Comox Valley Chiropractor – Tips for your Health

Health tips from your Comox Valley Chiropractor

Exercise for Chronic Pain August 10, 2009

For years research has been conducted into the benefits of exercise for chronic low back and neck pain. Even though we know exercise is good for us, we don’t really know a lot about how it is prescribed in real-life situations (practice).  Recently, a large survey was done of 2700 people who reported having chronic neck or low back pain. The results are published in an article in Arthritis & Rheumatism.


Of these 2700 people, 48% had been prescribed exercise after visiting a physical therapist, chiropractor of family doctor in the past year. 33% of all people who visited a chiropractor were prescribed exercise for their pain, compared to 64% of PT patients and 14% of MD patients. Overall, the type of provider, as opposed to any characteristics of the patient was the greatest predictor of exercise prescription.


With chiropractic specifically in this instance, the rate of exercise prescription seemed to increase with number of visits. This supports the common practice pattern of reducing pain and increasing function before commencing rehabilitation.


This is a huge wake up call to all health care providers – exercise was prescribed to less than half the patients with chronic back pain, even though we know it is one of the most effective forms of treatment. We need to make sure we are getting our patients active, and helping them to stay that way!


Dr. Debbie Wright is a practicing Comox Valley Chiropractor.


One Response to “Exercise for Chronic Pain”

  1. Hi Debbie
    After my heart attack, I was given strict instructions when I was discharged from the CCU at Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria: “walk one block per day the first week, two blocks per day the second week” etc. A 3-month program of medically supervised Cardiac Rehabiliation was also strongly recommended by my cardiologist (although, ironically, its $360 cost is NOT covered by either provincial or my VIHA extended health insurance coverage even though this is a VIHA-sponsored program!) This effectively prevents a big chunk of the heart attack survivor population from participating in cardiac rehab if they cannot afford the $350 cost.

    I’m happy to say that I now have a pedometer to track my daily walks around Victoria as I recuperate.

    Carolyn Thomas

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