Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute
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Two of the most common health problems in adults are low back pain and neck pain.
Intensive spine strengthening using MedX equipment
Medical evidence has shown that the majority of patients with chronic spinal pain are significantly "deconditioned." Weakness of the musculature of the spine can lead to many conditions, including herniated discs, facet syndrome and degenerative joint disease.
A strong spine provides a strong foundation that allows for healthy spaces between the vertebrae, which helps prevent spinal compression.
Sister Kenny Spine Center is a MedX-based comprehensive rehabilitation program that incorporates the physician-directed team approach for the treatment of chronic neck and back pain.
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The Sister Kenny Spine Center/MedX Program is recognized as the gold standard for treating and reducing chronic neck and back pain and dysfunction through specific spinal strengthening. A key component in this program is the MedX equipment, developed by Arthur Jones, founder of Nautilus exercise equipment.
Sister Kenny Spine Center incorporates core strengthening and aerobic fitness building activities that are directly supervised by licensed physical therapists to ensure the patient's safety and progress.
The primary goals of this program are to improve range of motion and muscle strength, decrease pain, return the patient to normal function, and meet the patient's therapy goals. The entire program generally takes less then one hour, two times a week for six-12 weeks.
How MedX differs from other fitness equipment
MedX machines are specifically designed to provide the most effective means of isolating, safely testing and directly strengthening the muscles of the low back and neck.
On the lumbar MedX equipment, restraints stabilize the pelvis, which inhibit the use of pelvic and leg musculature, allowing isolation of the lumbar extensors.
Conversely, on the cervical MedX equipment, chest pads stabilize the upper torso to assist in isolating the cervical extensors.
Research has shown that specific spinal strengthening on the MedX equipment helps people get better, even after multiple failed attempts with other forms of treatment.
Over the past 15 years, the University of Florida and University of San Diego, along with various orthopedic clinics around the world, have published some of the most compelling research to date.
This research is also being performed and continued at each of the Sister Kenny Spine Center sites. It shows that specific spinal strengthening exercises, using the MedX lumbar and cervical machines, as well as the Spine Center's comprehensive core strengthening and exercise program, facilitate faster and more complete recovery for patients.
Advantages of the MedX program
MedX lumbar extension
The MedX lumbar extension machine is designed to isolate the muscles of the low back to provide specific strengthening for the musculature of the lower spine.
The lumbar extension machine can provide resistance over a full range of isolated lumbar motion (72 degrees) or over a selected limited range.
Using variable resistance training, weight can be increased by one-pound increments, instead of the 5, 10 or even 20# increments that are commonly found in a health club setting. This ability to control the weight increases enables safe increase of the resistance for optimal strengthening.
MedX cervical extension
The MedX cervical extension machine is an effective and proven solution for patients with neck pain or headaches.
Because the cervical muscles must continually support the weight of the head, neck pain and headaches are common clinical complaints. These ailments often originate as a result of muscular weakness, repetitive stress or traumatic injury.
Similar to the lumbar MedX, the cervical MedX also provides resistance over a full range of isolated cervical motion (126 degrees) or over a selected limited range. Weight resistance can be increased by three-pound increments.
Isometric testing using MedX
Isometric testing can be performed in both the lumbar or cervical MedX machines. Testing establishes a baseline strength curve for the lumbar or cervical extensors.
This baseline is compared to norms for the patient's age and gender and provides information on how much the spinal muscles are deconditioned. Periodic retesting objectively evaluates the patient’s progress by measuring strength gains.
What to expect
On the first visit to the Sister Kenny Spine Center, the patient will be examined and evaluated by a physician – with a full review of current symptoms, past medical history, medical records, X-rays and other scans. The physician will determine if the MedX programis right for the patient.
If so, the patient will be assessed by the Spine Center's orthopedically trained physical therapist, who will then initiate the rehabilitation program.
Based on the assessment, the patient will receive a tailored treatment plan that includes therapeutic exercises (stretching, spinal strengthening, "core" stabilization training to restore strength and flexibility), posture and body mechanics instruction, and a detailed home exercise program.
Manual therapy and/or modalities may be used to help to decrease pain and improve function.
Each therapy session is one-on-one with a therapist. The rehabilitation program consists of therapy twice a week for six-12 weeks. Frequency of visits will decrease to once a week as symptoms improve.
Patients are asked to follow up with the physician every three weeks to assess progress and adjust the program as needed.