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San Francisco DRX 9000 Disc Pain patients want to know: When can I start Exercising ? What can I do ?

Posted Jun 02 2009 4:35pm

For the most part, patients that start our non-surgical spinal decompression program for cervical or lumbar disc pain are unable to exercise, because it causes pain. Some hard core workout fanatics and seasoned athletes have been working out anyway, even though the exercise is doing them more harm than good. It's just in their blood. However, everyone that starts the decompression therapy does not do anything (exercise) for at least the first two weeks. This is when the treatment is the most intense (usually daily for 2 weeks), and the spine is the most vulnerable to external forces. Even though you may have herniated, bulging, or badly degenerated discs, the spine was still happy where it was before you started treatment. All the muscles, ligaments, and tendons had adapted to this abnormal shape and condition. Now, we come along and begin to slowly reposition and rehydrate the disc. Your body is going to resist this (which is why you may get sore) and try to pull it back where it is used to being. Then, the next DRX 9000 session builds on the previous session, and the disc gets repositioned even more, and on and on. If you try to exercise, drive a long distance, lift something heavy, sleep on the floor or a soft couch, or do something that you should not be doing, you could un-do what we just did on the DRX 9000. After the first two or three weeks, depending on how you are doing and your overall level of conditioning, we will begin to incorporate some exercises. We will usually start with some lumbar or cervical stretches. We will show you what to do and provide you with handouts. If you want to go back to something you were previously doing on your own, then you need to discuss this with the doctor and get clearance. We will most likely want you to scale back in at about 20% of maximum effort and add 10% per week. Nice and easy. You have the rest of your life to exercise, no point in doing to much while we are rebuilding the spine. Next, we will add some strengthening exercises that you will do with tubing or an exercise ball. We will incorporate some Yoga stretches, breathing exercises, and/or "core" exercises done on the floor or with a swiss ball. There is actually an exercise protocol set by the manufacturer that we follow. Some of you will be doing our in-house "core" spinal rehabilitation on the SpineForce machine. Those of you that do, will also do exercises at home. The point is, we will let you know what you should be doing. Please don't do anything without first asking for our advice. This is what we do. We know you want to exercise, and we also know how good it is for you to exercise, but we want you to be able to do it long term, with your new and improved spine. So, if you have any questions about exercise, just let us know.   

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