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How to Relieve Back Pain

Get-Fit Guy shares some of his favorite moves for targeting pain in your low back.

By
Ben Greenfield,
June 7, 2012

How to Relieve Back Pain

In the episode “Can I Exercise With Low Back Pain?” you learn what causes low back pain and how to exercise with low back pain.

But there is a back pain muscle that I didn’t discuss in that article, and reader Jeph mentioned it when he recently wrote in and asked:

“I am currently recovering from a herniated disk due to a hiking fall and am learning the importance of the multifidus muscle.  But it is very tricky to get to or to truly "feel" it.  Can you discuss it and show some video of strengthening exercises for the multifidus (and, since they are closely connected) the transverse abdominis muscles?”

As this study shows, Jeph is onto something. A poor ability to contract the multifidus and transversus abdominis is associated with chronic low back pain. The multifidus runs from the top of your spine all the way down the bottom, while the transversus abdominis is a deep muscle in your stomach that stabilizes your pelvis.

The good news is that since both muscles attach on your pelvic floor, they can easily be trained together. Here are my favorite moves that target both muscles (simply click on each for a video):

  1. Opposite Arm/Leg Extensions

  2. Side Crunches (yes, I’m not normally a fan of high rep crunches, but doing a workout that includes several of these performed in a slow controlled fashion each week can help)

  3. Reverse Lunge and Swing

Include these in your workout routine 2-3 times per week, and you will notice a difference in how your low back feels. If you have more questions about working your back muscles, post them on the Get-Fit Guy Facebook page.

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Lower back pain photo from Shutterstock

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