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How Do I Strengthen Paraspinal Muscles?

The human muscular system.
Paraspinal muscles are part of the back and run next to the spine.
Article Details
  • Written By: Jessica F. Black
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 10 September 2014
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There are various techniques used to strengthen the paraspinal muscles, which primarily consist of performing specialized exercises that focus on stretching and gradually improving back movement. The intensity of exercise prescribed during treatment depends on the severity of the patient's back injury and pain. Many of the same exercises can be used as a preventative measure for people who are not affected by herniated or bulging discs and other back conditions.

Paraspinal muscles run alongside the spine and promote mobility. Spinal alignment primarily depends on these surrounding muscles and injury can severely inhibit motion and functionality. The pain associated with lower and upper back injury can be excruciating and often requires medical treatment. Most back treatments include prescribed exercises, physical therapy, steroid injections, prescribed medications such as narcotic pain relievers, muscle relaxers, and anti-inflammatory drugs.

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One of the main exercises involves the patient laying flat on their stomach in order to perform back stretches and strengthening techniques. Once positioned properly on the floor, the patient gradually raises his or her upper body onto the elbows while keeping the lower body pressed to the floor. This type of extension is generally held for at least ten seconds and repeated several times depending on the patient's comfort zone. This technique is usually followed by further back extension when the patient raises his or her body from an elbow prop to using the palms of the hands. Once again, most of the lower body should remain on the floor and the position should be held for a few seconds and repeated.

If the patient experiences discomfort on the floor or while laying down, he or she can stand and arch the back in repeated sessions. Most of these exercises are designed to relieve back pain while simultaneously strengthening the paraspinal muscles. Physicians and specialists usually suggest that back patients refrain from bending over as much as possible to avoid further injury. There are additional exercises that focus specifically on the lower back, which involves the patient standing and extending their head and chest in various methods. Exercises that use the abdominal muscles can also enhance the performance of the paraspinal muscles.

There are different surgical procedures that are often performed in extreme cases. Unless the medical condition is too severe to participate in physical activity, most specialists usually suggest exercising the paraspinal muscles in addition to other treatments before discussing surgery. A person experiencing any degree of back pain should consult a medical professional before beginning any exercise regimen.

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