Back hurt? Try strengthening your core

Back hurt? Try strengthening your core

Strengthening your core muscles might help you get that coveted six-pack of abs, but what a strong core does on the inside of your body is far more important.

“The core muscles are a group of muscles that wrap around the center of your body from the rib cage to the pelvis,” says Dr. Deepti Agarwal, a pain management physician at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago.

“These muscles are important to your body’s health, as they assist with everything from breathing and walking to supporting proper posture and alignment of your spine. Having a strong core gives you a foundation for preventing injury when you exercise or lift weights and in your day-to-day movements. It will even help you get that six-pack if that’s what you choose to do!”

While back pain can develop as a result of many different factors, Dr. Agarwal says a strong core could help prevent back pain by making you less prone to back injuries. To achieve this strong core, Dr. Agarwal recommends beginning exercises under the guidance of a trainer or physical therapist.

“My personal favorite is the plank, as it is one the most efficient and effective core exercises and can be done at home, while traveling or at the gym,” says Dr. Agarwal. “It doesn’t require bending the spine, so it’s also easier for people with disc issues. Working up to a three-minute plank pose daily can improve posture, strengthen the back and tone the midsection. Three minutes is not easy, but take baby steps. Even 30-60 seconds is great. The key is to start.”

While some back pain comes and goes, Dr. Agarwal recommends seeing your physician if the pain is accompanied by any of these factors:

  • Fever
  • Severe injury or trauma
  • Neurological issues like numbness, tingling or weakness
  • Loss in bowel or bladder function

Related Posts



  1. Myra Scott-Gray March 22, 2018 at 12:21 pm · Reply

    How do you do a plank?

  2. How do you plank?

  3. Ask Siri and that will take you to u-tube and you can easily find plank and planche.

  4. You have shared a great article on this topic here. It is really true that exercise is very effective to maintain overall health of a person and it can be helpful when it comes to combat with back pain as well so I hope your blog post will help those who are seeking advice to get help in their back pain problems. Thanks

Subscribe to health enews newsletter

About the Author

health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.