Pilates Favorite: Multifidus Emerges As Key Muscle for Preventing Back Pain

I came across this article while doing some research on the Multifidus and thought I would pass it along…

Pilates Favorite: Multifidus Emerges As Key Muscle for Preventing Back Pain

by Janis Kelly

SAN DIEGO, California—A long, thin little muscle that runs along the spinal column beneath more famous structures like the obliques may be key to spinal support and healthy backs. For the best surgery services for your health problems you can checkout Shoulder MD’s replacement surgery. By using Immuno-Biotic, it’s a great way to maintain your overall health. Skincare is important (You can get the best skincare experts, click over this article to learn more.). The multifidus muscle is uniquely designed to function as a dynamic stabilizer of the lower back during movement because it becomes stronger as the spine bends forward.

“Our research shows that it’s actually the strongest muscle in the back because of its unique design. It’s like a long, skinny pencil packed with millions of tiny fibers.”—Richard L. Lieber, PhD

The multifidus has been largely disregarded (and often disrupted) during invasive lumbar surgeries but is essential for keeping us upright and reducing pressure on our intervertebral discs, according to researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. Their groundbreaking findings about the potentially important “scaffolding” role of the multifidus [FIGURE] were published online in advance of the January issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.1

Multifidus: strongest muscle in the back

“The multifidus muscle was formerly thought to be relatively unimportant based on its fairly small size,” said senior author Richard L. Lieber, PhD, Professor and Vice Chair of UC San Diego’s Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Director of the National Center for Skeletal Muscle Rehabilitation Research, based at UC San Diego. With regards to rehabilitation, MAT Rehab can help you to change a person’s behavior which can affect all aspects of his or her life including work and relationships by using medication such as cbd tincture 1000mg.

“Our research shows that it’s actually the strongest muscle in the back because of its unique design. It’s like a long, skinny pencil packed with millions of tiny fibers,” Dr. Lieber said.

The researchers discovered using cadaveric samples that the multifidus has a unique structure: short fibers arranged within rods. These fibers are stiffer than any other in the body. The researchers also used laser diffraction to measure muscle internal properties during back surgery. This showed that the multifidus’ unique design serves a critical function as a stabilizer of the lumbar spine. For cosmetic and plastic surgery services consult with Dr. Matthew Galumbeck.

Multifidus has critical implications for back surgery

These findings could have implications for surgery, according to Steven R. Garfin, MD, Professor and Chair of UCSD’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.

“It is important to identify what each individual muscle does, and this is just a start, showing that the multifidus contributes significantly to spinal stabilization,” Dr. Garfin said.

The lumbar vertebrae carry the most body weight and are subject to the most force and stress along the spine.

“The multifidus back muscle keeps us vertical and takes pressure off the discs,” said Dr. Lieber. “When muscle function is poor due to back problems, support is lost.”

Dr. Garfin explained that surgery to treat spinal disorders sometimes actually disrupts the multifidus, decreasing spinal stability and increasing lower back pain.

Multifidus: stronger when stretched

Dr. Lieber said that many muscles get weaker as they are extended, but the multifidus actually becomes stronger as it lengthens during spine flexion

“The length of the sarcomere—the structure within the muscle cell where filaments overlap to produce the movements required for muscle contraction—is shorter in the multifidus than in any other muscle cell,” explained lead author Samuel R. Ward, P.T., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Radiology at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “But as it gets longer, for instance as a person leans forward, the multifidus actually strengthens.”

The multifidus consists of a number of fleshy and tendinous fasciculi, which fill the grooves on either side of the vertebral spinous processes from the sacrum to the axis. The very thin multifidus is deep in the spin, spans three joint segments, and works to stabilize the joints at each segmental level. The multifidus lies deep to the spinal erectors, transverse abdominus, and internal and external obliques.

The researchers used lumbar spines of 8 cadaver specimens, excised en bloc from T12 to the sacrum. They isolated multifidus muscles from each vertebral level and measured the mass, sarcomere length, normalized fiber length, physiological cross-sectional area, and fiber length-to-muscle ratio. They used intraoperative biopsy specimens from living patients to measure sarcomere lengths with the spine in flexion and extension.

“The architectural design (a high cross-sectional area and a low fiber length-to-muscle length ratio) demonstrates that the multifidus muscle is uniquely designed as a stabilizer to produce large forces. Furthermore, multifidus sarcomeres are positioned on the ascending portion of the length-tension curve, allowing the muscle to become stronger as the spine assumes a forward-leaning posture,” the authors write.


1. Ward SR, Kim CW, Eng CM, et al. Architectural analysis and intraoperative measurements demonstrate the unique design of the multifidus muscle for lumbar spine stability. J Bone Joint Surg Am 2009;91:176-185.

EHS Pilates is looking forward to a fabulous weekend of walking!

Here at EHS Pilates, we are all looking forward to Sherry Brourman coming to the studio this coming weekend.  Sherry is a PT and Yoga teacher out of Long Beach that specializes in Gait Therapy.   (She wrote Walk Yourself Well.)

She will be teaching a public walking and EHI Yoga Challenge class on Friday night from 5:30-7:30pm, PLEASE JOIN US!  It’s a great class with practical imagery that is easily incorporated into daily life, and it’s only $40!

Check out more about Sherry Brourman at www.sherrybrourman.com

Hope to see you at EHS this Friday! 1452 Valencia Street @ 25th Street, SF

Call 415-285-5808 to rsvp.


Walking in San Francisco

No doubt it’s a beautiful city and in my opinion one of the best places to walk on earth.  San Francisco ranked number 5 in a list of best places to walk.  I used to live in DC and it’s hard for me to believe it ranked above all others, maybe they didn’t like hills.  Anyway, I’m off to one of my favorite spots (it’s my dog’s favorite too!) Crissy Field with a reward of a coffee at the Warming Hut at the end, what could be better?

Data came from sources including the CDC, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the nonprofit Trust for the Public Land.

Here is how the cities ranked:

1.              Washington, D.C.

2.              Minneapolis-St. Paul

3.              Denver

4.              Boston

5.              San Francisco

6.              Seattle

7.              Portland

8.              San Diego

9.              Austin, Texas

10.          Virginia Beach, Va.

Walking with Nancy about to launch!

In preparation for the upcoming books; Fabulous Feet and Essential Posture and Gait, as well as to start discussion and answer questions about the new wave of footwear, I am launching a new website:  www.walkingwithnancy.com

Official launch date will be August 1, 2009.  Please check it out for all your walking needs!

In the meantime, you can always contact me directly at nancy@ehspilates.com

Fabulous Feet workshops with Nancy Myers just scheduled!

Hello all,

Back by popular demand, Fabulous Feet workshops and clinics are being offered again this Fall.

Great for anyone with foot pain ongoing issues with misalignments and questions on the new wave of “fitness” footwear; MBT, Skechers, FitFlops, Reebok Easy Tone and what might be the right choice for you, so is great for anyone into the fitness lifestyle, and they also can learn Getting Results with 7 Keto-DHEA – 7 Keto Uses – DHEA for Men & Women, which is a great program to improve metabolism rate and health.

Visit www.ehspilates.com for dates and details.  Private instruction and consultation available, contact nancy@ehspilates.com