Why start with spinal stabilization exercises? If it is not the #1 area of the body patients come in for it is certainly in the top three. Current research suggests that 1 out of 4 people will experience an episode of low back pain within the next 6 months that will bring them to the Doctor. From there only 1 out of 3 of the people experiencing LBP will have symptoms abolish completely within the first year, 3 out of 5 of the people that have recurring episodes in a year will have multiple episodes during that year, and finally 1 out of 10 of the people experiencing multiple episodes of LBP in that first year will never be able to get rid of their back pain.(1)
We have touched on research and the role our stabilizing muscles have in improving a person’s ability to decrease the chance of a LBP recurrence in a previous Blog post but we are now going to take a greater look into the area of stabilization exercises.
The key to a good stabilization program is the ability to correctly identify the exercises that would optimally challenge the key stabilizing muscles without imposing any potentially dangerous loads to the spine.(2) As with any exercise program you should make sure you are physically capable of performing the exercises and if there is any doubt or question as to whether or not you could perform any of the exercises that will be highlighted or that any other medical condition you may have could contribute to an averse reaction to the exercises you should first and foremost consult with your Doctor or other Healthcare Practitioner prior to attempting any of the stabilization exercises.
The 4 muscle groups principally responsible for spinal stabilization are: the Transverse Abdominus Muscle which is a muscle that is a deep abdominal muscle located below the rectus abdominus (those 6-pack muscles), the Erector Spinae & Multifidus muscles are back extensor muscles located on either side of the spine from your pelvis on up that cross a bunch of spinal segments (Erector Spinae) or that connect each individual segment (Multifidus), the Oblique Abdominals which are the most superficial of the abdominal muscles located on the lateral to anterior aspect of the abdomen, and the Quadratus Lumborum which is a deep muscle that spans from the lumbar spine and 12th rib down towards the iliac crest of the hip bone.
The exercises in this video series will target these four muscles specifically in an attempt to improve their strength and endurance so you can prevent fatigue, prevent further injury, decrease recurrence rate, and hopefully prevent an episode of LBP from occurring.(3)
Keep a look out on the horizon in the upcoming weeks as we start rolling out the videos.
- Kent P, Keating J, The Epidemiology of Low Back Pain in Primary Care. Chiropractic and Osteopathy. 2005 13:13.
- McGill SM. Distribution of Tissue Loads in the Low Back During a Variety of Daily and Rehabilitation Tasks. Journal of Rehabil Res Dev. 1997; 34:448-458.
- Wilder DG, et al. Muscular Response to Sudden Load: A Tool to Evaluate Fatigue and Rehabilitation. Spine. 1996; 22:2628-2637.