The backbone, also called the vertebral column, is the main structure that helps keep our spine upright and allows it to bend. It is made out of several bone segments, also called vertebrae or motion segments, several spinal joints, also referred to as facet joints, as well as intervertebral discs.
Additionally, various muscles of the back and core help facilitate the movement of our spine, and contribute to keeping our torso upright. It is important to keep these muscles strong in order to minimise the stress and pressure that is placed on the spinal column.
If your back core muscles are weak, the spine may compensate for this lack of strength by bearing some of the weight. The longer your back and core stay weak, the higher the chances of developing some kind of back problem.
Most commonly, physical stress applied on the spine for prolonged periods of time can lead to compression of the spine, which means that the spinal column becomes pressed down. Then, structures that make up the spine or that are directly linked to it, such as intervertebral discs, spinal joints, and nerve roots, can all be affected and become compressed as well.
Back Pain Symptoms
Weak muscles along the back, as well as weak core muscles may lead to other symptoms apart from pain. Some common symptoms that tend to accompany the pain include:
- Weakness along the back or neck.
- Muscle spasms, which are involuntary muscle contractions that occur as a result of muscle strain.
- Stiffness and reduced range of motion in the spine.
- Pain that occurs in regions other than the spine, such as the shoulders, arms, or legs.
Exercises to Strengthen the Spine
In order to address these issues, the best course of action is to work on strengthening your spine and core. Strong back and core muscles can help reduce physical pressure on the spine, as they can better support the upper body, and the spinal column no longer has to compensate for the lack of strength.
Strengthening exercises work great at building strength, but there is a second category of exercises that can help with pain in this situation. They are called decompression exercises. Strengthening your back may not necessarily get rid of the compression on the spine, and as such it is important to also decompress your spine.
If compression on the spine presses the spine down, and the vertebrae into one another, decompression spaces out the vertebrae and creates the optimal space that should exist between them. This is important as insufficient space can crush spinal discs and nerves, triggering pain sensations.
To decompress your spine, you can use a device called the Backrack, which allows you to work on your spinal health from home or any environment where you feel safe and comfortable.