The purpose of rehabilitative exercises is to stretch and strengthen certain muscles to reduce functional imbalances and increase your joint stability. In some cases, when injury to a joint occurs, the muscles will continue to pull on the bone and restrict joint motion because of spasms. In other cases, the muscle may be too weak to maintain appropriate tension, or the joint may not be properly balanced with equally strong muscles on each side.
The spine is a perfect example of this. The back muscles are the hardest to strengthen, and are often not used properly in everyday activity. The muscles on the front of the body, however, tend to be stronger. For instance, your pectoral muscles will be stronger than those across your shoulder blades. This can cause postural problems, which exacerbate back pain. The chiropractor will prescribe rehabilitative exercises to be done in and outside of the office. This will stretch certain muscles and strengthen others so that the joints they affect will be stabilized.