Back Pain

You want me to strength train – but my BACK is killing me!

How many of you, right now, are suffering from some sort of back pain? I heard quite a few of you let out a groan. Did you know that 80% of adults will fall victim to painful disorders of their low backs sometime in their lifetime. It’s due to a widespread loss of muscle and soft tissue strength in the lumbar spine (or lower back). “Much of the pain and disability that occurs with lower back problems arises when weakness of or injury to the bones or soft tissue causes the basic spinal structure to collapse, resulting in pressure on the nerves”. Fred Hahn, author of “Slow Burn.” You have to remember that the lower back is the connector between your upper back (torso) and your lower half (pelvis and legs). It’s your lower back that provides the strength and mobility necessary for such activities as twisting, turning and bending. Strength training can help. As with any form of physical activity, please consult a physician before starting any program, especially if you are experiencing back pain. Two effective strength training equipment brands for backs on the market today are the David and / or the MedX Lumbar Spine Machine. These brands are extremely difficult to locate in fitness centers that do not support the Slow Motion High Intensity Strength Training protocol. The key to these pieces of equipment are that they restrain a person in the machine in such a way that any rotation around the hip joint is eliminated. In other words, there is a strict isolation of the multifidus muscles which are the smaller, deeper muscles of your lower back. These muscles are extremely difficult to strength train without involving the bigger, stronger spinal erector muscles of the back without the David or MedX Lumbar Spine Machine. Two other essential pieces of equipment are the rotary torso and the lateral flexion machine. The rotary torso is known to work the internal and external obliques as well as the multifidus muscles. The lateral flexion machine works the quadratus lumborum, psoas major and, yes, in the initial flexion, the multifidus. The multifidus muscles fatigue quicker and recover slower than the larger muscle groups. When your back is in pain, the last thing on your mind may be strength training, however, “strength training may temporarily exacerbate symptoms, but in the long run the strengthening that occurs is going to be protective to the musculature and prevent a similar injury (and its symptoms) from occurring in the future.” Doug McGuff.

Getting started on the right strength training program will begin to ease your current back pain as well as get you on the right path for preventing new back pain and injuries from occurring.

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