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1. Introduction >
2. Lower Back Problems in Cricketers >
3. Treatment and Prevention of Low Back Stress Fractures
4. Using a Pressure Biofeedback Device to Contract the Stabilising Muscles >
5. Using the Stabilizer for Low Back Pain >
6. References >

In most cases, complete rest from sport is the treatment of choice. This would usually be for a period of 6 weeks to allow the bone to heal. During this period a progressive exercise program may commence, under the supervision of a chartered physiotherapist. This usually starts with exercises to increase the muscular stability in the lower back. Research has shown that a lack of muscular stability in the lumbar and pelvic regions can lead to low back pain.

Research has shown that specific exercises can be effective in relieving back pain and restoring normal function. These exercises are most effective for what is called 'mechanical low back pain', where the problem is caused by poor postural habits and the pain resulting from by disc problems. Once the correct technique has been mastered, these exercises are very easy to do. They are not too vigorous and they can be done by people of all ages.

The principle behind the exercises is that if certain specific muscles can be recruited or contracted, the spine will have much better support. This prevents postural faults which can predispose a person to back pain.

In order to understand how these exercises are effective, it is necessary have a brief introduction to how the back is supported by muscles. The first muscle we are concerned with is called Transversus. This muscle arises from the middle of the tummy and goes right around the midriff, attaching itself to the spine.

Diagram detailing the anatomy of the Transversus muscle     Diagram detailing the anatomy of the Multifidus muscle

The Transversus muscle acts as a natural corset and provides stability for the lower back.

The second muscle involved in this exercise programme is the Multifidus. This muscle lies deep in the spine and attaches in between each vertebra. When it contracts it increases the stability of the spinal column.

If you can contract the Transversus muscle, the Multifidus muscle is also contracted automatically. This improves spinal stability and can relieve back pain.

Using a Pressure Biofeedback Device to Contract the Stabilising Muscles >

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