Back Exercises & Pain
Low back pain (LBP) remains the most common cause of disability and lost work time among working-age adults in industrialized countries. Studies have shown that approximately 90% of people will experience some degree of LBP in their lifetime. So, it’s understandable that patients with LBP comprise the largest percentage of people seeking care from a Physical Therapist.
Lower back pain can come in many different forms. It can present as a relatively simple muscle strain/spasm or disc degeneration, herniated disc, spinal stenosis, SI joint dysfunction, facet joint arthropathy, or any other scary medical terms you may have been diagnosed with in the past. No two patients with LBP are the same and therefore PT treatment plans must be specifically catered for each individual’s needs.
COMMON DENOMINATORS IN EVERY TYPE OF LOWER BACK INJURY
However, with any type of lower back injury, research has shown drastic atrophy (or loss of muscle mass / weakness) in the spinal multifidi musculature. The multifidi are the deepest of your spinal musculature and are the primary spinal stabilizers. So, as you can imagine, as your multifidi weaken after an injury you subsequently lose spinal stability which often results in further pain. Also, various studies have pointed to a loss of spinal mobility (“stiffness”) and core weakness as a factor in prolonged lower back pain. So, although it is true that no two patients with LBP are the same and should be treated as such – performing exercises that improve spinal mobility and lower back (specifically multifidi) / core strength helps to improve overall stability thus reducing pain.
WHAT EXERCISES CAN I PEFORM TO HELP IMPROVE LOWER BACK STIFFNESS AND CORE/ SPINAL STRENGTH?
So, whether you currently have LBP, have a history of LBP, or are being proactive and want to reduce the risk of developing LBP in the future – Check out these 3 exercises below to help improve spinal mobility and lower back / core strength and stability.