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Applied Physiotherapy: Rehabilitation Methodology

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Applied Physiotherapy: Rehabilitation Methodology

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We would all like to thank Dr. Richard C. Schafer, DC, PhD, FICC for his lifetime commitment to the profession. In the future we will continue to add materials from RC’s copyrighted books for your use.

This is Chapter 13 from RC’s best-selling book:

“Applied Physiotherapy in Chiropractic”

These materials are provided as a service to our profession. There is no charge for individuals to copy and file these materials. However, they cannot be sold or used in any group or commercial venture without written permission from ACAPress.

Chapter 13:   Rehabilitation Methodology

The topics of this chapter have been adapted from Volume 1, Chiropractic Rehabilitation, by K. D. Christensen, DC, © 1990, and used here with permission.


Strengthening exercises for the muscular system play an essential role in the chiropractic management of various neuromusculoskeletal disorders. Knowledge of various training methods and exercise techniques are thus among the most important requirements for effective treatment. [1] Properly conducted individual exercise programs help prevent many injuries and serve to shorten the recovery period necessary to restore the patient back to health. [2] Exercise programs can be designed to increase strength, aid weight loss, increase cardiorespiratory efficiency, or simply improve overall musculoskeletal performance.

All exercise programs should have specific goals in mind. The cornerstone of exercise is Davis’ Law, or the (SAID) principle that states that the body makes specific adaptation to imposed demands. [3] The more specific the exercise, the more specific the adaptation. Exercise, therefore, should be as specific as possible to the individual’s goals and needs.

The patient who participates in a well-devised, scientifically based, properly instructed exercise program should benefit in at least four areas: [4]

1. Enhanced musculoskeletal performance
2. Decreased risk of injury
3. Decreased severity should an injury occur
4. Accelerated rehabilitation and return to activity after injury.

Reid and Schiffbauer indicated that hypertrophy of muscle through exercise protects against bodily injury. [5] To avoid injury, Gallagher states patients should supplement recovery activities with exercises to increase the size and the strength of the muscles, which will then protect joints from injury. [6] Thorndike reports that exercise to strengthen joints can reduce the incidence of injuries. [7] Adams reports that habitual exercise can cause a significant increase in the strength of ligaments surrounding a joint and therefore prevent injuries. [8] Kraus reveals that while exercise is an important factor in the prevention of injury, it is also important in the prevention of reinjury. [9]


Review the complete Chapter (including sketches and Tables)
at the
ACAPress website

About the Author:

I was introduced to Chiro.Org in early 1996, where my friend Joe Garolis helped me learn HTML, the "mark-up language" for websites. We have been fortunate that journals like JMPT have given us permission to reproduce some early important articles in Full-Text format. Maintaining the Org website has been, and remains, my favorite hobby.


  1. Dev October 20, 2010 at 4:38 am

    I would like the whole book for a review

    RESPONSE: from Frank

    It’s available on the ACAPress website

  2. seattle chiropractor November 8, 2010 at 5:22 am

    I include an exercise regimen in all of my treatment plans and find that most patients are compliant.

  3. Dr. Thomas Traina December 13, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    Great article, can’t wait to read the book. I believe in a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of sports and life injuries. I use physiotherapeutic technology and a hands on approach along with encouraging patients to play an active role in managing the recovery of an injury. I utilize the philosophy that body alignment and joint biomechanics are the cornerstone for proper movement. Muscle strength and balance are an integral part of a healthy body. Preventive healthcare can help you avoid injury, illness, and even manage stress. Body balance, nutrition, exercise and good spinal health can help improve your mental and physical well being.

  4. John December 13, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    Exercise is so important. Can you really decrease the risk of injury?

    RESPONSE from Frank: Sure…ask any sports trainer.

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