Lower Back Pain | The Core Strength Fix

Lower Back Pain | The Core Strength Fix
Lower Back Pain | The Core Strength Fix. Hydrate before, during & after exercise.

Suffering From Lower Back Pain?

According to the Mayo Clinic: “Back pain is one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor or miss work and a leading cause of disability worldwide. Most people have back pain at least once. Fortunately, you can take measures to prevent or relieve most back pain episodes”.

This pain can be experienced in many different ways. From a chronic, dull, throbbing ache, to a sharp, “take your breath away” stab in the lower back. Either way, lower back pain can render you incapacitated.

Lower Back Pain | The Core Strength Fix
Iliocostalis Lumborum muscle in the lower back
Lower Back Pain | The Core Strength Fix
The Quadratus Lumborum muscle in the lower back

For most folks, the symptoms (pain) is the muscles of the lower back spasming. So, in order to feel better:

  • Rest
  • Apply heat (heating pad or hot bath)
  • Massage Therapy
  • Stretch out the lower back
  • Wait

And eventually, the lower back muscles will release.

Unfortunately, the underlying cause is still exists! So, it is almost certain that the lower back pain will return. Each time the lower-back has a bout of spasm, a little more damage (possibly permanent) occurs.

What Is The Possible Damage of Spasming Lower Back Muscles?

  • When the muscles are tight for an extended period of time, circulation can be interrupted. This can cause muscle tissue to die. When this tissue is cleaned away, it is replaced with scar tissue. Scar tissue is inelastic, further hampering movement.
  • Corrupting of the intervertebral discs. The muscles are attached to the vertebrae. When they tighten, the discs in between get squeezed & can suffer damage. Eventually, the discs can herniate & press into the nerves. Ouch!
  • Bone spurs can develop on the vertebrae & can eventually press into the nerves. Ouch!

Wouldn’t it be better to deal with the underlying cause as soon as possible?

What if your lower back pain isn’t really about your lower back? What if there’s actually an underlying cause elsewhere in your body & your lower back spasm is simply a consequence? Wouldn’t you like to eliminate the underlying cause so that your lower back pain is banished forever?

The Four Common Underlying Causes of Lower Back Pain

These are four common underlying causes that can lead to lower back pain.

  1. Tight hip-flexors > Lower Back Pain | The Hip-Flexor Fix
  2. Tight hamstrings > Lower Back Pain | The Hamstring Fix
  3. Tight upper back > Lower Back Pain | The Thoracic Fix
  4. Core weakness > This article!

We’ve chosen these four problems because clinically, it’s what we see the most often. Furthermore, these four simple fixes are what has brought the most pain-free success to our patients.

Core Strengthening

Your lower back muscles regard strong core musculature like you would regard a really good (strong) friend coming over & helping you do some heavy work.

When strengthening the core, most folks think, “sit-ups”. Incorrect! Your core muscles are deeper & unfortunately, more difficult to access. So, in order to strengthen your core, you first need to find it!

Introduce Yourself to Your Core

  • Find a comfortable spot on the carpet & lie on your back
  • Bend your knees while keeping your feet flat on the floor
  • Place your index fingers on those “pointy bones” on either side of the front of your pelvis
  • In your mind’s eye, sense the area of your abdomen between your fingers & below your belly button
  • Slowly & deliberately pull this area in. Think of these abdominal muscles sinking toward the floor & forming a hammock slung between your two “pointy bones”
  • Ensure the area above your belly button remains relaxed so that you can breathe

Hold your abdomen in this position. This is you with an activated core! Now let’s strengthen it!

Lower Back Pain | The Core Strength Fix
Introduce yourself to your core.

Core Strengthening: First Progression

  • Your knees should be bent with your feet flat on the floor
  • Allow one knee to slowly fall out sideways while your other leg remains upright & stable
  • Repeat on the other side
  • Now alternate – one leg, then the other. Keep going
  • Keeping your fingertips on your “pointy bones”, sense how much your pelvis is rocking
  • Now with your core engaged, hold your pelvis completely still while your legs alternate
Lower Back Pain | The Core Strength Fix
First progression: core strengthening, step one
Lower Back Pain | The Core Strength Fix
First progression: core strengthening, step two

Just by trying to keep your pelvis from rocking, you are strengthening your core! When you get really good at this, you can move onto the second progression.

Core Strengthening: Second Progression

  • This exercise is identical to the first except that this time, you lift one heel off the floor & then the other one
  • Keeping your fingertips on your “pointy bones”, sense how much your pelvis is moving
  • Now with your core engaged, hold your pelvis completely still while your legs alternate

Again, just by trying to keep your pelvis from rocking, you are strengthening your core!

Lower Back Pain | The Core Strength Fix
Second progression: core strengthening, step one
Lower Back Pain | The Core Strength Fix
Second progression: core strengthening, step two

Another source of lower back pain can be from the muscles around the hip. If you’re interested in more information on this, click here > Hip Pain | The Easy Fix.

Please Note:

No one body is the same as another – bone structure dimensions differ vastly requiring the muscles, tendons & ligaments to be different lengths & attach at slightly varying angles. To gain the most success from the above exercises, make an appointment with your physiotherapist or massage therapist & ask them to lead you through an inaugural session & make the appropriate modifications unique to you.

– LEONG Orthopaedic Health

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