Enhance Your Spine’s Strength
The spine has very long muscles that run vertically to hold you upright during the day. In addition, there are many small muscles deep within the spine that fine-tune the movements of each segment.
When you sit for prolonged periods in the day, your spinal muscles atrophy or become weak. In addition, with repetitive bending or lifting injuries, certain segments of the spine can be injured. Injuries weaken all the muscles around the aﬀected area, especially the smaller muscles that control spinal coordination.
By strengthening your specific spinal muscles, especially the smaller ones called multifidi, your body can restore control to the spinal movement. This decreases strain and daily inflammation, resulting in long-term pain relief.
How to improve your spinal strength
Strength comes from performing the right exercises with the right amount of control. You are far better oﬀ doing small, specific spinal strengthening exercises than trying to move large weights. It is safer, and you will achieve a better result.
A lot of strengthening actually involves restoring your brain’s ability to connect with the right muscle groups. When you perform abdominal exercises, do them slowly, focusing on tightening your muscles and controlling the movement.
The pelvic and hip muscles are an important part of strengthening your spine. Weak hip muscles fail to take the load when walking, change your posture and spinal movement, and result in straining the spine. Performing leg lifts to the side and back help strengthen the hip musculature.
Perform coordinated strengthening exercises. For example, doing mini-squats while keeping your abdomen tight helps to engage the core, pelvic and leg muscles together
Try this exercise to improve your spinal strength.
Always consult your physical therapist or physician before starting exercises you are unsure of doing.
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees in line with your hips and ankles. Focus on bending at the hip. Do not let your knees travel past your toes or fall inwards when bending.
How physical therapy helps your spinal strength
Physiotherapists have years of training in physiotherapy and kinesiology, which is the study of human movement. Through proper evaluation of what muscles are weak in your spine, we pinpoint the area that needs strengthening. They have years of medical training in examining how the body moves and are registered with the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario. We then teach you specific exercises that target particular muscle groups. We naturally progress you from very simple exercises to more complex coordinated exercises as your spinal muscles heal and begin to work together. You are empowered with the knowledge of how to keep your spine strong and healthy.
This article is part of our free back pain relief manual; You can download it by clicking here.
Owner / Registered Physiotherapist
About the Author
This article was written by We-Fix-U’s Owner and experienced Registered Physiotherapist in Bowmanville. He has taken a special interest in treating back injuries since his own back surgery and rehab experience. His highlights have been working as a Physio alongside the athletes from the 2000 Olympics. Dave is always willing to help when needed.