Spinal Strength Training

Spinal Strength

Up to 80% of people have experienced back pain sometime during their life, with 40% having episodes lasting more than 12 months and many of them sports related. Physical therapies, massage, acupuncture on its own is not enough.

A long term solution is needed for preventing and treating back pain. With the correct exercise equipment combined with a systematic strength training concept, we can help and support individuals with back pain.

In order to counteract the effects of spinal deconditioning, regular isolated strength training of the lumbar extensors have proven to be most effective intervention of lower back pain (Stephan, Goebel and Schmidtbleicher, 2011) and can reduce the effects of age related bones diseases such as osteoporosis and spinal stenosis (Vandervoort, 2002). Furthermore, strengthening the lumbar extensors is necessary and crucial post-operative intervention for recovery after vertebral disc prolapse.


Long Term Solution

On our spinal strengthening programme (SSP) participants train through three systematic phases:

Activation phase: This involves 4-8 weeks of activating extensors muscles of the spine (iliocostalis, spinalis, longissimus, quadratus lumborum). This involves exercising through pain-free range of motion (ROM) on a specialised lumbar extensor machine (LE) which isolates the respective muscles and immobilizes pelvic action to deactivate leg musculature. The goal is to reduce pain and discomfort. Additional antagonistic exercises as well as synergistic (supporting) movement will be prescribed if necessary. 

Strengthening phase: This is a critical 4-8 week follow up phase in order to progress from muscle activation of the lumbar extensors. This involves starting with low intensity strength training moving to medium intensity strength training to promote muscular conditioning and endurance. Training parameters are relative to the individual. By this time the participant should experience a significant reduction in pain, increased ROM and strength.

Functional phase: This is an 4-8 week training phase moving from medium intensity training to high intensity training for the lumbar extensors. Participants will most likely be free of painful symptoms. However, critical to reducing spinal deconditioning involves maximizing muscle tissue strength and neuromuscular activity.


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