Multifidus muscle dysfunction occurs when the multifidus muscles located along the spine become impaired due to injuries, degenerative conditions, or habits. It's usually characterized by lumbar pain, weakness, and limited mobility.
The multifidus muscles are crucial for spinal stability and alignment. They are in charge of providing support and control when moving the upper torso. These muscles also reduce the risk of injuries since they prevent extra stress on the spine.
Some of the best treatment options for multifidus muscle dysfunction include non-invasive treatments like physical therapy or minimally invasive interventions like the MILD® procedure.
Multifidus muscle dysfunction can be related to multiple causes, including:
- Injury or strain: Physical trauma to the multifidus muscles could affect their proper functioning
- Muscle imbalance: Imbalances in the muscles surrounding the spine can lead to the development of multifidus muscle dysfunction.
- Poor posture: Poor posture can lead to muscle weakness and reduced flexibility, impacting the multifidus muscles.
- Degenerative disc disease: Degenerative disc disease occurs when the intervertebral discs in charge of absorbing shock and adding flexibility to the spine wear down due to age and physical activity.
Symptoms of multifidus muscle dysfunction include the following:
- Lower back pain
- Stiffness and reduced mobility
- Weakness in the lower back
- Muscle spasms
- Pain radiating to the buttocks or legs
Multifidus muscle dysfunction is diagnosed through multiple tests and assessments, including;
- Examining your family’s medical history to discard potential hereditary factors
- X-rays, MRIs, and CT Scans
- Electromyography to measure the electrical activity of muscles and nerve cells
Multifidus muscle dysfunction treatments may range from the following options.
Conservative therapies refer to procedures that use multiple types of exercises or healthcare techniques to alleviate pain symptoms without disrupting your nerves.
These kinds of treatments are usually suggested alongside other non-opioid medications or minimally invasive interventions. Options include:
- Massage therapy
- Chiropractic care
Some lifestyle changes that could help release stress from the lumbar area include:
- Performing low-impact exercises like swimming or cycling
- Having a healthy diet to manage your weight
- Maintaining good posture while also using ergonomic chairs.
aim to reduce spinal swelling and nerve pressure. When compared to other medications, these offer no risk of addiction and are more gentle on your body. These may range from anti-inflammatory medications to muscle relaxants and antidepressants.
Injections offer long-lasting relief for patients dealing with radiculopathy by focusing on the nerves that send pain signals into the brain. Some injection options available for this condition include the following:
- Steroid injections help provide quick inflammation reduction and symptom relief. These are injected near the spinal nerve area, transmitting pain signals to the brain. Your doctor will use digital imaging to precisely place the needle into the nerves causing discomfort.
- Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is derived from the patient’s own blood and contains multiple substances that promote tissue growth and regeneration. When these are injected, the substances help restore the spine’s structure.
Doctors recommend using pain management procedures along with other therapy-focused treatments. This is because they only targets the nerve signals directed to the brain and offer almost instant pain relief.
Facet Joint Injections, for example, target the multifidus muscle located on the vertebra, which could be causing pain and discomfort. They are also applied using digital imaging and need minimal recovery time. Steroid injections,
on the other hand, are injected near the spinal nerve area, stopping the transmission of pain signals to the brain.
focuses on providing nerve stimulation into the multifidus muscle that is causing pain. They can include spinal cord stimulation
, which uses electrical impulses to modify the nerve activity in the spine, or peripheral nerve stimulation,
which uses electrical stimulation to target peripheral nerves around the spinal cord.
Minimally invasive interventions reduce the risk of complications and offer almost instant relief. The MILD® procedure uses X-ray guidance to insert a special needle in the lower back area. Using a radiofrequency device, your doctor will remove the bone and ligament excess in your spine, allowing it to release pressure and pain.
Another minimally invasive intervention for multifidus muscle dysfunction is an endoscopic discectomy. Through a small incision, a thin tube is inserted in the spine to visualize the area, and then the damaged muscle tissue is removed.