September 30, 2014
We humans desire connection with each other and with the world around us. We Georgetown folks connect at social events and at the Georgetown chiropractor’s office! Connection is vital to our lives and within our bodies to stay healthy and able to connect. Dr. Butwell is going to share information about a spinal muscle – the multifidus – which connects one spinal bone (vertebra) to another and needs to be kept healthy.
The multifidus muscles lie along the back of your spine connecting one vertebra to the other, from spinous process to spinous process. These muscles allow you to rotate and extend your spine. They’re very important muscles! Your Georgetown chiropractor can actually feel these muscles.

Now when Dr. Butwell first examines patients with lower back pain, the muscles are examined, too. The medical research shows that the muscles degenerate with back pain and disc degeneration.

For example, patients with chronic lower back pain don’t use their muscles quite right, chiefly if their muscles get tired. The good news is that lower back pain patients are able to improve their muscles, albeit a little less than healthy non-low back pain people can, but they can improve. (1) Dr. Butwell emphasizes that improvement is possible! 
Further, the cross-sectional area or size of multifidus muscles and erector spinae muscles at the L5 low lumbar spine area is significantly smaller in men with chronic low back pain than those muscles in men with low back pain who are improved of their low back pain. Researchers suggest strengthening the lumbar paraspinal muscles to prevent lower back pain(2) And so does Dr. Butwell. Check out the simple lower back exercises, but don’t start until we talk!

Interestingly, another set of researchers suggests hip extension in a prone, lying flat position to activate those lumbar multifidus muscles in men may be effective. (3)

Another set of researchers points out that the extensor muscles of the low back really need extra attention. Muscles in lower back pain patients fatigue sooner than in healthy back people. Resistance and strength training are highly recommended to work on those extensors. (4) Dr. Butwell can suggest some safe training like this for you.

So keep those back muscles active and connected. Contact Dr. Butwell to manage your lower back pain and tone those back muscles to keep your spine connected and healthy!

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