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Core Strength for Lower Back Pain

When you’re in pain, you’d probably do almost anything to get rid of it. That includes taking any and all advice from professionals who are trying to help you, or trying any rehab technique that provides relief. 

Of all the general recommendations that come along with lower back pain, “strengthen your core” might take the cake for most-used and least understood. 

If your doctor or therapist ever gave you this advice, you probably nodded in agreement and agreed to build the strongest core you can. They probably also nodded in agreement and sent you on your way. By the end of this exchange, no one really has said anything substantive. 

That’s because the “core” includes most of the muscles between your hips and shoulders. That’s a lot of muscles to strengthen, and how does it help your back?

The answer is, further digging is required. Lower back pain can come from a wide variety of problems. In fact, some researchers propose taking care of lifestyle problems (work stress, relationship problems, grieving) before starting or in conjunction with physical therapy. Stress can be as much of a problem as an injury. 

For those who are constantly plagued by pain from a lower back injury, it’s important to figure out with your therapist or doctor how exactly this injury occurred. Sometimes, forward bending is the problem. In that case, strengthening the lower back muscles can solve the problem. 

You can also injure your back by bending backwards, in which case strengthening the abs would help prevent a recurring injury. Sometimes your lower back muscles are just tight, in which case strengthening your abs can help. 

With so many muscles and movements under its jurisdiction, the core is complex and nuanced. Feel free to ask any professional that asks you to strengthen your core for further details! It can save you frustration in the long term.

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