Back Care on a Budget- Part 2

Back Care on a Budget- Part 2

6. Activate Your Core

Linda Bucklin

Core stabilization involves activating deep abdominals and other postural muscles to create support for your back. This type of back exercise program may prevent or relieve joint and muscle strain and give your spine some traction action during the day.

A basic program may include:

There are many other core strengthening exercises you can do – these are just a start.

Pilates is known for core strengthening, but it can get expensive. So try Marguerite Ogle’s ( Pilates Guide) Pilates for Back Pain series.

And here are a few yoga programs that work the core:

7. Work Those Abs!


We’ve already discussed activating deep abdominal muscles for back support. The deeper the ab (there are 6 in all) the closer it is to the spine, and the greater effect it will have on your back health. But all abs need work in order to protect you from injury (and re-injury). From Pilates to physical therapy to conventional strength training, there’s no shortage of workouts for the abs. Here are a few from other Guides:

NOTE: Crunch, kettlebell, medicine ball and any challenging exercise are for prevention. They not safe if you have a back problem.

8. Work Your Hips!

(c) Anne Asher 2007 Licensed to

Back pain is not always created at the back. It can be caused by tension and/or weakness in the muscles around the hips. The position of the hips and pelvis affects the position of the lumbar spine. If the hip joints are pulled out of alignment by strong flexor muscles, the pelvis responds by tilting forward (from the top). This puts extra arch in your low back and tightens the muscles there.

Tight hamstring muscles may lead to a condition known as flat low back posture.

You may be well served to condition your hip muscles (hamstrings, quadriceps, psoas, adductors and gluteus medius). Yoga and Tai Chi are great for this. The standing poses and moves work hip muscles in balance, and may help you develop a more supple and pain free spine.

9. Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor

Mark Strozier

The pelvic floor contains those little talked about muscles located on the bottom of your seat. While they generally are not a topic of conversation, they do play an important role in core stabilization. Women tend to be weak in their pelvic floor muscles, and men tend to be tight. Either way, if you can condition this area, you may contribute greatly to your back health.

Kegel exercises are the best known way to work pelvic floor muscles. Kegels involve squeezing, much as if you were stopping your flow of urine and/or preventing your bowel from emptying. Kegels can be done by men and women alike.

10. Sit with Good Posture

(c) Anne Asher 2010 Licensed to

Regardless of what your mother may have said, sitting up straight requires a stable, balanced position of the pelvis. Along with this, you need to develop awareness of ideal body alignment and to strengthen core muscles. (Core muscles hold you upright.)

Your mother may also have told you that good things are worth working for. With this point, she’s on solid ground. Good posture is a habit, and it requires consistent practice.

Here are my favorite detailed instructions for sitting with good posture.

Be well.

Daily Wisdom

"A strong and healthy body has the ability to fully recover and heal."

~ Anonymous

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