The spinal cord provides a support frame to your back. Muscles and ligaments connected to this frame give strength and stability to your spine, arms and legs. These muscles are abdominal and back muscles. They are the key components to keep your body upright and movement smooth.
When these core muscles are in poor health, additional stress is applied to your spine leading to back pain and sometimes even back injury. Hence, special exercises are recommended by a chiropractor for back pain. These exercises strengthen the core muscles, making you strong and healthy.
Benefits of Back and Abdominal Exercise
Weak or tight muscles can lead to painful cramps. They can also cause problems in the bone structure of the spine due to poor posture. Developing strength in back and abdominal muscles has many benefits like:
- Improving your posture
- Reducing the chances of back pain
- Reducing the severity of back pain
- Protecting you against injury by responding efficiently to stresses
- Quick healing of back problems
Categories of Back and Abdominal Muscles for Exercise
There are three different muscle categories for exercises:
- Extensors – Back and gluteal muscles
- Flexors – Abdominal and iliopsoas muscles
- Obliques or Rotators – Paraspinal muscles or side muscles
These muscles are used to straighten the back, lift and extend, and the movement of the thighs away from the body.
These muscles are used to bend and support the spine from the front. They also control the lower spine, flex and movement of thighs toward the body.
These muscles are used to stabilize the spine when upright. They also rotate the spine and help maintain proper posture and spinal curvature.
Without specific back and abdominal exercises, these muscles will weaken over time, increasing the chance of developing or worsening back pain.
Guidelines for Back and Abdominal Exercises
General guidelines for workouts:
- Do not start exercises for the first time during a back pain. Consult your chiropractor for back pain exercises first and then start.
- Continue exercising even after pain diminishes, rather, add back and abdominal exercises to your daily workout regime.
- Do a combination of extension and flexion exercises to balance the trunk muscles.
- Exercises in sets of 3 to 5 repetitions for 4 times a week.
- Start working out under the guidance of a physical therapist or at least a gym trainer to learn properly and get the right posture.
You have to be patient as the results of these exercises may take up to 6 weeks. Together with the exercises you can use custom made orthotics to maintain your posture while walking and standing.
A strong back and healthy abdominal muscles can help avoid and heal most types of back pain, especially the common forms. But always seek expert advice from a chiropractic clinic when beginning a back strengthening routine.