Medstrength FAQs

Why does back pain cause muscle weakness?

Pain inhibits the local muscles from functioning to their optimum strength through full range. This reduction in activity causes the healthy muscles to rapidly decline in size and strength. You can see this change clearly following a knee injury. The thigh muscles begin to weaken within 6 hours of a knee injury. The same physiological reaction occurs in the back muscles.

Is there research supporting medical spinal strengthening?

Yes. In fact there are over 75 peer-reviewed articles supporting the use of the Medical Lumbar Extension Machine in the treatment and prevention of low back pain.


Does Pilates provide the same type of therapy?

NO! Pilates essentially teaches individuals to become aware, stimulate and control the lower abdominal muscles to help back pain and also helps provide a degree of segmental control of the spine through range. However, Pilates cannot fully strengthen muscles such as the important lumbar extensors through the entire range of movement of the lumbar spine, because it does not isolate these muscles in order to strengthen them and it does not exercise these muscles to fatigue. It is a scientific fact that muscles need to be exercised to fatigue during each exercise session to regain full strength.

Why is Medical Spinal Strengthening not available throughout New Zealand?

The main reason that this very effective evidence based treatment is not readily available is because the medical rehabilitation machines are very expensive and require significant training to be able to produce the most effective results. These costs are prohibitive for most health professionals. The therapy is widely available throughout Europe and more recently in Australia and Asia. Functional Physio physiotherapists have been utilising medical Spinal Strengthening Therapy for over ten years now and are leaders in this field in Australasia.

If I join MedStrength will I have Spinal Strengthening Therapy?

Once you have had your musculoskeletal assessment, the physiotherapist will determine whether it is safe for you to join MedStrength and begin a general supervised strengthening programme. If you have any conditions that require physiotherapy treatment and a course of Spinal Strengthening, you will be advised to complete this first. Your physiotherapist will prepare you for a safe progression on to a general strength training programme.

Therapy for spinal conditions

How long does a course of medical Spinal Strengthening Therapy take?

The usual number of treatment sessions for chronic or recurrent back pain is 12 to 18 treatments at two to three times a week. Science suggests that the muscles need to be stimulated to fatigue at least twice a week to improve their strength at the optimal rate. In the first three weeks, the neural messages from the brain recruit the maximum number of muscle fibres of the targeted muscle and then the muscle begins to grow in size, strength and function. This is when the patient will notice the biggest improvement in their symptoms and function.

Do you have changing rooms and bathroom facilities?

Yes, we have full bathroom facilities with showers and hairdryers. There are lockers for storing your personal items.

Is there parking available close by?

Free parking is available in the building complex car park, entry off Enfield St, in numbered parks T6-T8, T14-T20 – see map on Contact Us page.

There is also parking on Normanby Rd directly in front of the MedStrength facility. Please note the time periods as they vary from one side of the street to the other.

I am a woman – will strength training make my muscles look bulky and masculine?

You will not bulk up with health-oriented strength training. As muscle strength grows, your muscles will attain more mass, but health-oriented strength training aims to increase strength, tone, lean muscle mass and endurance as opposed to strength, mass and power.

Women and strength training

How often should I train?

We recommend training 2-3 times per week, especially in the beginning of your training programme, and continuing this for 6 months. To maintain the strength gains you have achieved in the first 6 months, training 1-2 times per week is sufficient.

Training principles

How long until I see results?

In general you will experience results within 4-8 weeks. Results can be that you will be able to perform your day-to-day tasks and activities with more ease. Results can also mean that your body looks more toned. The variation of timing of results does depend on your body type, metabolism, eating habits and body fat percentage.

Will strength training help me to lose weight off my thighs?

How and where you lose weight depends on your genetics, hormones, dietary intake etc. However, strength training will add more lean muscle mass and increase your metabolism. As a result you will see results all over your body.

What do I do if I have had a long break from training?

If you have had a break from MedStrength training for more than 2 weeks please let the instructor know. Your exercise card will be checked and the weights adjusted and lowered.
If the break has been due to illness or injury, you may be advised to see one of the physiotherapists, who will assess whether you are safe to start training again.

When I am training independently, what if I forget how to set up the machines?

There is always a MedStrength instructor in the exercise area, so do not hesitate to ask for assistance at any time.

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