If you’ve ever had physical therapy for back pain, you know the “bird dog” exercise. The one where you kneel on all fours and extend opposite arm and leg. A superb exercise and one we use in the Studio frequently to prevent low back pain.
One of the muscles targeted in this exercise is the Multifidus. This group of muscles weaves itself up and down your back interlocking the vertebral bones that make up your spine. Each individual Multifidus muscle originates on the transverse processes of the vertebrae and inserts into the spinous processes spanning two to four vertebrae per muscle. These muscles help to rotate the spine and extend the spine against resistance.
Because the Multifidus muscle spans a small number of vertebrae, it can exert fine control over the spine, affecting individual vertebral bodies. Additionally, each muscle is innervated by only one level of the spinal cord. Each spinal nerve exits next to an intervertebral disc. This segmental innervation leaves the Multifidus open to easy injury as it depends on a single nerve supply with no back up. For instance, herniation or inflammation of an intervetebral disc can result in injury to an individual spinal nerve and segmental Multifidus dysfunction.
A capsule highly sensitive to painful stimuli surrounds this joint. Attached directly to the joint capsule is the Multifidus muscle. It functions, in part, to keep the capsule from getting caught in the joint space with movement. Dysfunction of the multifidus increases the risk of the capsule getting pinched and causing injury.
Understanding where your body is in space (proprioception) is important to moving safely without injury. The Multifidus functions, in part, to provide proprioceptive feedback on the spine to the brain. Dysfunction can result in aberrant movement patterns.
It is not active when side-bending or extending the back without resistance. You can feel your own Multifidus muscles by placing your fingertips on either side of the spinal column in the low back and gently leaning forward.
Providing two-thirds of the muscular contraction that protects the back, the Multifidus is a key player in good back health. Pilates exercise three times a week will help relieve low back pain and prevent future episodes. Always see your Physician before starting an exercise program.
“Sandi and Elaine have the ability to deliver a class that meets the needs of all attendees in the class, even when there is different levels of experience.They have a great manner of presenting poses and ensure good form for a safe and enjoyable Yoga class.”
I love the classes and instructors at SDK Pilates! Stephanie, the owner, has been a tremendous help to me with understanding challenges I face with a bad hip. Her expertise and medical background have helped me select exercises that are appropriate for me and I have learned there are still plenty of things that I can do to strengthen my body! At other places, I sometimes overdid my workouts (and hurt myself) – SDK’s instructors have helped me increase my flexibility and strengthen my body in a s…
I have taken yoga and Pilates classes from Stephanie for many years, and I can say that she is terrific. Her background in physical medicine and rehab makes her uniquely qualified to instruct and coach with a focus in balanced strengthening, proper alignment, and prevention of injury. I enjoy the low key environment at the studio, and have made many friends in her classes.
SDK Pilates is great! So far I’ve taken Pilates classes with Steph and Nancy, and I’m looking forward to Yoga with Mark. Currently working on core strengthening, shoulder mechanics, overall conditioning, and my golf game.
SDK Pilates is wonderful! I have been taking classes from Stephanie for a number of years and thoroughly enjoy both her Pilates and therapeutic yoga sessions. Her training as a doctor enables her to work around physical limitations and injuries and strengthen weaknesses. She has helped me immensely with chronic shoulder issues. The fun nature of the classes, the camaraderie of the attendees and the great workout make SDK classes my favorite way to exercise!
I have been a client of Stephanie’s for several years. What I think makes her stand out from other studios is that she was a doctor & understands each individual clients bodies. The new studio is airy spacious & calming
Stephanie’s class is well-paced, challenging yet welcoming for first timers and those who are more experienced. She offers seamless coaching throughout and her enthusiasm and energy is inspirational.
“Sandi and Elaine have the ability to deliver a class that meets the needs of all attendees in the class, even when there is different levels of experience. They have a great manner of presenting poses and ensure good form for a safe and enjoyable Yoga class.”
“SDK Pilates’ yoga instructors are beyond wonderful and very reliable. Our community and hospital staff truly enjoy the classes and we are extremely thankful for their partnership with us.”
Pilates has been a wonderful experience both physically and mentally – it relieves stress and gets your body in a “can do” spirit to stretch and feel good. The instructors are the best and the people I’ve met in class are fun to be with. Friendships develop. I will do this forever!