Why does my Chiropractor prescribe exercises?

Why does my chiropractor prescribe exercises?

Written by Dr. Derek Larsen DC

Last Updated on February 15, 2024

I try to give my patients exercises and or stretches to do after every visit, or at least follow up with the exercises that I have given them in the past. You might ask, why does my chiropractor prescribe exercises?  Today I want to explain why I give these exercises and stretches.

Exercise and adjustments combined are the best way to decrease LBP in a study

There is a cool study I read recently that explored the differences between individuals who completed physical therapy type exercises along with their adjustments, individuals who just got adjusted, individuals who just did physical therapy type exercises, and individuals who did nothing as a control.  The individuals who fared the best on average according to the study were the individuals who completed exercises and got adjusted. I want you to get better as quickly as possible and this is how it is done. There are a few other reasons for exercises so keep on scrolling to learn more. 

Movement is life! 

I encourage just about any movement because it is life. Without movement, we die, imagine if the heart stops moving that’s the end. Without movement, we would fall over dead. There are many other structures in the body that, without movement, fail to function optimally. Here are a few parts of the body that need movement. 


This is pretty obvious, muscle gets smaller when we don’t use them and when we use them a lot they get bigger. This happens quite rapidly. If a muscle doesn’t move after 6 hours it will start to degrade. This doesn’t mean you need to hit the gym and pump fat iron every 6 hours it just means you need to move, to remind your body that you do use those muscles. Move for your muscles! 

Intervertebral discs

The spinal column consists of both bone and ligamentous like tissue know and intervertebral disks. The discs aid in flexibility and cushioning the spine. They are quite impressive and very important. Uniquely they have no vascular supply. They don’t have blood flowing into them. Blood carries the nutrients that we consume throughout the body. So in order to get nutrients into the discs, there is a different process. The process of the disc absorbing nutrition from its surrounding is known as imbibition. Through movement, the spinal disc compresses and expands acting like a pump that absorbs nutrients and expels waste. Without movement, the discs cannot maintain a healthy structure and composition which over time degrades the entire spine. Move for your discs!

Plantar venous plexus pump and the venous pump in the calves.

The distance between your feet and your heart is quite far and the heart does an amazing job at sending blood all the way down to the muscles of your feet and back up. A little-known fact is that the heart has some help getting the blood back up to the top of the body. First off in the lower extremities the veins have one-way valves in them that keep the blood from flowing back downhill. Then there are two similar systems in the feet and in the calves that utilize the contraction of the muscle to help pump blood back towards the heart. Every time you take a step these systems are activated and the blood in the lower extremity is pushed up. These systems are so effective that they have become known as the second heart, they are quite impressive and are based solely on movement! Move, to move your blood! 

Helps with mental health

One more incredible benefit of movement is the effect it has on mental health. There is so much to talk about regarding this topic that I wrote an entire article on it. Be sure to check it out and be sure to move for your mental health! 

The exercises we give target the muscles that support the joints you’re concerned about.

I don’t typically give out a whole mess of exercises right away. After the first visit, I will give you one or two exercises to focus on. Then as you start incorporating those exercises I will add more. The exercises you get depend on what you come in with, all the exercises I give out are designed to target muscle that has been neglected and intern were part of the adventure that eventually led you to me, your chiropractor. These exercises help support the joints that I adjust. There is a misconception that our skeleton is snapped together like a Lego set. That’s not quite accurate. The joints of the skeleton are all supported by muscle, facia, tendon, and ligament. Without those structures, we would fall apart into a big pile of bone. I oftentimes see imbalances in muscle strength as well that contribute to symptoms. These muscle imbalances are often caused by tasks that we do daily that our body isn’t designed to do, such as sitting at a desk all day long. Addressing those imbalances is key to joint health and hygiene.  


Help in training healthy habits 


They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. Symptomatic care usually lasts 6-12 weeks depending on the severity, type, and how long symptoms have been present. That means I should have ample time to help you form healthy movement and exercise habits even if you decide not to switch to wellness care. My goal is to help you live a healthier lifestyle, and helping you change yup some of your habits is the best way to promote a healthy lifestyle and prevent a plethora of disease. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. 


I want to put you in the driver’s seat of your health 


I don’t spend a lot of time with you relative to the amount of time you spend with yourself. If you come into the office 3 times a week. I spend maybe 30 minutes with you, which leaves 10,050 minutes in your week that you get to decide what to do with. Doing the exercises that affect the muscles that need some improvement is a great use of your time, and it is my pleasure to provide you with those. Many of my most highly prescribed exercises are found on the Happy Family Chiropractic Instagram account, give us a follow for health information and instruction videos of the exercises I recommend. I just want people to be healthy because I know it’s easier to be happy if you’re healthy. 


We look forward to meeting you! Come down to Happy Family Chiropractic and meet your Chiropractor in Juneau! It will be our pleasure in serving you with high-quality chiropractic care. 

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