Q: How important is the “core” that I hear everyone talk about when I mention my back pain?

Keeping your body’s core strong is one of the keys to spinal and overall health. But the core is not just about six-pack abs. You’ve also got the multifidus, interspinalis and intertransversi muscles as part of a complex network of muscles, tendons and ligaments that stretch from the thighs to the chest and support the spine. Core strength is particularly important if you have an athletic pursuit. Tennis and golf, just for instance, are two activities that put tremendous amounts of stress on the spine.

For the average Joe, the core is very important to prevent chronic low back pain. Your entire upper body weight sits atop a column of 5 vertebra that make up your low back. The only think in the area that can support them and reduce the compressive forces they manage daily, year after year, are these muscles.

Despite what you may have heard, traditional sit-ups are not good for the back. In fact, they compress the lower spine considerably and can be more harmful than beneficial. The experts say, however, that crunches, in which you raise your head and trunk only slightly off the floor, are excellent for building core endurance and strength. Feel the burn all the way into the lower abs, below your belly button to know you are doing it right.

And it’s not all about strength, either. Flexibility in, say, the hips is also critical to making sure the back is not overworking. Pilates and yoga can help with flexibility. Your chiropractor is specially trained to advise you on exercises to keep your spine healthy, and to treat it when there’s a problem.

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Voted Best Morgantown Chiropractic Office 2018, 2019, and 2021!

Voted Best Morgantown Chiropractic Office 2018, 2019, and 2021!