How to Strengthen Core Muscles for Back Pain

There are 3 techniques to activate your core stabilizer muscles

1. Drawing-in Maneuver for Transverse Abdominis

A. The first thing you will do to Lie on your back, with your knees bent and your feet flat. If the person has low back pain or the women are pregnant, then a four point kneeling is a preferred position

B. Before you start, it is important you try to palpate the transverse abdominal muscle, and this can be done by using your fingers to palpate the bone in front of the above Hip called Anterior Superior iliac Spine. When you palpate it, try to move your fingers in the middle between the two ASIS.

C. Have the person breath in, then breath out, then slowly and gently draw your belly in toward your spine or back. The moment you draw your belly in, you can feel the muscle popping out in your fingers.

D. After that, repeat it again. But this time, the moment you draw the belly in, you hold it while at the same time you breath slowly for 10 times. Make sure the patient pulls his belly in and up at the navel without moving the rib cage, pelvis or spine, as this will compensate other abdominal muscles.


2. Abdominal Bracing for Transverse Abdominis and Activation of Pelvic floor muscle

A. Lie on your back, with your knees bent and your feet flat

B. All you have to do is tighten your abdominal muscle by pulling down your belly button toward your spine like you’re about to receive a punch in a stomach, and also squeeze the buttocks muscle together like as if your holding yourself not to urinate, this is how you activate the pelvic floor muscle.


3. Multifidus Activation

A. The person could either lie in his stomach or in a side-lying position.

B. You can see the line at the back of each vertebra in the person’s body, this is called a spinous process. You place your finger or thumb just slightly away from the side of the spinous process. This is where you are palpating the multifidus muscle and compare bilaterally on each segment level. (The picture below can give you the clue)

C. Instruct the patient to swell the muscle against your finger. To swell it out, just perform the similar technique like in number 2, pull down your belly button and squeeze the buttocks together while breathing.

Note: As you get better, you will be able to perform your core muscles in sitting and then progress to standing. When you have sufficient ability to activate and hold these muscles you can progress to the functional exercises. And no matter what core exercise you are doing your aim should be for maximal control and stability with minimal use of the global stabilizers.

Note: The videos above will give you an idea about how these exercises were performed and please take note I do not own these videos and they all came from YouTube.


Source: Therapeutic Exercise: Foundations and Techniques by Kisner and Colby

One comment

  1. Thank you for sharing this information with us. I especially love the use of the videos, since this is one of the best ways that I learn. Much appreciated. These exercises strengthens our core muscles, but they are also relaxing and should be a part of our routine for the week. All the best.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *