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Core Stability for Low Back Pain!

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Our Cambridge Physiotherapy specialist is here to help you with Low-back pain (LBP) is a major health problem in western industrialized countries.


  • 70% to 85% of the population has low-back pain at some time in their life with an annual prevalence ranging from 15%-45%.
  • The prevalence increases with age up to 65 years.
  • The costs of back pain exceed the costs of many other conditions and diseases.


There are many causes of back pain but here are just a few of the potentials:


  • Disc Problems
  • Spasms
  • Tense muscles
  • Nerve irritation
  • Injuries from sprains, fractures, accidents, and falls can result in back pain
  • Poor posture!



What is Core stability and how can it help me?


The term ‘Core Stability’ is commonly used in the world of sport or when referring to the treatment or even prevention of lower back pain. The Core can be viewed as a muscular box consisting of 29 pairs of muscles. This box is made up of the following groups of muscles:


  1. Abdominal muscles at the front of the box
  2. Paraspinal and gluteal muscles at the back
  3. Pelvic Floor and Hip Girdle at the bottom
  4. and Diaphragm at the top


Core stability has started to make its way into our daily lives over the past 20 years with exercise classes such as Pilates, yoga and Tai Chi following some core strengthening principles.


This needs to be structured and specific to your injury which is where Physiotherapy comes in. Physiotherapists can use a wide range of other techniques to speed up/facilitate the healing process including, massage, manipulation, joint mobilisation and exercise prescription.


Ultrasound is another treatment frequently used to help reduce pain.

Some causes of low back pain have been shown in this article including disc problems,muscle spasms, tense muscles, nerve irritation and poor posture.


Without our core muscles, the spine would have very little protection and wouldn’t be able to support the weight of our upper body let alone walk or be able to bend forwards to lift a bag of shopping. Strong core muscles essentially create a belt or corset around the abdomen, keeping everything tight and in the right position. This can reduce the compressive forces that bear down on your spine and ultimately reduce your pain, or stop you from getting lower back pain in the first place.


Weakness in your core muscles also means that other, larger muscles have to work harder in an attempt to support your spine. This is a necessary function; however, over-activity of some muscles can put excessive forces on other joints in your body. One such example can be seen when we look at the relationship between your Latisimus Dorsi muscle (or wing muscle) and your shoulder. If the wing muscle is overworking it can turn your shoulder inwards, causing potential abnormalities in your shoulder blade positioning and movement, which in turn can lead to painful and debilitating shoulder injuries.


It has been said that with increased core stability comes increased distal mobility i.e. The stronger the core muscles, the easier it becomes to move our arms and legs efficiently. This is an important idea to keep in mind as not only can we get shoulder pain from a poor level of core stability but also other problems such as knee pain, hip pain and even foot problems.


This is where Physiotherapy can come in useful for lower back pain as it can identify the cause of the pain and help to build up those core muscles to not only help reduce your lower back pain but also to prevent any other related symptoms.


If you suffer with back pain you should come along and see what we can do to help you. 


Physiotherapy can provide the answer to back pain with the following techniques:


  1. Soft tissue mobilisation/specific massage
  2. Ultrasound therapy
  3. Heat therapy
  4. spinal mobilisation/manipulation.
  5. exercise prescription focusing on core activation.


If you have any questions and want to speak with our Physiotherapist to see what can be done for your aches and pains contact us on 01223832808. 



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