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The Ultimate Back Pain Relief Tips Blog

What is the Connection Between Muscle Weakness and Back Pain?

Posted by Dr. Jeff Winternheimer D.C. on Mon, Mar 31, 2014 @ 01:32 PM

muscle weaknessChildren, adults, athletes, and laborers alike experience back pain. What most people do not know is that back pain is very often caused by muscle weakness, which is, in most cases, a very fixable problem! The trouble with back surgery as a treatment for pain, in many cases, is that it does not address the root of the issue: Key muscles are still lacking in strength after the procedure is done, because no surgery fixes muscle weakness!

The main players in the back pain game are the extensors, the obliques, flexors, and abdominal (ab) muscles. Disproportionate conditioning, lack of development, or muscle loss in any of the above-mentioned muscles is often the culprit when dealing with the cause of back pain. The spine can become misaligned, and unnatural compression patterns can develop when some muscles are shorter or weaker than they should be, in comparison to those around them. Specific conditioning is needed to restore proper muscle lengths, and, as a result, realign the spine and relieve compressed nerves.

The extensor muscles allow standing and lifting and are attached to the back of the spine. They help you to hold your spine upright, and they cover the lower back and gluteal areas. Strong extensors are essential for a sturdy back overall. Ensuring proper conditioning of these muscles will help prevent the bad habit of slouching, which is well-known as a sure path to neck and shoulder pain.

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Your obliques, on the other hand, attach to the sides of your spine, are also important for posture.  They allow you to rotate your spine, twisting your body. Improperly conditioned or developed, the obliques can become chronically contracted, causing back pain by unnaturally increasing compression throughout the spine.

Your flexor muscles allow you to bend forward and arch your back. Constantly tight hip flexors, found often in athletes, frequently lead to lower back pain, while underdeveloped or weakened abdominals can lead to a plethora of back-related ailments in general.

Abdominals technically are flexors, and they are perhaps the most famous flexors of all. One important thing to note about the abdominals is that they tend to weaken as a person ages, more quickly than many other muscles in the body. Keeping both the upper and lower abdominals at a healthy strength will help to prevent or alleviate back pain. It turns out that overdeveloped abdominals, on the other hand, are just as bad. Abs that are proportionally stronger than the muscles they are supposed to work in tandem with can strain those other muscles, causing a myriad of issues, not the least of which is back pain.

Because muscle weakness is so heavily tied to back pain, the good news is that some of the most effective solutions are surgery-free, non-invasive, and movement-based. Specific core exercises and yoga have been known to help people to strengthen their weakened back muscles, alleviating pain, and more recently, a movement-based treatment known as Functional Disc Rehydration (TM) was developed by Dr. Jeff Winternheimer.

No matter the cause of your back pain, the specialists at can help you to pinpoint the issue, determine the best course of action, and initiate a non-invasive, movement-based solution to your back problems without surgery. 

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Topics: back problems, back pain treatments, spine, general back pain, wellness, Back Pain, spine pain, back doctor, back pain solutions, hip stretches, muscle weakness