Back pain can put a damper on your day-to-day life. Even the simplest tasks can feel like a complete struggle to get through. Although pain medication such as Advil or Tylenol can help, it’s also important to try natural remedies and exercises to help relieve your back pain. A great way to ease back pain is by working on your core. Here’s what you need to know about building a strong core to help with your back pain:

Understanding Core Strength

To understand how you will benefit from strengthening your core, it’s essential to know what your core is and how it works. Contrary to popular belief, the core isn’t just the abdominal area below the ribs of your body. While this is an important part of your core, it’s much more than that. Your core is made up of front abdominal muscles, muscles along the side of your body known as the obliques, the transverse abdominal which wraps around the front, as well as the muscles in your back, located between the spine and bones that run along your spine. The core  also includes the diaphragm, pelvic floor muscles, glutes, and hip flexors.

Core Strength and Back Pain

When it comes to back pain, your core is a major factor. As mentioned before, the muscles in your back are a part of your core. If your back muscles are weak, then your body will rely more on passive structures for stability. Instead of using your back muscles, your body will rely on tissue that connects bone to bone, the spinal bones, or discs that lie between the spinal bones. Your body relying on these ligaments for stability is what causes back pain. 

While exercise, in general, is great for relieving back pain, focusing on strengthening the core gives some added benefits.

Exercises to Try

Regular planks and side planks are great for strengthening the core and lower back muscles. When doing plank exercises, try holding them between 15 seconds and 30 seconds. Bird dog is also a great option and is easy to do. Simply kneel down on all fours, reach one arm out in front of you, hold in your abdomen, extend the opposite leg long behind you, and repeat on the other side for three sets on eight. 

Avoid More Back Pain

When trying to strengthen your core to relieve back pain, it’s important to take things slow. Doing an exercise incorrectly can lead to further pain or injury. It’s essential to listen to your body to decide if core exercises are the right choice for helping with your back pain. If you try one of the exercises above and it starts causing even more pain, be sure to stop and speak with your doctor.