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Back Pain Center

What Are the Multifidus Back Pain Solution Exercises?

author image Debra Atkinson
Experienced radio show co-host, author, and professional speaker Debra Atkinson, MS, CSCS is the Voice for Fitness. With more than twenty-five years experience in the fitness industry she specializes in the business of personal training and helping develop thriving environments that clients, owners and trainers all find rewarding.www.voiceforfitness.com 
What Are the Multifidus Back Pain Solution Exercises?
The multifidus muscles can be felt at the waistline in the lower back. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

The multifidus muscle is actually a group of muscles referred to in the singular that run parallel to and the length of the spine. You can feel yours easiest in the lower back where it is thicker. The role of the multifidus is to stabilize the spine. A faulty multifidus can easily contribute to low back pain. Physical therapist Jim Johnson's book "The Multifidus Back Pain Solution" features six exercises that focus on the multifidus muscle. The basis of the exercises is that multifidus strengthening exercises cause quicker and more complete recovery after episodes of back pain.


What Are the Multifidus Back Pain Solution Exercises?
Lower back pain is common during pregnancy. Avoid the prone position after the first trimester. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

There are three distinct multifidus exercises, two of which have multiple progressions. The same multifidus exercises Johnson numbers in order of progression resemble birddog or superman exercises common in physical therapy exercise programs. Mastering one exercise in order to progress to the next requires performing 20 repetitions or two minutes of the exercises. Perform the exercises two to three days per week with a day of rest between. Exercise six is the exception and can be done daily for better results.

Exercise One

What Are the Multifidus Back Pain Solution Exercises?
Many things contribute to low back pain. Photo Credit Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images

Begin on all fours. Raise one leg close to horizontal and hold one second before lowering. Repeat on the other leg. Keep the lower back stable as you move. Continue to alternate legs to fatigue or you can no longer hold the back stable.

Exercise Two

What Are the Multifidus Back Pain Solution Exercises?
Often the exact reason for low back pain is a mystery. Photo Credit Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

From the same position as exercise one, simultaneously raise one arm and opposite leg close to horizontal. Hold briefly and lower. Continue until you fatigue or lose form up to 20 repetitions or two minutes.

Exercise Three

What Are the Multifidus Back Pain Solution Exercises?
Four out of five people will experience back pain during their life. Photo Credit BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images

Exercise three adds ankle weights to exercise two for further challenge. Johnson suggests a 2-lb. ankle weight on each leg.

Exercise Four

What Are the Multifidus Back Pain Solution Exercises?
Slow progression of back pain exercises will help get you back to activities you enjoy. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Lie stomach down propped with a pillow under your belly if that's more comfortable. Raise one straight leg off the floor no more than 6 inches. Avoid arching the back. Repeat, alternating legs until you reach fatigue.

Exercise Five

What Are the Multifidus Back Pain Solution Exercises?
A hand over your belly button will allow you to feel the inward and upward pull as you contract in exercise six. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Add ankle weights to each leg and perform exercise four. One- to 5-lb. ankle weights are recommended. Start with a weight that allows at least 30 seconds or 10 or more repetitions per leg.

Exercise Six

What Are the Multifidus Back Pain Solution Exercises?
Standing or seated performance of exercise six is chosen by your preference. Photo Credit Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

The last of the multifidus-strengthening exercises can be done standing or seated. Place one hand on your abdominal muscles and the other across your belt line in back. Tense your muscles by pulling your navel in and up. Keep the rest of your body still. Hold for three to five seconds while you feel the tightening front and back with your hands. Perform up to 20 repetitions once a day.

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