Melbourne Physiotherapy Pilates + Fitness Group

Getback for neck and back pain 

When dealing with conditions of the neck and back, the consequences can affect all aspects of life. Daily tasks and activities like sleep, work, exercise, and leisure can all become painful and challenging. Around four million Australians (16% of the population) have back problems, based on self-reported data from the 2017-18 National Health Survey (NHS) by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Pain interfered with daily activities for almost two in five people (38%) with back problems in 2017-18. Nobody deserves to live like that.  

Lucky for us, most back conditions can be treated by getback, including unspecified back and neck pain, degenerative changes, prolapsed or ruptured discs. 

What is getback? 

getback™ is a spinal rehabilitation programme focused on restoring normal function in patients impacted by back or neck pain. Exercise devices designed by Biomechanists and Exercise Scientists target the deep spinal muscles to stabilise the spine, increase mobility and strength, and reduce pain. 

Why getback? 

Movement can be effective treatment, but it’s difficult to exercise when pain is present. An important factor in safe treatment is controlling the range of movement and load during exercise. getback™ devices are precisely designed to provide an appropriate level of support through the full range of movement.  

About the our service 

When it comes to treatment, it is essential that your body receives the unique care it needs. That’s why we prioritise tailored treatment plans, custom-built to best benefit your health needs. Our team will be able to direct you to the right course of treatment, which very well may involve getback™ technology. Here are some of the key facts to understand about how this program works: 

Spinal Health You Can See 

getback™ offers the unique opportunity to measure and analyse your spinal health. The strength and flexibility of your deep spinal muscles are measured by getback™ devices during your initial assessment. The beauty of this system is that your results are compared to the level of strength you should have – based on global normative data. 

Data Driven 

Your treatment program will be individually tailored to your body. This will all be based on the data from your assessment, as well as a questionnaire to understand which specific movements trigger your pain.  

Easing Into Exercise 

Taking care of your body is key, and diving straight into intense exercise or activity is a recipe for disaster. That’s why getback™ treatment starts with a limited range of movement and light loading. 

The Right Level of Support 

getback™ devices are precisely designed to offer the ideal amount of support for easy-to-handle loading. This technology ensures that your initial rehabilitation phase is well-supervised, focusing on highly targeted resistance. 

Real-Time Feedback 

There is nothing better than being able to track your progress and visualise the results of your work. The devices are able to guide your exercise by offering visual feedback on your movements in real-time. This helps to make sure you’re working within your predetermined ‘safe range’. 

Researched and Tested Equipment 

getback™ devices are included in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods [ARTG] Certificate #244352 as Medical Devices Class 1. Furthermore, Similar devices and treatment protocols to those used by getback have been cited in over 35 peer reviewed articles in prestigious journals such as Rheumatology, Spine, Europa Medicophysica, Arbietsmedizin, Manuelle Medizin, The Spine Journal and Journal of Rehabilitative Medicine.The results of these studies consistently show significant strength development, reduction in pain, and effectiveness of the intervention with similar devices and protocols to those used by getback. 

MPPFG – a getback success story!

There are few of us who reach a ‘certain age’ without once visiting a physiotherapist. Ada Lubin is one of the lucky ones. Ada’s first-ever physiotherapy appointment at Melbourne Physio Group (MPPFG) in 2020 was for a bursitis condition. Since then, she jokes: ’I haven’t stopped!’

Unfortunately in 2022, Ada started noticing unrelated back issues. ‘There was an issue in my thoracic spine and general ageing issues,’ Ada explains. ‘I’ve also got a bit of osteoarthritis.’ While her back pain wasn’t completely debilitating, sleep was difficult, as was sitting and standing for long periods. ‘I could still do most things,’ Ada says. ‘But it was impeding my life in that I had to be very careful. ‘I wanted to build my strength for everyday activities like carrying the shopping and manoeuvring around.’

MPPFG Director Chris Constantinou suggested she consider the getback program to improve her back strength and mobility. But after facing multiple issues and various interventions, Ada says she was ‘a bit sceptical’. ‘I understood the getback concept, but I was thinking “another thing, will it work?”. I was a little bit hesitant.’

Ada decided to seek advice from her long-term GP. ‘I spoke to my GP and said that I wasn’t sure about it [the getback program].’ 

‘And he said to me, “Just try it”. 

Initial measurements on the getback devices showed that some aspects of Ada’s Lumbar/Thoracic mobility and Lumbar/Thoracic and Cervical strength were below average for her age and gender reference group (see black lines on graph). A personalised treatment plan to address those areas of weakness and limited mobility was then created by the MPPFG team. Ada’s confidence about moving into device based movement therapy was boosted by the level of supervision during her program. 

’As you get older you have challenges to face with your body, but the program is well monitored,’ she says. ‘They ask you as you’re going along, “is that okay? Are you feeling comfortable?”

‘Within two or three weeks, I started to feel the difference.’

Physiotherapist and Exercise Physiologist Brooke Bakaric supervised most of Ada’s program, which also provided continuity. ‘It’s been good because Brooke also deals with me on occasion in the gym, so she’s quite familiar with everything I’m doing.’

After two getback sessions a week for three months, Ada’s mobility and strength was assessed again on the devices. She was pleased when the MPPFG team confirmed she had reached her program goals.

‘The difference in flexibility has just been phenomenal (see blue lines on graph)’, Ada says. ‘I could feel myself be able to turn sideways, my whole torso.’ Reports were also sent to Ada’s GP to monitor her progress along the way. ‘He wanted to know exactly what I’m doing and how I’m coming along, which is important,’ she says.

While officially ‘discharged’ from the program after reaching her goals, Ada continues to do a getback maintenance session once a month ‘to keep in touch.’ ‘They said to me, you don’t have to, you’ve completed the program and you haven’t gone backwards. There’s no hard sell.’

She also does twice weekly classes with an exercise physiologist to maintain her strength and flexibility. ‘I believe the combination of the two has made a difference. Both of them complement each other.’

Ada’s says now that while she ‘still has some issues’, she is ‘in a far better place than I was before.’

getback was extremely beneficial for me. I realise that not everyone is suitable for it, it’s quite lengthy and there’s cost factors as well.  ‘But when you’re actually looking at your health, I think it’s a good investment.

‘I think you got to look at it that way.’

Thank you Ada for choosing MPPFG as your provider and sharing your story with the community!

MPPFG Team

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March 14, 2024
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