low back pain - rectus abdominis

Rectus Abdominis – The Six Pack Muscle

Chronic Low Back Pain – Rectus Abdominis can develop trigger points that cause severe back pain. It may surprise you that the quest for a flat stomach does not strengthen your core. In addition, it often generates trigger points in this muscle. In the upper segment of the rectus abdominis, they refer pain in a horizontal band in the mid-back region. Taking a deep breath can aggravate these trigger points.

When these trigger points occur in the lowest section of the muscle they refer pain in a similar horizontal band low in the back. The pain can be mistaken for a variety of other types of back pain. It rarely feels as if there is anything going with the abdomen.

The first step in untangling any case of lower back pain is to confirm or eliminate more serious spinal injury or degeneration. Once these more serious factors have been examined we can focus on the soft tissue aspects of chronic lower back pain – rectus abdominis is just one them.

Rectus abdominis is one of the primary muscles of the abdomen. There are seven primary muscle groups that refer pain into the low back. This muscle on the front of the body is responsible for a significant amount of that of chronic low back pain.

low back pain - rectus abdominis

Some of the leading causes of trigger point activations in the rectus abdominis include acute trauma and occupational strain.  For instance, trigger points are likely to occur near an abdominal scar.

Paradoxical breathing often develops in response to the soreness of abdominal surgery. Then this breathing pattern perpetuates these trigger points.

What stresses rectus abdominis? Some factors are overall fatigue, emotional tension, viral infections, straining due to constipation and poor posture. Additional factors include cold exposure, carrying a backpack or walking uphill.

Sometimes, whether in spite of or because of regular abdominal workouts, active trigger points develop. The abdomen sags as the trigger points inhibit the muscle’s supportive function. Janda mentioned that the abdominals are generally prone to inhibition. They are a key muscle group in Janda’s Lower Cross Syndrome.

The overload caused by the repetitive vigorous contractions of sit-ups and can activate trigger points in the rectus abddominis.

Consider some of the many plank variations. We also like the eccentric contraction of Slow Sit-Backs instead when recovering from trigger points in the rectus abdominis.

Then, you can progress to abdominal curls. Finally, you can return to sit-ups, leg-lifts and other vigorous ab work if desired.

Whenever possible, try to use diaphragmatic breathing and abdominal bracing techniques during your work outs.