Normal muscles

The base of the human body is a skeleton, however this skeleton is not mobile without the attached muscles. Muscles allow the human body to stand, walk and engage in movement. The strength and tone of these muscles are vital in supporting the bones of the body.



Fat infiltration of multifidus muscle

Muscle tissue can get replaced by fat in back pain. This is known as fat infiltration. Fat does not have the same protecting features as muscles and can make the back more vulnerable to mechanical damage. Some evidence suggests that exercise can reverse this.



Tent pole and guy ropes is like skeleton and muscles

Compare this to a tent. The skeleton is like the tent pole and muscles are like the guy ropes. The tent pole alone cannot provide stability, if the guy ropes are loose they must be tightened. Similarly in back pain the core muscles must be strengthened to stabilise the spine.

Created and designed by Dr. George Ampat, Consultant Orthopaedic Spinal Surgeon

Disclaimer: Dr. Ampat has a commercial interest in Feet and Spine which sells ergonomic office chairs, sit-stand tables, orthotics and comfort shoes.