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The muscles in your back support your spine, which in turn keeps your body properly aligned. Weak back muscles can cause bad posture and pain that will get worse over time. The American Council on Exercise recommends using a combination of back exercises to keep the muscles strong and able to support your spine. Before you begin any new exercise program, consult your doctor.
Muscle and Spine Connection
The spine is the foundational frame that can cause problems with the stability of your entire body, legs and arms when out of alignment. As you age, your muscles will weaken unless you add or increase exercise. According to the Spine-Health website, most back pain is caused by injury to the soft muscle tissue around the spine that has become weak.
Different sets of muscles help support your spine. Extensors help lift, extend and straighten the back. Flexors support the spine while bending, and they control the lumbar region. The oblique muscles on either side of the backbone keep your spine straight and stable. All three of these muscle groups need to be strengthened to help you maintain good back health.
The Mayo Clinic recommends adding exercises to strengthen your core. This includes the muscles in your back, abdomen and surrounding the pelvic area. Start slowly with five repetitions of each exercise and eventually increase as your core strength improves. If you have osteoporosis or other back problems, clear all exercises with your physician.
Weak back muscles can cause pain that makes exercising more difficult. However, too much sitting and bed rest can backfire and make your condition worse by weakening your muscles even more, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you experience back pain, consider working with a physical therapist who can teach you some exercises to help strengthen your back and improve flexibility. For acute pain, your doctor may prescribe some pain relievers to get you through the worst of it. Other treatments such as ice, heat, massage therapy and muscle stimulation may provide some relief.
Good posture will enhance the core and help keep your back muscles strong. Practice standing, walking, sitting and lying down properly so your muscles can be properly supported. According to the Cleveland Clinic, good posture keeps your bones and joints correctly aligned during movement. It also decreases your risk of arthritis, reduces the amount of stress on ligaments that keep the joints together, reduces muscle fatigue and helps prevent strain.