Low back pain is a common health problem that most people have experienced at one time or another. The clinical findings of ongoing low back pain show that lumbar movement is often decreased and the use of the core muscles is altered. (1) Studies also show that strengthening the core muscles can result in improved mobility and decreased pain. (2)
You’ve probably heard a lot about ‘core muscles’ or ‘core strength’ but what does it actually mean for you?
The ‘core’ is a group of muscles that helps your body to maintain different postures by stabilising and controlling the pelvis. When these muscles are functioning properly they assist with the ability to stand up from a chair, maintain comfortable posture when seated, perform daily tasks such as sweeping, and getting on and off the floor to play with the kids.
When these muscles are strong they can also help to improve your balance and stability, prevent overuse injuries, and reduce the occurrence of related aches and pains. When these muscles are weak, other muscles are recruited to try and make up for this lack of stability which is why you may feel an ache across your shoulders, sore or tight leg muscles, or even pain in the feet.
Multiple studies have shown that incorporation of core strengthening exercises can assist in the reduction of low back pain. Core exercises have the potential to reduce pain, improve spinal stability, and decrease the recurrence of pain episodes! (3)
Strengthening your core can be achieved in a multitude of ways but it’s important that the activities you perform to do this are tailored to your own abilities and restrictions. Having a chat with your chiropractor can ensure that you are performing the correct exercises (in the correct way) to get the best outcomes for you!
1. Kumar, T., Kumar, S., Nezamuddin, M., & Sharma, V. P. (2015). Efficacy of core muscle strengthening exercise in chronic low back pain patients. Journal of back and musculoskeletal rehabilitation, 28(4), 699–707. https://doi.org/10.3233/BMR-140572
2. Akhtar, M. W., Karimi, H., & Gilani, S. A. (2017). Effectiveness of core stabilization exercises and routine exercise therapy in management of pain in chronic non-specific low back pain: A randomized controlled clinical trial. Pakistan journal of medical sciences, 33(4), 1002–1006. https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.334.12664
3. Chang, W. D., Lin, H. Y., & Lai, P. T. (2015). Core strength training for patients with chronic low back pain. Journal of physical therapy science, 27(3), 619–622. doi:10.1589/jpts.27.619 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4395677/
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