What are the odds?
Have you ever overheard people talking about their lower back pain while you are sitting in a cafe enjoying your coffee or during a family gathering? Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017–18 National Health estimates about 4.0 million Australians (16% of the population) have back problems. It is estimated that 70–90% of people will suffer from lower back pain in some form at some point in their lives. (1)
Lower back pain is associated with weakened core muscles
Our spinal health and stability are supported by different tissues (intervertebral disc, muscles, tendons, ligaments…). Research describes the weakening of the truck and abdominal muscles as one major cause of chronic lower back pain. (2) We observed many people only focus on loosening up their stiff back muscles, but seldom discuss weak core muscles with their chiropractor. In the past decade, core strengthening has been brought back to one of the main protocols in a rehabilitation plan post-injury with athletes, the public and people who suffer lower back pain. (3)
Your abdomen is a cylinder! Imagine that your spine is sitting at the back of a cylinder, your abdominal wall would be the front of the cylinder, traverse abdominal muscles would be the two sides of your cylinder. (3) When the abdominal walls are weakened, while daily stresses and pressures to your spine remain unchanged, passive tissues such as the discs and spinal joints will take up the duty. Predictably, muscles around your spinal joints tighten up, speeding up spinal degeneration and give you lower back pain.
A common misconception is to “suck the belly in” when people are asked to activate their core muscles. In fact, pushing your abdominals out is a better way to take the pressure off your spine. Here are a few steps to help you learn how to activate your core muscles!
Chiropractors are trained to help manage musculoskeletal disorders. If you have any concerns about how a chiropractor can help, consult with one of our chiropractors for a comprehensive health check and let us help you to be your best self possible!
1 .Health AIo, Welfare. Back problems. Canberra: AIHW; 2019.
2. Chang W-D, Lin H-Y, Lai P-T. Core strength training for patients with chronic low back pain. Journal of physical therapy science. 2015;27(3):619-22.
3. Akuthota V, Nadler SF. Core strengthening. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation. 2004;85:86-92.