Strengthen your core, and you’ll lose your back pain – part 2
We spoke last of core strength and back pain. Well further to that what are the outcomes?
RESPONSE TO TREATMENTS
If extra weight in people were the cause for their back pain, they would not respond well to their treatments. But they do. They not only get better but often stay better!
As health practitioners, it is essential that we always encourage healthy lifestyles eg: encouraging patients to stop smoking or lose some weight – where appropriate. Weight loss and core strengthening in conjunction with other interventions is better. But, losing weight and strengthening the core alone will not necessarily fix back pain.
To answer this correctly, one needs to analyze this differently!
LOSING WEIGHT AND EXERCISE
To lose weight (for whatever reason), the 2 main things that people are encouraged to do are:
- Eat healthier and less, but also:
- Exercise (usually cardiovascular exercise – CV, not strengthening).
It is very rare that someone loses weight significantly without exercising. So what happens when one exercises? Simply doing any form of CV fitness encourages several responses in our body, including (but not limited to):
Causing an endorphin rush (endorphins are our bodies own natural pain killers or “feel good” hormones).
This results in a general sense of well being, emotionally and psychologically. We view our problems a little more objectively. We don’t perceive our troubles as severe as they might have seemed. And oddly enough, we tend to feel our aches and pains less!
So when one exercises – and as a natural consequence, loses some weight, many people will attribute the loss of back pain to the weight loss. The weight loss might have helped in reducing some strain on the spine, but the often-overlooked fact is that people are deriving the benefits from CV fitness (including perceiving and experiencing less back pain).
So next time anyone tells you that simply losing weight or strengthening one’s core is the answer to back pain, remember there is more to it. I hope this brief article will provide you with a different perspective.
Take care, and keep walking.