Back pain is one of the most common problems in this day and age. Oftentimes, medical conditions that cause back problems, such as sciatica, degenerative disc disease, ankylosing spondylitis, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal through which the spinal cord passes) and scoliosis, to name but a few, are the most cited reasons for the existence of back pain (including chronic low back pain).
On the other hand, there are times when muscles and soft tissues on the back and core are the ones to cause pain and other symptoms. In this case, it is highly likely that the affected muscles are strained, sprained, or have become weak and can no longer efficiently support the weight of the upper body.
Because the spinal column is responsible for holding our torso upright, along with core muscle groups of the back (that include the erector spinae), as well as abdominal muscles, it can be negatively affected if your core is weak.
How weak core muscles contribute to back pain onset
When these muscles are not used for a prolonged period of time, they can become weaker and as a result, they can no longer provide adequate support for the spine. Two things can happen following the weakening of core muscles:
- Muscles can become strained as they attempt to support the upper body because they lack the required strength.
- The lack of support that comes as a result of core muscles may cause the spine to become compressed as it attempts to bear the load of the upper body to compensate for weak muscles. In turn, this can lead to nerve compression, increased pressure on the spinal joints, disc herniation, and other spinal issues.
Signs that your core is weak include
- Having poor posture, as your spine is unable to bear the load of your torso and keep your back upright.
- Discomfort, or even pain along the back or neck (which may be triggered by straining the back muscles, as well as nerve compression, where the nerve roots are impinged upon by other structures of the back).
- Balance issues, which may indicate a lack of core stability
- Some people may experience difficulty breathing, as there is not enough core strength to keep the upper body in a favourable position, which may compress and place increased pressure on the lungs.
If weak core muscles are the cause of your back problems, the ideal solution is to strengthen your core through core exercises. Different exercises can target the specific region or muscle group that is not sufficiently strong to support the trunk.
Because strengthening exercises for the core can take a while to show results, there are other approaches you can take in the meantime, to alleviate the pain and stiffness that you are dealing with, while working on core muscle strengthening.
One of the best solutions in this case is to engage in spinal decompression exercises, especially if your vertebral column has to bear some of the weight of your upper body due to weakened core muscles.
The most efficient way to get the most benefits in terms of pain relief through spinal decompression therapy is to use a special orthopaedic device, such as the Backrack.
What is the Backrack Spinal Decompression Device?
Why spinal decompression can help with back pain when your core muscles are weak
Spinal decompression is a non-invasive treatment modality that aims to revert the process of compression of the spine.
As previously stated, having weak core muscles causes the spine to compensate for the lack of support, and as such it faces increased physical pressure, leading to the vertebrae to become compressed. When this happens, there is no longer sufficient space for other elements in the spine to perform their function as they would under regular circumstances.
For example, spinal compression can have a snowball effect where a vertebra place so much pressure on a spinal disc that it becomes cracked, allowing the inner contents of the disc to bulge through the crack, which may impinge on a nearby nerve, triggering the pain receptors connected to that nerve, and in turn having you feel pain in that region.
With spinal decompression, such situations can be treated, and also prevented from occurring, as the therapy pushes the vertebrae into their respective places, returning the spine to its original length and size.
There are some instances where the signs and symptoms of weak core muscles can be caused by other spinal issues as well. In this case it is suitable to seek medical advice and obtain a diagnosis to accurately pinpoint the cause of your pain and other symptoms.
Additionally, if the pain is persistent or becomes worse, it is recommended that you seek medical help as soon as possible to determine the exact cause of your spinal problems and to receive adequate care.
Depending on the cause, location and severity of your symptoms, you may be suggested one or more of the following pain management and treatment options:
- Physical therapy to help re-mobilise the spine.
- Pain relieving medication or injections.
- Surgical intervention, if your pain is caused by something severe such as cauda equina syndrome or a spinal tumour.
Author: Spinal Backrack