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Strengthening the Posterior Chain: Managing Low Back Pain

Updated: Dec 15, 2023


Posterior Chain

As a physical therapist, I have seen many patients suffering from low back pain. While there can be various causes for this condition, one area that often needs attention is the posterior chain. The posterior chain consists of the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that run along the back of our body, from the back of our head down to our heels.


Strengthening the posterior chain is crucial for managing low back pain for several reasons. Here are some of the key benefits:


  1. Improving posture: Our posture is a crucial factor in the health of our spine. When we have weak posterior chain muscles, our shoulders tend to round forward, and our pelvis can tilt anteriorly, causing an increased curve in our low back. This posture puts excessive strain on our low back, which can lead to pain and discomfort. Strengthening the posterior chain can help us maintain a more upright posture, reducing the strain on our low back.

  2. Increasing stability: The posterior chain muscles are also responsible for stabilizing our spine. These muscles work together to provide a strong foundation for our trunk, helping us maintain balance and preventing excessive movement of our spine. Weakness in these muscles can lead to instability in our low back, making us more prone to injury.

  3. Improving movement patterns: Many activities we do in daily life involve the posterior chain, such as bending over to pick up objects or climbing stairs. When we have weak posterior chain muscles, we tend to compensate by using other muscles, such as our low back muscles, to perform these movements. This can lead to overuse and strain on our low back muscles, which can result in pain. By strengthening the posterior chain, we can improve our movement patterns and reduce the strain on our low back.

  4. Preventing future injuries: Strengthening the posterior chain not only helps manage current low back pain but also helps prevent future injuries. When we have strong posterior chain muscles, we are better able to handle the demands placed on our body, reducing the likelihood of injury.


There are several exercises that physical therapists often recommend to strengthen the posterior chain, including deadlifts, squats, hip bridges, and planks. However, it is important to work with a qualified physical therapist to ensure proper form and avoid injury.


In conclusion, posterior chain strengthening is an essential component of managing and preventing low back pain. By improving posture, increasing stability, improving movement patterns, and preventing future injuries, strengthening these muscles can significantly improve the quality of life for those suffering from low back pain.

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