The back muscles provide support for the spine, allowing us to comfortably carry out our everyday activities. Back muscles can be grouped into three main categories. First, the extensor muscles allow us to stand up straight. Secondly, the flexor muscles allow us to bend forward. Finally, the oblique muscles enable us to rotate from side to side and keep everything stable and aligned.
If you think of the spine as a tall radio tower that
must withstand the force of crosswinds, the muscles and ligaments of
the back are the guy wires that provide support to the tower. The extensor
muscles enable us to arch our back and are located in the back. Flexor
muscles are also known as abdominal (stomach) muscles and are located
in front of the spine. The oblique muscles are located on our sides,
around the waist area, and they help stabilize our torsos and control
Facet joints are the main "hinges" in our backs, allowing the muscles and vertebrae to move properly. Joints can lose their lubrication, swell and become painful, but if "well-oiled" with exercise and gentle stretching, joints will remain healthy.