Section: The Back
Low Back Pain--It isn’t about Core Strength
The statistics are daunting, if not downright depressing: 80% of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lives. The most common treatments include prescription medicines, chiropractic treatments, or physical therapy rehabilitation, typically with a focus on core stabilization. The theory behind core stabilization is that if you focus on strengthening your deep trunk muscles, you will be able to utilize your "core" more and put less strain on your back.

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The Myth of the Core
We are bombarded with messages that we need to protect our backs and strengthen our ‘cores’. There are so many misconceptions and assumptions made about ‘core stability’ which have seeped into our culture. However, more and more people are waking up to the limitations of the approach and realizing that the premise needs to be deeply questioned. Even the notion of what the ‘core’ is and if it actually exists is disputable.

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Core Strength is Not your Master
Prevailing cultural ideas refer to the abdomen as the core, and we talk about "core strength" as being beneficial. Consider a few Feldenkrais®-based ideas about strengthening the abdomen:

Muscles must work in tandem
Let's talk about appropriate distribution of effort. If you can contract the abdominal muscles strongly, it doesn't mean you can use them efficiently.

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Skeletal Awareness Can Help You Be More Comfortable Throughout the Day
The following experiment will help you experience how the position of your feet can affect the comfort of your back, even while sitting.

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The Difference that Makes a Difference
Sixty-nine year old Lisa Crandall had back problems for years. Since the late 60's she did yoga off and on. "When I hurt I did it -- busy or not -- and if I felt good, I didn't. When I really got into trouble it was a trip to the chiropractor."

After nothing seemed to work, her doctor sent her to an orthopedic neurosurgeon.

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