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Back Muscles

Lower Back Motion and Back Pain

"Fifty percent of flexion (bending forward) occurs at the hips, and fifty percent occurs at the lumbar spine (lower back). The motion is divided between the five motion segments in the lower back, although a disproportionate amount of the motion is at L4-L5 (lumbar segment 4 and 5) and L3-L4 (lumbar segment 3 and 4)." (Dr. Ullrich, 2009)

"Consequently, these two segments of the lower back are the most likely to break down with degeneration. As these segments break down they can become unstable with an excess of motion creating lower back pain. There are a number of non-surgical treatments available to help manage the low back pain, and a surgical fusion can help alleviate the back pain by stopping the motion." (Dr. Ullrich, 2009)


Extensor, Flexor and Oblique Muscles and Back Pain

Three types of back muscles that help the spine function are extensors, flexors and obliques.

  • "The extensor muscles are attached to the posterior (back) of the spine and enable standing and lifting objects. These muscles include the large paired muscles in the lower back (erector spinae), which help hold up the spine, and gluteal muscles." (Dr. Ullrich, 2009)

  • "The flexor muscles are attached to the anterior (front) of the spine (which includes the abdominal muscles) and enable flexing, bending forward, lifting, and arching the lower back." (Dr. Ullrich, 2009)

  • "The oblique muscles are attached to the sides of the spine and help rotate the spine and maintain proper posture." (Dr. Ullrich, 2009)



Relationship Among Muscles, Posture, and Low Back Pain

"Muscle strength and flexibility are essential to maintaining the neutral spine position. Weak abdominal muscles cause hip flexor muscles to tighten causing an increase in the curve of the low back." (Dr. Ullrich, 2009)

"An unhealthy posture results when the curve is overextended called lordosis or swayback. Proper posture corrects muscle imbalances that can lead to low back pain by evenly distributing weight throughout the spine." (Dr. Ullrich, 2009)



Function of the Back Muscles

"The back anatomy includes the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, erector spinae, rhomboid, and the teres major. There are several individual muscles within the back anatomy, and it’s important to take a quick look at all of them to see how you can target them effectively and develop a solid back." (Alex, 2012)

"The back anatomy includes some of the most massive and functionally important muscles in the human body. Still, many individuals pay far too little attention to them." (Alex, 2012)

"The back muscles enable you to stand up straight; support and protect your spine; and reach, pull and extend your arms and torso." (Alex, 2012)

"Poorly developed back muscles lead to everything from muscle tweaks and pulls to imbalances of the musculature to the all-too-common hunched-over look (the “Neanderthal look”). All of these things can lead to long term back pain (and chronic complaining!)." (Alex, 2012)

© Eva Jane Gates, all rights reserved


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