Back Muscles and You
- Posted on: Nov 15 2017
Most back pain is related to your back muscles. The pain can be a twinge as if it wanted to be more but chickened out. To those twinges, you usually think, “Whew I got away with that awkward lifting.” Or the muscle strain can be enough to make you lie on the floor and cry for your mommy, even though you’re 57 years old.
At DFW Center for Spinal Disorders, we’ve seen every sort of conceivable cause of back pain, acute or chronic. Here’s some information on the muscles in your back that try to get in the pain game.
Five important back muscles and their roles
These are the back muscles that are usually strained.
- Latissimus dorsi: Also call the lats. These originate at the lower vertebrae and attach to your humerus at the back of your armpit.
- Rhomboid: Originate at your spinous processes in your thoracic vertebrae and attach to the sides of each shoulder blade.
- Trapezius: This trapezoid-resembling muscle covers most of your upper back, running from the base of the skull, along with your cervical and thoracic vertebrae, and then attaching to your collarbone.
- Erector spinae: This muscle helps hold up the spine and the gluteal muscles. Located on either side of the spinal column, it is our longest muscle.
- Obliques: Attached to the sides of the spine, these muscles help rotate the spine and maintain proper posture. They connect the sides of your spine to your upper hip bones, lower ribs, and abdominal fascia.
Why do I strain these muscles?
Strains, tears, pulls — they are all the same thing. They are all small tears that damage the small blood vessels and irritate the nerve endings in the area. More important than the terminology, what are you doing to hurt them?
- Lifting heavy objects frequently — Lifting heavy objects the wrong way, especially if you combine twisting AND lifting.
- Playing sports that involve twisting— Golf, basketball, football = twisting, and wear and tear. Many times these sports overuse the same muscles.
- Falls and trauma— Falls and trauma cause your back muscles and tendons to be overstretched.
- Bad posture— Your mother always told you to stand up straight and sit up straight. She was right! Slouching leads to strained back muscles, as poor posture makes your muscles work harder to keep your body upright.
- Overweight — Being overweight puts more load on certain back muscles, leading to more frequent strains.
Now you’re an expert on your back muscles and how you’re torturing them. If you do, call the team at DFW Center for Spinal Disorders, 817-916-4685, and let’s check out your back.
Posted in: Back Pain