We see a lot of back pain patients in our Sunnyvale office, and we've helped many people get out of pain. Do you want to understand the key to effective back pain relief? It's not resting on your couch, suffering while you wait for it to improve. It's not just doing your daily physical therapy and applying ice packs. So what is it?

Exercise therapies are great for musculoskeletal injury, but to get the entire advantages of the stretching and strengthening exercises you're going to need to get care that corrects misalignments in the muscles plus the spine. That's where your Sunnyvale chiropractor, Dr. Stern, can help. If you've sprained your back, it is very likely that you have a vertebra or two out-of-place. Stretching and strengthening your back muscles alone won't be enough to fix the misaligned vertebrae. Recent research explains why combining exercise therapy with chiropractic is so useful.

Investigators studied 49 men and women with chronic back pain who were randomly assigned to receive either manual therapy or sham (placebo) treatment. Manual therapies included procedures frequently employed by Dr. Stern, such as spinal adjustments and chiropractic mobilization. Immediately after treatment, patients did exercises like stretches, muscle and motor control workouts, mobility workouts, and conditioning. The patients were treated eight times, with an examination after three and six months.

Directly after treatment, patients receiving manual therapy plus exercise experienced greater reductions in pain compared to the placebo plus exercise group. The advantage seen in the treatment room continued at the three and six-month follow-up visits. The manual therapy clients had reduced disability and a pattern of reduced pain scores compared to the sham group. These results suggest that a integrated treatment of chiropractic and exercise could be better than exercise therapy alone for back pain.

So if you want lasting relief of back pain, pick up the phone and give our office in Sunnyvale a call. After a few appointments with Dr. Stern, you'll wonder why you didn't call sooner!

Balthazard P, et al. Manual therapy followed by specific active exercises versus a placebo followed by specific active exercises on the improvement of functional disability in patients with chronic non specific low back pain: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2012; 13: 162.

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