Paradigm: Relieving Low Back, Hip, & Knee Pain


ThePower of Exercise

Early in my career before I was exposed to great techniques like dry needling, PNF, and joint mobilizations, my patient treatments focused mainly on exercise. In many cases, this approach was equally effective, if not more effective than more advanced treatment techniques. There is amazing power in exercise. Of course, the exercise needs to appropriate and pain free. If these conditions are met, there are many benefits. Here are a few examples: • Moving a joint circulates joint fluid that provides nutrients to joint surfaces. The saying of “Motion is lotion” is true. • Exercise increases blood flow tomuscles which serves to warmup the tissue and increases elasticity, which equals more flexible muscles. • Exercise challenges the muscles which leads to muscle activation. This equals greater stability, commonly known as core strength. I remember a patient that I treated early in my career when exercise was my main tool. She was in her late 50’s, and her goal was to be able to play golf with her husband. Her primary complaint was low back pain. Her biggest need was more stability through her low back and pelvis. A strong emphasis on exercise was perfect for her, and that’s what we did. She performed three exercises that included small rotation movements with light resistance. To her credit, she was committed to the treatment plan. She faithfully attended her appointments twice a week, and we worked hard on these exercises. It was a great success. She returned to playing golf with her husband, and she was stronger than before. Her spine doctor was so impressed with her improved strength that he asked to meet me. A couple years later, that doctor hired me to treat patients in his office. In this story, a focus on exercise not only helped this patient, but it helped me too! - Bo Richardson, PT

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