While the answer is not “absolutely nothing!” you could say that bed rest is an outdated prescription for treatment for all but the most serious of spinal injuries. Remaining sedentary is detrimental to the human body, regardless of whether there is an injury present; choosing not to move is a decision that weakens the body significantly. Take an injury to the lower back such as a herniated disc: with a degree of pain that still allows some movement, many people take to the couch for days on end: muscles atrophy, soft tissues become susceptible to injury and, specific to the injury, intervertebral discs stiffen and dry out when not moved regularly.
A herniated disc, along with many other spinal conditions, will usually heal by itself given enough time and attention to treatment. However, the time frame can be significantly shortened and the chance of a recurring injury lessened with purposeful movement, of the kind we can show you at Hayes Family Chiropractic. Once we alleviate your pain to the point where it is possible to get up and go, you can start with light aerobic activity such as walking or swimming, and combine this with gentle stretching and corrective exercises that will make a world of difference. It is important to not go at this blindly: certain exercises should be avoided depending on the nature of your injury. To stick with the herniated disc example, symptoms are usually worsened by exercises such as leg lifts, dead lifts and standing hamstring stretches. Instead we want to focus on establishing the core as a stabilizer using planks, side-planks and twisting crunches.
In support of your attempt at healing, we provide modalities including chiropractic adjustment, spinal decompression, therapeutic massage and trigger point therapy and can help you establish corrective exercises and preventative stretching as part of your health care portfolio. If you are interested in healing your injury the natural way, give our office in Dunedin a call to schedule an appointment today.
Dr. Diane Hayes, D.C.