The chiropractors at Calgary’s Alberta Back & Neck Rehab and Sports Injuries Clinic provide the MedX Lumbar Back Program. This program includes a unique assessment and rehabilitation tool that measures your back strength and flexibility.
The Importance of Muscle Isolation
The MedX Lumbar Extension Machine has been developed to isolate the muscles of the lower back like no other, due to its patented pelvic restraint system. If the pelvis cannot move, then the only muscles that can move your torso are your lower back muscles. Without this isolating component too many other muscles, such as your hamstring and gluteal muscles, are utilized to move your torso. It is particularly important, when dealing with backs, that the muscles are isolated and stabilized to prevent further injury.
Stronger back muscles support the spine and act like shock absorbers, taking up the stress of bending and lifting instead of those stresses going through the injured part of the spine, thereby relieving pain. MedX targets the deep paravertebral muscles of the back. These muscles often become inhibited with injury and shutdown causing poor movement patterns about the spine.
Chronic Muscle Conditions
In chronic conditions these spinal muscles become deconditioned and weak. This causes excessive pressure to be put on the passive structures of the spine such as the facet joints and discs. If this progressive weakness is allowed to persist then the passive structures become degenerative and can often proceed on to failure, for example a bulged or herniated disc or facet joint arthropathy amongst many other back conditions.
Sore backs are weak backs and weak backs become sorer backs. MedX breaks this cycle and strengthens your back. Regardless of diagnosis, more than 80% of our chiropractors’ patients report significant and sustained improvement as a result of our treatment.
What Makes the MedX Lumbar Rehab So Good at Relieving Low Back Pain?
MedX Medical Lumbar Rehab Machine completely isolates low back extensor muscles which need to be strong to relieve low back pain, and other exercises do not. If you want big strong biceps, you need to isolate your biceps by doing bicep curls. If you do push-ups you will get strong triceps and pectoral muscles, but even though you are using your arms, you will not get bigger stronger biceps. Likewise, if you don’t isolate your back extensor muscles, other stronger muscles, like your gluts and hamstrings, will take over for the weak back extensor muscles and the strong will get stronger, while the weak back muscles will stay weak, and you will not get relief of your low back pain. Even exercises commonly done to strengthen the back extensors like dead lifts and Roman Chair exercises, do not significantly strengthen the back.
The MedX Medical Lumbar Rehab Machine isolates your lumbar extensor muscles by tightly holding your legs and pelvis in a position that eliminates them from helping your back muscles, forcing your back extensor muscles to do all the work. By isolating them in this manner, they quickly regain lost strength, and most people, get relief of their low back pain.
As well, when you have chronic low back pain your back muscles typically are in spasm, preventing your back from moving very well. When you use the MedX Medical Lumbar Machine, you are ‘forced’ to move your lower back. This movement feels good; just like if you hurt your elbow or knee, you move it back and forth to ‘work it out’ because it feels good.
The movement your low back goes through on the MedX Medical Lumbar Machine, usually increases your range of motion (the amount your back is able to move) and also causes pumping of fluids into your discs and lubricates the joints. This helps your body heal injured spinal tissue which is another reason this machine is able to relieve back pain.
MedX Initial Assessment (Back Strength Testing)
MedX is the first machine capable of isolating the lumbar extensor spinal muscles and producing an objective measure of back strength and range of motion. The initial assessment involves being seated in the MedX equipment and having the lower half of your body immobilized by a patented restraint system. Restraining your lower body is one of the keys to the effectiveness of MedX.
Once positioned in the MedX your body has no option but to only use the lumbar extensor musculature. The MedX is then calibrated specifically for your body so that you may commence the initial assessment. You push back into a stationary seat back that is positioned at 0º, 12º, 24º, 36º, 48º, 60º, and 72º lumbar flexion. The MedX measures what force you generate at which angle. This is an isometric measure of your lumbar spine strength through the available range of movement.
The force that you generate is displayed and recorded by the MedX computer. Your results are compared to normative data for a person of the same age, gender, height, and weight as you. With acute back pain your chiropractor may choose not to test you first up as we will always test you and exercise you in a safe manner.
MedX Pre- & Post- Treatment Graphs(click to enlarge)
From these measures (and your medical history), the experts at Alberta Back and Neck Rehab & Sports Injuries Clinic can accurately determine a safe and effective level of work for your spine on the MedX equipment. You then proceed onto the MedX Dynamic Exercise part of your treatment.
Start your MedX Lumbar Back Program today. Call our office to set up an appointment.
Evidence Based Practice
Over 100 published medical journal articles show the MedX Medical Lumbar Machine is the best way to rehab your back, and in doing so, has been shown to be very effective at relieving chronic back pain, decreasing osteoporosis, and preventing surgery.
Not everyone gets relief of low back pain using the MedX Machine, but about 76% of people do, according to a study of 895 consecutive patients followed for one year. However, we know that for sure, if you use the MedX Machine and do the work for a couple minutes, once or twice a week, you will rebuild the strength of your lumbar extensor muscles, and this is always a good thing. Studies show if your back muscles are strong it will help prevent future injuries, and help you heal faster and better, no matter what other treatment you might need, even if you eventually require surgery (which very few people need). As well, the medical research shows that strength gains made on the MedX Medical Lumbar Machine are maintained for two to five years.
I had lower back pain for years and a colleague at work mentioned Dr. Drew Oliphant at the Alberta Back and Neck Rehab. I was not sure what to expect. At my first appointment, after the prelim assessment, Dr. Drew strapped me into a MedX machine and I lifted some weight with just my lower back muscles. This felt strange at first but after about 5 sessions on the MedX machine, my lower back pain was gone. My back was still weak but pain was gone! I have continued with monthly appointments on the MedX machine to strengthen my back and I am now lifting 235 LBS for 2 minutes. I am starting my 3rd year without lower back pain and could not be happier, thanks to my colleague at work for pointing me to Alberta Back and Neck Rehab and Dr. Drew Oliphant for guiding me through a process to safely strengthen my back. I can’t find the words to express the difference in how I feel today as compared to before I started.
- Alister W.