Introducing the Multifidus Muscle!

Introducing the multifidus muscle. Most people in the world will suffer at some point from back pain. Everything from structural issues to injury, trauma, overuse of muscles, and weak abdominal core muscles can contribute to low back pain. Sometimes when the low back feels tension, the real cause might be deeper than the muscles that ache.

a woman working out on the grass field
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One such cause may be weakness in the multifidus muscle. The multifidus is a muscle that runs all the way up the spine from the sacrum to the neck. It attaches vertebrae to vertebrae as it wiggles and weaves its way up the spine. The multifidus is a powerhouse of a muscle because the job it has is to rotate, side-bend and extend the entire spine. This includes the low back, mid-back, upper back and neck. The deep muscles are built for stability and endurance, and the multifidus is no exception to this. Although this muscle should be front and center when it comes to the long, endurance job of holding up the spine, sometimes it becomes weak and underused.

The multifidus lays deep in the spine under other muscles. Often the more superficial muscles volunteer to do work that is better suited for the multifidus or one of its nearby partner muscles. The Quadratus Lumborum,  a large, superficial muscle in the low  back/hip area, is one such muscle that insists on stepping in when deeper muscles should complete the task. This leads to tightness and tension of the low back. It is not merely  enough to stretch these tight muscles. Strengthening of the deep endurance muscles is essential to promoting spinal health and a long term solution to pain relief. To strengthen this muscle with yoga, try the following postures:

  • Salabhasana (Locust Pose)
  • Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose)
  • Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana (Revolved Head to Knee Pose)
  • Parivtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle)
  • Nataranjasana (Dancer Pose)

For a personalized sequence for back pain, contact me at lorie@wellnesswithlorie.com Find more tips on pain relief and injury prevention through yoga and physical therapy on my website at http://www.wellnesswithlorie.com or follow me on social media on FaceBook @yogalorie, Instagram Wellness_with_Lorie, or LinkedIn yogalorie

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