Exercise Physiology

Train Your Posterior Chain for Back Pain!

Post by
Joshua Boncato

Lower Back Pain

Lower Back Pain is one of the most common things that people from the Blacktown area come to see our Physiotherapists, Chiropractors, and Exercise Physiologists at Westpoint Health. It is so common that it is the number one cause of disability in the world, and 8 out of 10 Australians will experience an episode of lower back pain at one point in their lives! There are lots and lots of things that can cause lower back pain and even more ways to treat them. Out of all of these though, exercise is consistently recommended as the best treatment for managing and preventing lower back pain, and training the posterior chain is becoming increasingly popular.

The Posterior Chain

The posterior chain is a group of muscles that runs along the back of our body (from the neck down to the toes), and includes our erector spinae muscles, gluteal muscles, hamstrings, and calf. These muscles are really important in maintaining our upright posture, counteracting unexpected forces on muscles, preventing injuries, increasing power in explosive movements, and enhancing athletic performance.

The posterior chain muscles run along the back of your body from your neck down to your toes, and include your erector spinae, lats, gluteal, hamstrings, and calf muscles.

Exercises that target the Posterior Chain

There are a many exercises that can target the posterior chain, such as kettlebell swings, deadlifts, squats, and even pull ups. Some of these can be tricky to do at first, so our Physiotherapists, Chiropractors, and Exercise Physiologists start by assessing each individual muscle group to see if there are any particular muscles that don't have as much strength or endurance as what we would expect. Simple activation exercises like calf raises, or gluteal bridges can be a good place to start, but as you get better, we start to combine these together so you can work the whole group at once like this guy with a unique kettlebell routine that works on his posterior chain.

Lower Back Pain and the Posterior Chain

For those that have tried many treatments in the past like massage, stretching, and simple movements, having a specific exercises program that targets the posterior chain might be good to trial. A recent research article published in 2021 shows that 12-16 weeks of posterior chain training was consistently better than a simple walking program for managing people with chronic lower back pain. People got stronger, had less pain and disability, and did not hurt themselves doing it.

If you would like to try some posterior chain exercises to see if it can help you lower back pain, make an appointment to see one of our Physiotherapists, Chiropractors, or Exercise Physiologists at Westpoint Health today calling us on 02 8662 0496 or booking in online today.

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