I place great importance on strengthening the low back muscles following successful treatment with the DRX 9000 True Spinal Decompression system. I would put the same significance on low back strengthening and rehabilitation following successful low back surgery as well, although I don't believe surgery is a smart choice for most patients.
Here are some very eye opening points from research about your low back muscles and how they are involved with chronic pain.....
- Low back muscle strength is lost at the rate of 3%-7% per day of rest. Muscle strength improves 0.5%-1% per day with appropriate training. Think about the number of days you have been laid up, not being active, due to back or leg pain!
- Low back muscles will atrophy (waste away) due to disuse or because the nerve supply to the muscle is being pinched as commonly seen with disc bulges and herniations. When muscle atrophy occurs the muscle will be replaced with infiltrating fibrous tissue and fat. This is best seen on MRI, your muscle will be full of fat instead of looking like a healthy lean steak. The amount of fat we see will help us decide on how much exercise would be most appropriate for the you. You can get the muscle back in most cases!
- Low back muscle atrophy is seen in over 80% of chronic low back pain sufferers! It is also highly linked to sciatica.
- Low back spinal muscles respond best to endurance based strengthening. The primary muscle (the multifidus muscle) is a slow twitched muscle designed to stabilize the spine and maintain your posture. Programs that focus on muscle endurance first and then progress to strength and power are going to give the best results.
There is oodles and oodles of research that shows us that chronic low back pain is linked to low back muscle weakness and atrophy. The Southern California Spine Center takes the extra step to establish the degree of atrophy by looking carefully at your MRI and then designs your strengthening and rehabilitation program around achieving the specific outcome.
Note: Specific low back conditions like disc herniations and sciatica should be addressed prior to beginning the strengthening program. Spinal Decompression specifically addresses problems that involve the lumbar discs.
As you can see, low back strengthening is important for everyone! It is the number one way to prevent low back problems and mandatory for treating all low back pain sufferers, even post surgical patients!