The ‘Core’ & Back Pain

Kieran Finnegan: Waterloo Chiropractor & Myotherapist

Over the last decade there has been a massive increase in health professionals prescribing  to the the fact that if you have back pain then it is a result of  having a weak core. Most people who I treat who have chronic low back pain there spinal mobility is generally already decreased. This is usually as a result of chronic muscle tension mainly the muscles as well as the joints of the spine being stiff. Instructing a person with chronic back pain who’s spine is already very tense and stiff to further stiffen it by actively tensing the muscles may not be the best form of treatment. The best approach when this is the case is actually releasing & lengthening the muscles and freeing up the joints. Generally speaking the spine is designed to be mobile and move freely, whether it be walking, running or other day-to-day activities.

However, there are people who are naturally a lot more mobile and flexible than other’s, they usually can straighten out there arm completely and there elbow will hyper extend, or can bend there thumb back over and touch there forearms. This may also be the case people who have done an excessive amount of stretching over a long time will begin to stretch past the muscles/joints preferred range of motion and start  to stretch the ligaments/tendons. I will discuss stretching in another article.

Research has shown that there is no real difference between general exercise and core specific exercise. This is why I generally recommend to my clients to exercise where the body can move through a full range of motion and has a larger element of general physical fitness, This is where a good personal trainer can be extremely beneficial, as they may do a bit of core work but they also focus on resistance training, technique, cardio, weight loss etc… Also there are many psychological benefits to this type of training such as improved well-being, confidence, better self image, improved sleep just to name a few.