The muscles of the lower back are numerous and complex and can go several inches deep depending on the size of the person. These muscles are very important and are used almost constantly throughout the day, whether we are sitting or moving. The function of the muscles of the lower back are to help stabilize, rotate, flex, and extend and protect the spinal column, which gives the body structure and houses the spinal cord. Additionally, these muscles also function in movement of the trunk, posture, and stability of the entire body.
Important muscles of the lower back include:
Multifidus: This small, long muscle travels nearly the entire length of the back and is a deep muscle. It stabilizes and rotates the lumbar spine.
Longissimus: Another long muscle, this one begins in the middle of the lumbar spine and continues up to the upper back region.
Spinalis: This large, superficial muscle begins as a thick tendon from the sacrum and travels up into the neck.
Whether we are bending down to put on a pair of socks, vacuuming, or carrying a bag of groceries into the house, the health of the back depends on a complex interaction of muscular contraction to move and stabilize each joint in the spine. Lower back pain can result from any of these muscles becoming tight, overworked, uncoordinated or tweaked during certain activities. If any of these occur, it will place excessive strain on the other surrounding muscles, which can result in micro-trauma and accumulated scar tissue. The adhesions can affect the normal health and function of the muscles. Overtime, and if not treated, these imbalances and adhesions will develop into pain and severe back conditions.
Identifying and targeting the underlying muscle dysfunction and location is important when treating these lower back conditions. Sometimes this can be challenging because of the deepness and layers of the back muscles. Active Release Techniques (ART) is a great treatment for muscular conditions of the back because it can restore normalcy of the tone of the muscle as well as break up adhesions that have developed. The injure patient has a larger role in this technique to actively put their body in motion while the practitioner is contracting, extending, and lengthening the muscles with their hands.
Many times patients can feel significant results from ART within 4 – 6 treatments, and are able to resume their normal, active lifestyle. If you are suffering from back pain give our office a call at (703) 912-7822 or visit us at Chiropractor in Burke, VA.