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How do spinal stabilization exercises work?

Q: I hurt my back in a car accident. The physiotherapist has been teaching me spinal stabilization exercises. How do these exercises work?

A: These exercises target the muscles along the spine. Strengthening these muscles helps hold the spine steady during activity. Coordinating the action of these muscles helps control the joints of the low back.

The muscles can be trained to limit unwanted movement. This is especially important when injury or damage to the ligaments and capsules has occurred. (These are the supporting tissues around the joints.)

In particular, the sacroiliac joint can cause major pain when it is loose from injury. Spinal stabilization exercises tighten up the joint and make the low back area stiffer. This helps prevent further injury to the tissues of the low back.

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