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January, 2010

Exercise Gear in Your Practice

To help enhance your practice and increase your bottom line, Dynamic Chiropractic PracticeINSIGHTS asks practicing chiropractors like you for ideas and solutions that have been tested in real-world environments.

In this issue we asked: "How have you utilized exercise equipment in your practice to increase your income and provide a better experience for your patients?"

Strength and Balance

Many of you feel it is important for your patients to have access to resistance-training products and products that enhance balance. Here's how some of you have incorporated these products in your practice:

Exercise bands - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Seth Wolin (New York): "I use Thera-Bands and a functional trainer along with a 45-degree back extension, wobble boards and a balance board to perform rehab and individualized personal training. It allows for some income diversification when done electively by patients, and gives better outcomes while following best practices for patients under active care."

Chris Alvarez (Calif): "I hired a student athlete to be a trainer (at minimum wage) to help out with rehab. I set up some sim-ple rehab protocols using the formula stretching, foam rolling and then exercise.

"First visit for rehab, they are shown a foam roller and how to use it and Thera-Band exercises. They are sold a foam roller for $35 (profit $15), and over the next three weeks are shown a series of Thera-Band and floor exercises that are being monitored by the trainer. The trainer keeps a training log and subjective responses are recorded."

Sue Mollen (Calif): "I have used the whole-body vibration machine, charging either a monthly fee or per-use fee. Primarily, patients use it to increase strength and flexibility, enhance balance, improve circulation, decrease cortisol levels, increase bone strength and den-sity. Also, BOSU and exercise ball instructions."

Personal Preferences

Others chose to incorporate products they had used on themselves, and therefore felt they would be most beneficial to their pa-tients.

Lary Spiller (Washington State): "Use the Pettibon 'Wobble Chair' for your personal office chair as well as prior to the lum-bar adjustment. Works well for me and my patients with chronic low back pain."

Stephen Gunter (Calif.): "I used to manage health clubs and was a personal trainer in Los Angeles before going to chiropractic school. Spent years as a gym rat before that, and got oriented toward resistance equipment of all kinds.

"Consequently, when I was introduced to stretch tube/ribbon techniques, I was underwhelmed until I tried them for a shoulder in-jury that was putting a crimp on my practice. Surprisingly effective and useful. I also use physio balls and the Thera-Cane for patient care.

"Functional rehab is vital to reducing the need for repeat adjustments, assuming that is what you want to achieve."

Douglas Ross (Calif.): "Gym/Swiss ball exercises and the use of a Shoulder Horn, elastic tubing and free weights with instruction in proper form work very well. Fulcrum exercises by Pettibon or Spinal Technologies for ligament loosening. I've done them and used them for 20+ years. For home equipment nothing beats a Total Gym; I tell people to buy them used off Craigslist (www.craigslist.com) for about $100. No heavy investment, and they store easily."

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