Frequently Asked Questions

Can I see you under my health insurance?

HICAPS is available for all patients who are covered under private health insurance. Please ensure you have your card to present to reception, after your consultation.

Will I need a doctor's referral?

No, you can arrange an appointment with us directly by calling 02 9481 9996.

If you are unsure on whether you need physiotherapy please call us.

After your initial assessment we will advise you on how physiotherapy can help you.

What is the MedX® lumbar extension machine?

The MedX® lumbar extension machine is a clinical device, which measures the isometric strength of the lumbar spine. It can then be used to exercise the lumbar extensor muscles by isolating the lumbar spine.

How does it measure lumbar strength?

The machine has certain leg and pelvic restraints that prevent both the legs and pelvis from moving during testing. Therefore the lumbar spine is isolated. A strength range of motion graph is gained by testing maximum lumbar extensor muscle strength throughout different points of the range of motion.

These results are then fed into a computer and compared to population norms.

It is also possible to compare lumbar extensor strength across different age groups and body weights with population norms. This information allows diagnosis to be substantiated and provides an objective baseline to compare the patient before and after the lumbar strengthening program on the machine.

How does it strengthen the lumbar spine?

It does this by isolating the lumbar spine using the restraints described above, and the patient exercises within the limits of their pain-free range. From the objective isometric tests described above, the patient is usually commenced on a dynamic exercise program at half that of the maximum isometric torque of the isometric test. On average, with a chronic low back pain patient, it is not unusual to see an increase in isometric and dynamic strength of 100% in fifteen exercise sessions.

Exercise sessions consist of one dynamic session to muscle volitional fatigue.

This is normally done twice a week, for 4 – 6 weeks and then once a week for a further 8 weeks, this being a total of 15 visits.

On finishing the program, the isometric retest is done. The goal is to get the patient’s back strength above the age-matched norm. Even more may be required, depending on the occupation or the sport involved.

Why strengthen the lumbar spine?

Most people with chronic or recurring low back pain have back strength that is well below normal. Studies involved in chronic low back pain recommend lumbar spine strengthening decreases pain and increases function. A strong back is less likely to be injured or reinjured.

Why use the MedX® over conventional back strengthening exercises or gym equipment?

  • Firstly, conventional back exercises are difficult to progress in terms of intensity.
  • From strength training studies we know that the weight has to be progressed gradually with repetitions to muscular failure to increase muscular strength.
  • Conventional back strengthening is not done to muscular failure and without using weights it cannot be progressed substantially enough to radically improve lumbar strength.
  • Secondly, gym equipment used for lumbar spines does not adequately isolate the lumbar extensor muscles. Studies have proved that it is necessary to provide pelvic stabilization to prevent the stronger gluteals and hamstrings from doing the work.

What happens when you finish the MedX® program?

Most people when they finish the MedX® will not require continuing MedX® strengthening exercises, as they have reached above average strength which has been established through retesting on the MedX®.

Studies reveal that 95% of chronic low back pain sufferers that have completed the MedX®program with good to excellent results will maintain this in a year.

Please contact us if you need more information or have any other questions