Core strength for lower back pain is essential to focus on because, over time, safe and strategic exercises of the core can assist in helping you to move more, plus allow the lower back to relax.
Core strengthening exercises can be done safely without adding to your pain. While this sounds counterintuitive, moving more can help you feel less pain--more often than not.
The key is to find exercises that feel good when you’ve got back pain, which can be challenging. Too often, we think we have to keep killing ourselves at the gym, but the reality is that we need to create a safe space within the body that allows us to heal and find movements that can help us relax more while we strengthen.
Finding the root problem of your back pain is critical, and that’s the environment we’ve created here. We use the foundation of Structural Correction Chiropractic Care, which is the key to unleashing the wisdom of the root issues people face when they have pain. Chiropractic treatment helps improve nervous system function by making adjustments to the spine.
Studies prove that it is highly effective, and as a result, many health conditions are improved and even healed completely. Structural Correction Chiropractic Care is for anyone tired of constantly taking care of symptoms and not getting to the core of the issue, and we provide a long-term solution versus a short-term fix. (Explore more about this here.)
Some Common Causes of Lower Back Pain
There are many ways that pain in the lower back can set in; here are a few top reasons why there can be pain in the lower back:
Sitting and poor seating: Lower back pain can start for many reasons, but a big one is an act of sitting and its impact on the lower back. Let’s face it, the chairs most people have to sit in while working aren’t always ergonomically correct. So, the bad chairs and the act of sitting for long periods of time, this can create a perfect situation to trigger lower back pain.
Hip flexors: Hip flexors are also related to lower back pain. It would seem that this couldn’t be the case, but tightness in the hip flexors can be a contributing factor, and the lack of flexibility and movement over time in the hip flexor muscles causes a strain on the back. When the hip flexors are tight, this causes a pull on the spine resulting in an anterior tilt of the pelvis.
Hip flexors can affect the balancing act our body does with muscles and bones. Tightness in that area can be treated with myofascial release, soft tissue mobilization, stretching, and kinesiotaping.
Piriformis muscle in the glutes: The piriformis muscle is a very small muscle located underneath the glutes. The piriformis muscle attaches to the lower back, and this is how it can engage pain in that area of the body. Injury to the piriformis muscle can be either due to a single traumatic incident or, more commonly, from overuse factors involved in repetitive micro traumas over time. Spine-Health.com has more details on the piriformis muscle and how it relates to lower back pain.
3 Great Core Exercises for Lower Back Pain
There are a lot of exercises that can be taken from practices like yoga, pilates, and strength (or resistance) training that can work well to help strengthen the core and help lessen pain in the lower back.
Here are a few to try so that you can see what feels good for you (plus some extra stretches):
1. Glute bridges
Tighten your core, and your butt.
Lift butt off of floor and raise up and keep your knees straight (don’t allow them to fall out or in). Brace your core and squeeze your butt before any movement.
Hold this position for 5 seconds and return slowly to the starting position.
Do 10 repetitions 1-3 times.
Ensure that your spine is in a neutral spinal position so it’s not sagging in lower back, or lifting butt in the air.
Hold the plank position for 20-30 seconds. Then lower down to floor.
Do 2 to 5 repetitions of this exercise (can increase over time).
3. Dead bug exercise
Lie down on your back with both arms extended towards the ceiling.
Lift both of your legs off the floor to 90 degree angles.
Start by extending your left leg, straightening at the knee and hip and bringing the leg down to just above the floor (don’t let your lower back arch) and simultaneously, lower your right arm back to just above the floor.
Keep your abdominal and gluteal muscles tightened and return your left leg and right arm to the starting position. Repeat with your right leg and left arm and keep alternating between each side.
Do 20 repetitions 2-3 times.
More stretching will do the body good:
Stretching the hip flexor and the piriformis muscles can be game-changing to help ease lower back pain. Here are a couple of great sources to check out (just click the links to get taken to some great stretches for these areas):