If you suffer from regular back pain, it’s very easy to assume that something is grievously wrong. When your back hurts, it can comprise everything you do in your day to day life. Activities like folding laundry and even just going for a walk can be exceptionally uncomfortable. And while you’re right to seek medical attention to help your back, there are many different causes for back pain. These causes can range from a herniated disc to a strained back muscle, and each of these causes merit different treatment options. Your back pain doesn’t have to define you when you find the right back pain treatment options with the help of the Spine Institute of North America. We strongly believe in educating our patients and helping them find the simplest solution to their back pain problem. With that in mind, not only do we help with bone and nerve concerns, but also muscle ones. And with so many muscles governing your spine, they can be a critical component to consider when treating any form of back pain.
So let’s take a look as some of the major muscle groups that allow your spine to move, bend, flex, and help you stand up.
Muscles throughout your core are what influence how your back feels the most. This includes abdominal muscles in the front, muscles found on your sides, and muscles that actually run right along your spine. They fall into the following three groups.
The extensor muscles are the muscles found right along your spine. These muscles allow you to bend over then stand up, lift objects, and stand upright. The main portion of the erector spinae muscles can be found in the lower back, and work in conjunction with the gluteal muscles. This is why, if you sneeze while bending over, it’s actually quite easy to strain these muscles. When you bend forward in that motion, they are at their most elongated. Also, think about how you walk. You gently squeeze your gluteal muscles with each step, which in turn, helps to keep your extensor muscles engaged.
If your extensor muscles allow you to stand up straight and lift, than your flexor muscles do the opposite. The flexor muscle groups are your abdominal muscles that allow you to curve your spine forward and pull it into that bent shape. They’re typically defined as internal and external muscle groups. Your external abdominals are the ones you can feel in your stomach. There are additional layers underneath your external abdominals that do just as much work in order to help you bend when you need to.
Your oblique muscles are the muscle group that runs along each of your sides. These muscle groups allow for you to rotate your torso from side to side. They’re also part of you being able to maintain appropriate posture, because they connect to the spine near your extensor muscles. Strong oblique muscles in women can help lead to a more hourglass like figure as well.
How do all these muscle groups affect your spinal health?
Without these muscle groups, your spine is simply a floppy cord of bond and nerves. The muscles help to support the structures that protect your spinal cord. If you have weak spinal muscles, the chances of having pinched nerves and compressed discs is much higher. And you can’t just do crunches all day long to help strengthen these muscle groups. They have to be strengthened evenly and given equal amounts of attention. If you focus too much on the flexor muscles, but not enough on the extensor muscles, you can seriously harm your posture and spine.
So what can be done about the muscle groups that govern your spine?
There is a lot that you can do in order to maintain the muscle health of all the different groups that influence your spine. The best thing you can do is to keep them strong and limber. Workouts that pilates and yoga can provide are some of the best options to help do this, but you can always come up with your own routine as well.
If your back hurts, and you don’t know why, let us help you here at the Spine Institute of North America. Our doctors are experienced in a wide variety of techniques to help relieve your pain and help you reclaim your life. Schedule today!