Why Back Pain Is More than a Weak Core

If you’re suffering from back pain, it’s likely that you’ve been told to strengthen your core. While this can be helpful in some cases, it’s important to understand that back pain is often more complex than simply having a weak core. In this blog, we’ll look at two different scenarios to highlight the importance of seeking proper evaluation and treatment for your specific condition.

Case 1: A 35-year-old female experiences pain when sitting. Despite being active and practicing yoga, she suffers from low back pain that radiates into her leg. While strengthening the core may seem like an obvious solution, her pain is present even when she sits upright in a proper posture. This patient has a disc pathology that is causing irritation of her sciatic nerve. In this case, a true ergonomic assessment to find the right amount of lumbar support is needed, which can help alleviate her pain without placing increased stress on the lumbar spine discs.

Case 2: A 58-year-old male experiences low back pain while golfing. While core strengthening is often recommended in cases like this, it’s important to consider other factors that may be contributing to his pain. For example, decreased hip and/or ankle range of motion can cause a “reverse spine angle” during a golf swing, leading to forceful collisions between joints in the low back. In this case, other interventions such as improving mobility in the neck, shoulder, hip, upper back, and ankle are needed in addition to core strengthening.

The key takeaway is that low back pain is a complex issue that requires proper evaluation and treatment. While core strengthening can be helpful in some cases, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Seeking the right intervention for your specific condition can help you get back to doing the things you love without pain and discomfort. Don’t guess when it comes to your back pain – get an evaluation from one of our experienced physical therapists to determine the right treatment program for you.