Do you feel a groan-inducing ache shooting through your back each time you bend over or stand up? You might have tried all methods of moving and various alternative therapies, but the pain never seems to fully go away. The truth is, your back pain is a condition that may have begun years ago. Some 80% of the world’s population develop lower back pain at some point and of these people, about 20% develop upper back pain because they do not use their entire chain of back muscles properly.
The Body’s Powerhouse
The chain of back muscles is your body’s powerhouse which works together to pull your back, extend it and stabilise your spine without touching it when you move your body. Take the simple, daily act of walking. The hip muscles help you to propel forward. When your right foot moves forward, your left arm will swing backwards and your knee will swing forward, bringing your right hip forward as it rotates towards the left while your shoulder muscles concurrently turns in the opposite direction. Your left hand then moves forward followed by your left shoulder which in turn, turns your upper torso to the right. When the muscles can influence the joints properly, you walk freely. Without proper coordination, the joints and bones you use to turn and move can suffer aggravated pain.
Tennis players, for example, use their knee flexion and back leg muscles to maximise the force exerted by the ground to push their bodies upward which delivers 51-55% of energy to their hands to swerve the ball. The back and front legs drive the arms forward and also create stability due to a strong core. Without a strong core, the back would not be supported.
Furthermore, the body also compensates for the lack of energy with other areas which makes them liable to back injuries. Incorrect movements of the entire posterior and anterior muscles, whether walking, bending or playing sports, can result in back pain over time. Imbalanced and undeveloped muscle chains are the weakest links in our bodies which can lead to more back pains and injuries.