How to build a strong CORE and get rid of back pain for good!

How to build a strong CORE and get rid of back pain for good!

Let’s start out with the basics. Everybody has heard about their ‘core muscles’ and has probably been told by someone that it’s important to keep them nice and strong. But what is your core?

The core is made up of a group of very important muscles in your trunk that surround the spine. The real key players are the transversus abdominis, multifidus and the pelvic floor. These muscles make up the front, back, sides and bottom of your core. There’s also your diaphragm muscle at the top.

The best way to think of your core is like a can of Coke! When all 4 muscles are working in unison, they provide robust protection to the spine – just like how solid an unopened can of Coke is. If one or more of the muscles get weak, the whole system struggles. Think about squeezing a can of Coke that’s been opened!!

There are other muscles like the rectus abdominis, the paraspinals, QL and psoas that also contribute to good core function, especially when it comes to higher level activities like sports.

Symptoms of a weak core

The symptoms of core weakness are varied in both degree and kind.

Key symptoms include;

  • Dull back ache
  • Stiffness after sitting
  • Pain with prolonged standing
  • Pain or tightness when bending
  • Reduced strength or confidence when lifting

Diagnosing a weak core

Fortunately, diagnosing a weak core is simple! Although there isn’t one specific test, your therapist will observe and test you in a few basic positions relevant to your symptoms. They will check that you are using the right muscles, the right amount while you perform some key movements.

Treating back pain by core strengthening

At The Back & Body Clinic all of our physios, osteopaths and sports therapists treat back pain literally every day! We love helping people get out of pain and build towards a healthier and happier future. During almost every session your therapist will set you up with fun and challenging exercises, relative to your level, to help you build up your core and beat back pain!

Here are a few of our favourites;

  1. The Bird Dog

2. The Plank to Press

3. The Side Plank

The sky’s the limit when it comes to building core strength, and one of our absolute main priorities is making your rehab tailored to you. That means making sure that both the hands-on treatment and exercises are totally bespoke to your ability and goals, and as you get better, relevant to your favourite past time, activity or sport.

Runner’s – we’re talking about 5k PBs!

Gym goers – heavier lifts!

Golfers – an extra 10 yards off the tee!

Grandparents – lifting those fast-growing grand kids!

If you want to know more about our tailored rehabilitation and exercise programs, call and book in with one of our therapists today!

written by Mike Mansfield Clinical Director and Physiotherapist at The Back and Body Clinic Great Denham, Bedford

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