Also I rarely see the use of ice being recommend for back pain. That is too bad. Ice is very helpful in reducing back pain and can be used by almost everyone. Clearance should be obtained as a precaution.
I teach CEC courses on “Recovery Essentials” that cover the topics of injury and effective management of discomfort. I usually teach at my studio on the Big Island of Hawaii, but I do occasionally agree to fly to other locations for workshops/seminars. Check out my website at www.hawaiifitnessacademy.com to contact me for more information. I will answer reasonable questions and inquiries.
It is more likely that all of the spinal stabilizers are weak, not just the one. I would recommend learning to engage the entire stability system more effectively. And there are most likely a number of sections of these various muscles that are not even getting stimulus to contract. The stability muscles of the spine work in a very digital manner, some are on while others are off and they take turns switching on and off to keep the spine in whatever posture it is capable of maintaining. You can’t expect training just the MF group to be the answer to this problem.
I teach a CEC series called “Stability Resistance Training” that address this type of programming. If anyone is interested, check out my website, www.hawaiifitnessacademy.com . Join the Movement.
Great answers here. Thanks for the information.
Mac Dodds M.A., CSCS
Live Your Best Years Now
great answers. All of them are good. Improving core function is the key. Stabilisation function is often used than rotation and flexion extension. So activating core muscles in non weight bearing to partial and then to fully weight bearing exercises static to dynamic unloaded to loaded will help restore it’s function.
Attempting to isolate particular intrinsic muscle groups like the multifidus in an effort to mitigate pain can be a very frustrating and losing effort.
According to Dr. Michael Clark of NASM and others, localized “dysfunction” or overuse pain is the result of an imbalance in musculature and muscle signaling – not simply a matter of one particular weak muscle.
In addition, according to work by Michol Dalcourt, Ian O’Dwyer and others with PTA GLobal, skeletal support and muscle structure is as much a function of fascial strength, flexibility, and cohesion as it is muscle strength and endurance.
For this reason, I would suggest changing your focus away from isolating multifidus action, and rather carefully manipulate the entire CORE structure (TVA, multifidus, RA, obliques, ES, TS, QL … arguably this list goes on and on) in a safe, directed environment such as within a pool.
Water’s buoyancy will allow you to concentrate on trunk movement without the full weight of gravity on sensitive joints:
1) In shoulder high water, stand with your feet slightly wider than hip width and brace your feet to the ground ensuring that your heel, big toe, and little toe all touch the ground and lean your weight slightly into your forefoot.
2) Activate CORE stabilizers by considering yourself in the restroom and actively stopping the action that normally takes place there – this signals the pelvic floor and lumbar support structures that movement will occur.
3) With hands separated, sweep the water from side to side slowly and up and down slowly and alternately at first You should feel good tension in the middle and lower half of your body, but your legs should not move. As you become more comfortable with the sweep exercise, you may add more force and/or speed to your movements.
4) Once you are comfortable with the movement, you may try the same action on land with a resistance band tied to a vertical post or other hip – shoulder level point of resistance.
Do 2-3 set of 15-20 repetitions up to 5 times per week to integrate the movement of the multifidus with other CORE group actions. Be sure to apply ice to the point of pain for up to 20 minutes immediately following completion of exercise, and if pain persists, or worsens, seek professional assistance.