We’re not talking about character or internal fortitude, but rather the muscles, tendons and connective tissues that align and control your trunk; the area between your legs and your neck. Fitness buffs talk a lot about ‘core strength’ and how a strong core is necessary for sports and athletics, but even people who live entirely sedentary lifestyles can benefit tremendously from a strong and flexible core.
The muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones of the human body work together dynamically to control balance, locomotion, and posture. When some of these muscles are overly tense or too week to maintain a joint’s correct range of motion, other muscles end up working harder to compensate.
Picture the human body like a tent being held up by poles and ropes. If the ropes are strung with sufficient tension in any all directions, the tent stays up. Camping ensues. If, however, one rope is under too much tension and the others are loose, the tent frame can easily collapse. Your core works the same way. If your stomach and oblique muscles are weak or soft, your back muscles compensate to ‘keep the tent up.’ This creates excessive tension in the back and neck, leading to inflammation, reduced blood flow and compressed or pinched nerves. The result: back pain. This back pain then forces your body to adapt its range of motion to avoid further pain, creating a vicious circle of pain and limited range of motion.
Chiropractic care can help to realign the vertebrae and alleviate compression or tension around nerves, but the long-term treatment for back-pain has to involve stretching and strengthening the core. A strong core is analogous to tightening the slack ropes on sagging tent. Keep all of the ‘ropes’ tight, and the tent stays up.
So, if you’re experiencing back pain, you may be suffering from nothing more than a weak core. Strengthen and mobilize your core and you should notice
a reduction in back pain.
Check back later in the week when we’ll show you some ways to strengthen your core and improve your lower lumbar health.
Like this? You might also like: