Written by Josh Suderman, M.D.
Our spines provide significant support for our body as we sit, stand and move. The bony structures of the spine rely on muscles, tendons and ligaments to provide the best support for us. It has been reported that the spine alone could only support 35 pounds of weight (spine-health.com).
Thus, we need much more help to support the full weight of our bodies as adults. Our core muscles are composed of muscles that help us to sit and stand up – movements that extend the spine. But, these muscles also provide support for spine so we don’t slouch forward – movements that flex the spine forward.
We need a strong balance from muscle groups in our back as well as in our sides and front (i.e. our core) to provide support and balance for our spine in order to not excessively stress the joints, discs and ligaments causing pain.
The providers at JPI often work with physical therapists to educate the patient on exercises that can strengthen their core and provide better support for your back. This works well in combination with medications and injections to manage back pain and prevent worsening of pain or a new strain and injury. And don’t forget that regular general aerobic exercise that doesn’t focus specifically on core strength is also very beneficial for low back pain.
In conclusion, core strengthening and exercise can be an effective way to manage back pain in many patients in conjunction with other treatments coordinated by their physician in order to stay active and maintain good support for your spine.