Your spine is an amazing and complicated apparatus. While you’re walking around in the world, it’s not likely you give much thought to the hard work your spine is doing until something hurts.
The spine is amazingly versatile. It’s able to bend forward, back, side to side and to twist. Think about that the next time you watch a dance performance. What is the spine doing to support that movement and how is that possible?
Our spines are complex engineering miracles supported by 140 overlapping and interconnected muscle groups. That’s a lot of muscle. Let’s explore them and find out what they do to make your spine the miraculous pillar it is.
A brief review.
The intertransverse muscles are the little guys that help you bend side to side. Interspinal muscles take care of the forward and back bending motions. The rotator muscles do just what they sound like they do – help you rotate your trunk.
The erector spinae are two large muscles which lay over the three muscle groups just named. These two run down either side of your spine. These are your spine’s principle work horses. They keep you from tipping forward, holding you erect. They’re also responsible for taking on most of the stress your spine experiences.
On the very top layer of the muscles that support your spine are those responsible for moving other parts of your body. The latissimus dorsi and trapezius muscles move your arms, but they’re also implicated in worked with the erector spinae in supporting the whole apparatus and protecting it.
Lastly, the abdominal muscles are crucial to your spine’s health. These support the lumbar (lower) region of your spine. While many of us don’t associate the abdominal region with the back, everyone should take note. When your abdominal muscles are strong, you can help yourself prevent future back pain.
Muscle isn’t just something that makes your body look better in a swimsuit. Muscle supports the health of your spine. Keeping the muscle groups briefly outlined above in good condition is your best bet for protecting your spine against injury, disease and chronic back pain.
Moderate exercise that addresses these muscle groups is an imperative, for that reason. Neglecting physical activity has consequences for the entire organism which may not be seen until much later in life.
Exercise is a gift you give to yourself and the spine you rely on to enjoy life. Finding the form of exercise you like best is a matter of exploration, which is a fun project.
Cycling may be your best friend, or walking. Swimming, dance, yoga and Pilates are other great alternatives to promote overall health and the wellbeing of your spine.
If you’re thinking about kicking off an exercise regimen, give a little thought to the pillar of your body and the muscles that support it. “What are the muscles that support your spine?” – they’re what keep it all moving.
Keep them happy and thank us later! Contact us for more information.