Have you ever heard the saying “You need to strengthen your core.”? I’m sure we all have! We all could benefit from strengthening our core, and here’s why:
Having a strong core does not only mean having “six-pack abs” or looking good on the beach. Your core is not only what you see on the front of your stomach, but instead it is a wrap that goes all around your waist. In fact, it includes your rectus abdominis, the obliques (both internal and external), transverse abdominis, and your lumbar muscles (including erector spinae and multifidus). All of those may sound like foreign words to you, but know that all of these together collectively create our “core”.
It is understood that if you are lacking muscle strength, you will begin to rely on the stability of passive structures, such as your ligaments and bone structures, to keep you upright. Such as if you are standing and you kind of let your hip jet forward, without paying much attention to it, you are relying on the ligaments of the front of your hip to keep you standing.
Now, only strengthening your core is not going to help out your back. You do need to perform various stretching and strengthening exercises for the hips and lumbar spine, but understand that strengthening your core will also be beneficial in reducing potential future issues.
The reason as to why strengthening your core is so important is related mostly to your posture, not only in standing, but in sitting. Realizing your position and posture while in these positions will make a difference in your ability to maintain that position for longer periods of time without the aching, nagging pain.
Naturally, you may find that your low back “sinks in”, causing you to stick your gut out in front or stick your bottom out in the back, causing a “compression” or “pinching” pain in your lower back. Strengthening your core will assist you in creating the muscle memory and postural awareness to prevent this type of posture.
So with all of these in mind, make sure that you become more aware of how you are sitting or standing, what your back looks like, or even if you are “hanging on your ligaments”, and consider exercises to not only strengthen your back and hips, but also your core. As always, be aware of your limits and listen to your body if you are considering finding exercises online or other resources. And also understand that strengthening your core is only one piece of the puzzle, and that other components will be necessary to help reduce your low back pain.
If this sparked your interest and want to learn more about how we can help you with your back pain, you can schedule a free telephone consultation with our physiotherapist.
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