a tweak, then that position puts additional strain on the system that the load can not be borne for too long before spasm happens.  If it makes you feel good it somehow reduces mechanical strain and it is good. 

If you notice, most of my responses are…easy, calm down, don’t spaz out (mentally or emotionally); instead of go, go, go…slow down, back off…how about some rest? If you do this, you have a better chance of sensing what is going on with your body.

I always tell patients that if I tell you to do something and it doesn’t feel right, then I am wrong and you and your body know way better than what I (even with my vast knowledge and experience) can ever theorize about your problem, pain or strain.  The body knows.  This is why an intact, mechanically unadulterated system, however much in pain, will always respond “miraculously” to osteopathic treatment.  We treat by reading the tissues and helping the tissue do what it needs and wants to do and have done upon it.  That is why adulterated strains within a system that has been beaten down by deep tissue, range of motion PT, ultrasound, nerve stimulator electrocuted, multiple handed, multiple modalitied tenderized tissues never ever respond, much less, in a predictable manner.   For these patients, they are disappointed in OMT, they think I am a quack and they do not understand why several people who don’t know each referred them to me.  For these people, osteopathic is… nothing special.   Far from it…this work is so profound, so beautiful, I am so enamored of it, I can not wait for the next 30 years.  Can you believe it?  I can’t wait, I am so excited about…getting older… because it means more experience…Ah…I digress…I am demonstrating a general nuttiness over this…

To get back to the question, I usually respond with this, “Go out… hunt, gather, and run from predators.”  Although we are injured, the activities for survival require that we keep moving.  The more we move the muscles work and the body has a chance to absorb, adapt and compensate for the strain.  If we stop…we die.  Now, believe it or not, the pain serves a purpose.  The spasm serves a purpose.  They serve as splinting mechanisms so that the strained tissue continues to send these messages so that you can be more careful so that you do no further injury.  Anything else, pills, injections, nerve stimulators are mere…distractions that lead you into a false sense of security and disconnects you from your true tissue state.  Nothing is resolved and, invariably, lead you to reinjury and further pain cycles.