Thanks to social media and the hard work of Ministry of Health (Singapore), everybody knows the benefits of exercise. In fact, exercise works so well for chronic pain management that it’s virtually the top recommended treatment across all musculoskeletal conditions from back pain to neck pain.
Today we share with you five reasons why our chiropractor-led 12-week exercise programme is the best pain treatment in Singapore.
Not just your average gym workout
With a chiropractor and dietitian in our team, you can be assured that you are getting the best possible care. While many gyms do offer exercise programmes that claim to help with back pain, the truth most of the trainers do not have clinical training. Without clinical training, they do not have the skill set required to accurately diagnose your condition, and figure out what exactly you need to achieve long-term results.
This is the reason why a lot of people who choose to self-direct their own recovery by following Instagram or YouTube advice do not get good results.
Good results in recovery is only possible if the exercises and advice are personalised to your problem and fitness state. Just endlessly doing exercises to increase strength, mobility, or flexibility is not good enough!
This is why people who stretch daily or go to the gym on a regular basis can still suffer from chronic pain.
A good recovery is about being about to meaningful curate exercises that are specific to your condition and current fitness state. Not only do you need to know what are the right exercises to do, it’s also important to consider when to do them, when to stop doing them, how often, how much, and at what intensity. There are so many variables involved in using exercise as a recovery tool that it is difficult for people to get it right without professional help.
Yes, everybody can exercise or teach you to exercise. Not everyone can help you find freedom from pain.
You don’t just feel better, you get tangible results!
Many chiropractic clinics and pain clinics in Singapore they talk a lot about correcting root causes. Yet research doesn’t back this up. Research is telling us that chiropractic adjustments are short-term pain relief, and the latest studies even show they don’t work better than placebo.
This is problematic. This means the pain relief often attributed to spinal adjustments are actually due to placebo effects rather than any true change! Researchers ascertain this by comparing treatment outcomes of patients who went for real adjustments versus those who receive fake or sham treatments. The outcomes for BOTH groups are comparable.
Exercise doesn’t have this problem. With an exercise plus education approach to recovery, you will be able to get tangible change. You will see improvements in strength, function, mobility, and even range of motion.
All of this can add together to give you better capacity to live out your life. By making your body more robust and more resilient, you are less likely to get pain.
Furthermore, after being taught how to exercise as well as the right exercises to do for your specific condition and physical fitness state, you can keep working on your physical well-being on your own. No need to depend on anyone for a lifetime of endless chiropractic adjustments!
This is a true long-term pain solution.
No endless physiotherapy exercise
How many of you have heard your friends complaining about their physiotherapy exercises being boring? This is one of the reasons why compliance to an exercise programme can be poor. We get that. This is why our hybrid recovery programme also include elements of strength training, olympic lifting, and even CrossFit.
Instead of treating you like sick people who will break with any high exertion workout, we choose to take a personalised approach to your care. This means exercises that are perfectly suited to you at every stage of recovery! You won’t be put in a position where you have to train at a level that’s less than what you are capable of.
Recovery for us is not about getting you from point of injured to not-injured or from painful to pain-free. Recovery, in our opinion, is empowering people to live a full, functional, and happy life.
We help our clients become the best (physical) versions of themselves. Often, the results will surprise you! Even our senior clients with back and knee pain can easily deadlift more than 40kg by the end of their recovery programme!
No, we are not saying that physiotherapy exercises have no purpose in recovery. They do. In fact, they are often great exercises for you to start off with in your recovery. What we do differently at Square One Active Recovery is that we don’t limit ourselves to just those exercises!
You get 100% supervision
Did you know only 26% of Singaporeans are physically active 3 days per week? The truth is majority of us are under-moving, under-loading and under-utilising our body. It’s no surprise we start to see our body becoming weaker and more frail over time. This is why a supervised recovery programme can be incredibly valuable.
Instead of relying how on just how you feel, you get a second pair of eyes to collect real time data of what is going on when you exercise. This gives us important information that can help us truly personalise your recovery programme for you.
Because of this supervision, we are also able to make sure that you are utilising the right lifting techniques that are appropriate for you. Very often, commercial gym trainers will use the same cues over and over again with every single client. This doesn’t make sense because all of us have a unique body! For people with pain and injury such as yourself, what may work for a pain-free individual also may not necessarily work for you.
Again, we totally acknowledge you can learn exercises from YouTube. But really, you cannot expect yourself to get comparable results from a do-it-yourself recovery programme. If it was so easy, there chronic, persistent pain will not be a problem in the world anymore!
Only evidence-based treatment
The best treatment across all musculoskeletal conditions such as back aches, knee osteoarthritis, rotator cuff tears is exercise. Sure, surgery and medications are both reasonable treatment choices. However, exercise is the safest and also can be a long-term solution to your problem.
Some of you may think exercise is challenging and boring. We are not contesting that. You may also think there is no harm to receive treatments that are not evidence-based (e.g., massage, spinal adjustments, etc). On the surface, that may seem true for seemingly benign conditions like back pain or neck pain because nobody really dies from them. But is it true that there is no harm?
Not necessarily so. A research Stevans and colleagues last year look at the chance of pain becoming chronic (i.e., lasting more than 12 weeks) should they choose to receive back pain treatments that are not aligned to best clinical practice.
For context, firstline treatment for back pain are exercise, education, advice to stay active, and cognitive behavioural therapy. Popular treatments such as chiropractic adjustments, massage, acupuncture are all considered second line treatment or adjunctive treatments. Adjunctive means to be used as supplementary and should not be core treatment.
Just three treatments in the first 21 days is enough to increase the chance of your back pain lasting longer than it need to be! On the other hand, if you did nothing (i.e., receive no spinal manipulation), your pain is more likely to resolve by itself.
Prolonged pain and suffering is real harm! This can be definitively ascertained by research.
If you saw a traditional chiropractor, you would have been ask to come back three times a week for spinal manipulation treatments. This is most certainly enough to increase your risk a delayed recovery. It’s 100% not worth it.
To quantify harm, suffering from pain cost the Singapore economy $8 billion each year. Your pain has very real consequences, even if you choose to just “suck it up”.
Rethink your recovery; consider exercise for longer term outcomes
We have known for decades (yes, plural) that exercise is a great recovery tool from chronic pain sufferers. The problem is that our our attitudes and beliefs towards exercise don’t allow us to fully experience the benefits it can bring.
Both our own clinical work with our clients (check out our amazing Google reviews) and hard research data confirms this!
You may also find our approach to pain relief surprising: Why is a chiropractic clinic offering exercise as their core treatment?
Not many people know this, but exercise has been part of chiropractic since its very, very, very early days! Early chiropractors utilised exercise as part of their treatment approach. From historical records, we can see their clinics are filled with exercise equipment such as treadmill, cable machine, rowing machine, and even a punching bag!
We are not trying to reinvent the wheel here. If anything, we are going back to our roots of what chiropractic is, within an evidence-based framework.
Some of you will also noticed that few chiropractors in Singapore use exercises in their practice. This is true.
The reason is because exercise is not good for business!
Afterall, spinal adjustments only take five minutes to perform and the relief lasts for a few days or a couple of weeks, max. Exercise, on the other hand, is a long-term pain solution. This means we literally drive ourselves out of business! Given how lucrative chiropractic adjustments are (i.e., you have to come back for life), it’s no wonder chiropractors choose to focus on cracking spines!
With the growth of science and research, we starting to learn more about body, and what can actually help you with your chronic pain. Both chiropractors and patients alike would have to keep up. Yes, it’s normal for us have our own preferences, biases, beliefs, values, etc. However, hard science is not going to change because of what we choose to believe.
Have a think about it. You can’t keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result. What you need for extraordinary results is a radical change. This can start with the type of treatments you choose.
To find out how our 12-week exercise programme can help you find true freedom from pain, reach out to us via the contact form below.
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Frustrated by the lack of results-driven and ethical chiropractic clinics in Singapore, Chiropractor Jesse Cai found Square One Active Recovery to deliver meaningful and sustainable pain solutions.
Our goal? To make our own services redundant to you.
*We do not offer temporary pain relief such as chiropractic adjustments, dry needling, or any form of soft tissue therapy.