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People who injure their back or neck have to learn as quickly as possible how to prevent recurrence of the injury. This usually is a two part process which involves determining what makes the injury worse and what should be done for general improvement in the muscle tone of the back and abdomen and in the range of movement of the neck and back.

What makes the injury worse?

If the original injury was a result of a rotational strain on the spine, activities like golf, tennis or hockey will be difficult to do until a long term reconditioning is effective.

If the original injury involved a disc protrusion or swelling, jogging or step training will be much more difficult than swimming.

What can be done to improve?

The first thing to do is find a large muscle activity that is tolerated without making things worse. This selection depends on the injury and the individual. For people with rotational injuries jogging or walking or swimming may be tolerated. Gradually increase in frequency and duration a regular large muscle program to improve the condition and tone of the back and abdominal muscles. The key factor is regularity. For disc or vertebrae injuries swimming may be the only large muscle activity that is reasonably tolerated. Once the muscle tone and flexibility has improved the level of tolerance for the other activities may improve dramatically.

The second improvement is to incorporate a regular activity program as described on the first Back Pain page. This regular isometric stretch activity serves as a reminder to relax tense muscles and improves gradually the range of movement of the neck and low back.

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