- by Daniel
Build Your Core Strength For A Healthy And Pain Free Back
You can't overestimate the importance of a strong core for beating persistent back pain, so keep your core muscles strong with regular exercises.
If you've ever had physiotherapy for your back pain then I'm sure you'll be familiar with core strengthening exercises.
As having good core stability and a strong core can be a big help for all of us.
This is because your deep-lying core muscles in the abs, hips, lower back, and pelvis are responsible for supporting and stabilising your lower spine.
Which protects your back with each movement, while helping you with your balance and in maintaining a healthy posture.
However, when these core muscles are weakened your body becomes unbalanced and is forced to compensate.
Which can lead to muscle imbalances developing which increases the pressure and strain on your lower back.
Causing you more back pain.
Your core muscles can also weaken with age which is why back pain becomes more likely the older we get.
So it's vital that you keep your core muscles strong with regular core strengthening exercises if you want to live a life free from back pain.
The Benefits Of Having A Strong Core For Your Back
Core strengthening is widely recommended by health professionals as a means of prevention and rehabilitation for people with lower back pain.
And this is because it has been shown in scientific studies to be helpful.
For example, one study by the school of physiotherapy in Australia split people with chronic lower back pain into two groups, with only one of the groups put on a core strengthening program.
And the core strengthening group reported less pain and better movement at the end of the study, with these benefits still being present at a follow-up over 2 years later.
So here's how having a strong core will specifically help to reduce and prevent back pain.
Firstly it will give you spine good support and stability.
This helps to keep your body upright and balanced and prevents muscle imbalances from developing.
And it allows your hips, pelvis, abs, and back muscles to work in harmony which reduces the load on your lower back.
This stability will also help you to maintain a good posture, which will reduce the strain and pressure on your lower back.
And strong core muscles will help you with your movement too as they are responsible for supporting your back as you bend, twist, and rotate your body.
Therefore having a strong core will support and protect you during everyday activities, allowing you to move more freely and without pain.
So having a strong and stable core will greatly reduce the likelihood of back injuries and strains that are so common with these types of activities.
So working to keep your core muscles strong is a great idea if you suffer from lower back pain.
How To Get Started With Core Strengthening
If you are already pretty active then you may have made a start with core strengthening without realising it.
However, while these activities are great it's also important to specifically target your core muscles with regular strengthening exercises.
But before you get started I need give you a warning and that is you need to make sure you do core strengthening exercises correctly.
And this can be a problem when you are first starting out.
Because the core muscles you need to target are the ones that lie deep within your body.
So they are not the surface muscles that you may be used to targeting when exercising.
And this means that working these deeper core muscles can feel strange at first and because of this it can lead to people getting the exercises wrong.
Which is bad news as you need to do the exercises right to prevent strains and stop any muscle imbalances from developing.
So technique is crucial.
Because doing these core exercises wrong can actually further damage your back.
This is why I wouldn't recommend trying to teach yourself core strengthening from a book or video.
A far better way to start is to book a session with a qualified physiotherapist and preferably one that specialises in injury rehabilitation.
As they will be able to assess you and tailor a core strengthening program to suit your specific needs.
And at the same time they will guide you through each exercise to make sure you are doing them correctly.
Make It A Daily Exercise
Once you've got the hang of it you can then move on and do core strengthening exercises yourself.
Safe in the knowledge you know what you are doing (and aren't going to injure yourself!).
And to give you an idea of what you should be doing take a look at the video above.
There are a wealth of these videos on YouTube targeting all levels of fitness and strength so you can take it as far as you like.
And these are really helpful as they allow you to work on your core at home and make core-strengthening a regular part of your life.
As even 10-15 minutes of daily core exercises can make a massive difference to your back and your overall health and well-being.
But you still need to be careful not to overdo things, so listen to your body and only go as far as feels comfortable for you.
I hope that you can now see the importance of a strong core for those of us with back pain.
As it will help to give your spine the support and stabiliity it needs to protect you.
While also helping you to move and maintain good balance and posture.
And this will all reduce the pressure and strain on your lower back throughout the day.
Now you don't have to go to extremes with your core exercises.
But you do need to make sure you do them correctly and also make them a regular part of your routine.
Because if you can get into the habit of strengthening your core muscles daily for just 10-15 minutes it will have a big impact on your pain levels.
And don't stop doing them if your back pain goes away either.
As you need to keep this core strength and stability maintained to stop the pain from returning.
Personally I spend half an hour every day on a mixture of core-strengthening exercises and stretches.
This has not only reduced my pain, it has made me stronger, healthier, and allowed me to stay more active.
And doing them now feels as natural a part of my daily routine as cleaning my teeth.
So make sure you give your spine the help, protection, and support it needs by strengthening your core muscles.