Get a reasonable amount of exercise daily. This does not mean that you should necessarily do the military "daily dozen," play golf, tennis, baseball or rush into any other strenuous game. Walking is good exercise. So are many forms of work or light household tasks.
Exercise is necessary for proper digestion and proper intestinal action. Exercise will keep your muscles in reasonable trim, and promote better circulation, especially to the heart. If you get enough exercise in your work, this is well and good. If not, then walk briskly around the block at least once or twice. The important point is to exercise. Because exercise is essential to good health and to overcome certain muscular weaknesses, your doctor may prescribe specific exercises. Theses are a vital and important part of your therapy; do not forget them. Some exercises will be designed to strengthen the muscles of your spine, so that the minor misalignments(which chiropractic doctors call subluxations)will not recur as readily. This will also make the adjustments more effective in restoring the vital nerve supply to your body. If you neglect the exercises prescribed for you, you neglect an important part of your health regimen. Health authorities are now questioning the wisdom and value of certain exercises. Therefore, it is wise to check with your doctor of chiropractic before beginning any
exercise program. Pages 31-35 of this booklet provide specific exercises for back and neck problems. Lack of proper exercise causes the muscles of your body to become weak. A muscle not used for 10 days loses a third of its strength. In addition, exercise helps calm the nerves, and thus may alleviate nervous tension that causes muscles to knot up.
Exercises for a Healthier Back and Neck

Treat Exercise With Respect
The following pages will present helpful exercises for your neck and back. While exercise has its therapeutic benefits, it can have a reverse effect if not done with care and good judgment.  
It is best to follow a program outlined by your doctor of chiropractic which allows him to professionally monitor your progress.
Following are some important points to remember.

 1.  Wear clothes will not impede or restrict your movements in any direction.  Sweatsuits,leotards or loose clothing are best.
 2.  It is essential that you allow a "warm-up" period before engaging in an exercise session. Allow the muscles to loosen up before embarking on strenuous exercise by beginning each exercise session with a stretching routine.  Mild heat or a hot tub soak for five to ten minutes just before starting can help relax tight muscles.
 3. Start by doing the movements slowly and carefully.  As you gain confidence and strength,  you may increase the speed along with the frequency, but speed is not essential!  It is important to maintain a balanced breathing cycle with each exercise, inhaling and exhaling in rhythm.
 4.  Don't over-exercise, especially at the beginning.  Don only the amount recommended by your doctor of chiropractic.
Do only the exercises your doctor has recommended and in the order advised.
 5.   Floor exercises should be done on a firm, padded surface, such as a carpeted floor. If it is difficult getting down and up from the floor. If it is difficult getting down and up from the floor initially, a firm bed might be preferred. A small pillow under the head is sometimes more comfortable.
 6.  Exercise every day according to the routine recommended by your doctor of chiropractic. Do not skip a day and then try to make it up with heavier exercise. Sporadic exercising can be harmful.
 7.  If you feel slight discomfort during your exercises, do not become alarmed.  This should disappear as your muscles become stronger and more conditioned to the routine.  However, pain or discomfort should not persist.  However, pain or discomfort should not persist. If it does, stop the routine and consult your doctor of chiropractic.
 8. IMPORTANT:  Follow directions precisely.  It is important to avoid doing any type of exercise other than those ecommended, particularly if you're recovering from a back or neck ailment, so as to avoid possible further injury.

Exercises to Rehabilitate and Strengthen Low Back
1.  Back basic starting position for this exercise is lying on your back with the knees bent, hands  at your side, and feet flat on the floor. Tighten the muscles of the abdomen and buttocks, and at the same time, press your back firmly against the floor. Hold for 6 seconds  Exhale.  Relax for 12 seconds.  Repeat as recommended by your doctor  of chiropractic.
  2.  Lie on the floor with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and arms at your sides, pelvis tilted.  Take a deep breath and grasp one knee with both hands then bring your knee towards your chest.  Apply a reasonable amount of pressure to exert a pull. Hold, count to five. Breathe out, and return your leg to the starting position.  Repeat same procedure using other leg. Following the prescribed individual leg exercises, repeat the procedure grasping both legs at once.  Hold, count to five, release slowly.  Repeat the series of exercises as recommended by your doctor of chiropractic.
 3.  Lie flat on your back with both arms at your sides, knees bent and feet flat on the floor, pelvis tilted.   This time, draw your left knee to your chest without using your arms, followed by exhaling and straightening out leg and pointing it to the ceiling.  Return to starting position and do the same with your right leg.   Alternate legs for as many sets of exercises as recommended.
 4.  This is a lower abdominal exercise  Lie on back with your hands against your thighs.  Raise your legs so that your thighs will be perpendicular to the floor as illustrated in the drawing. Push against thighs with hands while at the same time resisting with thighs. Hold to count of three.  Release slowly. Repeat as recommended. When you have completed the prescribed number of repetitions in exercise #4, raise your left leg as  Illustrated and push against your left thigh with your right hand, while at the same time resisting with your thigh. Hold to the count of three, release slowly.  Repeat three times.  Switch exercise using right leg and left  hand; repeat three times.
 5.  Use a medium height chair.  Gradually bend to a squatting position, keeping your head flexed forward.  At first, do the exercise by holding on to the chair.  When you are able to maintain your balance, attempt this exercise without the use of the chair. Do this exercise 10 times in succession, repeat three times. The following are advanced exercises.   Do not do these exercises unless recommended by your chiropractor.
 6.   Lie on your back, both legs extended.   Bring your left foot up to your right knee and rest with the sole of your  left foot on your right knee. Then slowly bring the flexed knee toward the right until you feel the stretch.  Repeat the exercise, alternating sides. This exercise can be made more effective by extending the knee of the exercised leg.  Be certain to keep shoulders flat against floor or a table.
 7.  This exercise should not be done until the other exercises have been done for several weeks, Assume a basic starting position. Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on floor, and hands on your abdomen, pelvis tilted. Pull up to a one quarter sitting position, being certain to keep the knees bent.  It is helpful to put the feet under a heavy to the floor. Hold; count to three. Relax as recommended.  It is helpful to visualize a feather on your knees.  Each time you relax, attempt to blow the  feather away.

 8.  Lie flat on your stomach, pillow under hips, with arms crossed under your chin.  Tighten your muscles in your left leg and raise slowly without bending or moving your hips.  Hold for 10 seconds  Relax slowly.   Repeat procedure with the right leg. Repeat as ecommended.

 9.  Lie on your stomach, pillow under hips.  Place your hands in the small of your back.  Slowly raise your head and chest from the floor while at the same time raising the legs from the floor 2" to 6".  Hold for 10 seconds. Relax slowly.  Repeat as recommended.

9A. Following completion of exercise #9, place your right hand behind you and attempt to touch the left leg. Hold to count of three; relax slowly.  Repeat three times, and repeat exercise using  the left hand and right leg. 
10.  Assume a kneeling position, resting on your hands and knees.  Arch your back like a cat,drop your head at the same time.  Then reverse the arch by bringing up your head and forming a U with your spine.   Do each set at least five times.  Repeat as recommended.

Exercises to Increase Range of Motion in Neck

Do each of the exercises as directed by your doctor of chiropractic.  The exercises should be done slowly and gently. Do not force the force the motions of the head and neck beyond the point of pain. Remember the key to joint function is flexibility, mobility and strength.  It is impossible to obtain normal range of motion of the neck without proper exercise.

1.  Place your fingers on your shoulders.  Hunch your shoulders up high and rotate in a circular motion forward, then reverse and rotate the shoulders backwards.

2.  Tuck your chin.  Gently bend the head forward attempting to touch the chin to the chest. 

3.  Gently bend the head backwards to its limit.
4.  Bend the head to the right as far as possible,  attempting to touch ear to shoulder.  Do not rotate head in this exercise.
5.  Bend the head to the left as far as possible, attempting to touch ear to shoulder.  Do not rotate head in this exercise.
Exercises To Rehabilitate and Strengthen the Neck

The following is a group of isometric exercises designed to strengthen your neck muscles.  If the procedure causes pain, it is recommended you use less force and reduce the number of repetitions.  As you gain strength in the neck, you should be able to  increase both the force and number of times you are able to perform the exercises.
Do not use any additional weight or devices in neck exercises.
An application of moist heat before you start will aid in performance   When doing exercises, do not hold your breath.  Check with your doctor before you begin neck exercises.

1.   Press your palms against your forehead and push against each other, resisting motion.
Hold for 5 seconds, relax slowly.
Do exercise three times.   Repeat as recommended by your doctor of chiropractic.
2.   Place your hand against the side of your head.   Attempt to bring your ear to your shoulder, resisting motion.  
Repeat exercise on opposite side.  Hold for 5 seconds, relax slowly.  Do exercise three times. Repeat as recommended by your doctor of chiropractic.
3.   Cup both hands against the  back of your head.  Try to push your head back, resisting motion. Hold for 5 seconds, relax slowly.  Do exercise three times.  Repeat as recommended by your doctor of chiropractic.  
4.  Place your right hand against your right temple.  Attempt to turn your chin to your right shoulder,  resisting motion.  Repeat exercise on opposite side.  Hold for 5 seconds, relax slowly.  Do exercise three times.  Repeat as recommended by your doctor of chiropractic.



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