According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, at some stage in their life, people living in Western societies have an 80% chance of experiencing back pain. My experience tells me this is a fair assessment.

Whilst the traditional treatment for lower back pain is taking a pill to mask the pain and getting someone to rub, crunch, heat or vibrate the spot where it hurts, it just so happens that neither the laying on of hands nor surgery is going to fix the underlying cause of the problem.

The principal cause of lower back pain is a lack of core strength and flexibility in the muscles attached to the pelvis and the spinal column. This lack of strength and flexibility causes bones to move out of alignment. When that happens, ligaments, tendons and muscles in the lower back are stretched beyond their pain threshold. Disc are herniated.

Because you experience the pain in your lower back you think that the cause of the pain must be in that area. Wrong; the cause of the pain in your lower back originates in core muscles throughout your body.

It is the core muscles that provide the body with stability and support. Take away the stability and support and you collapse in a screaming heap with back pain.

Just about every muscle between the knees and shoulders needs to be included in the definition of what core muscles are - which broadens the definition of ‘core muscles’ considerably.

Talking about core strength without talking about core flexibility misses the point. The core muscles have to be strong and flexible if the body is to maintain itself in good alignment.

It also means that if you’re going to strengthen and loosen core muscles, there’s more involved than just lying on the floor, face up, sucking your stomach in and pushing your lower back into the floor.

It’s an imbalance between the core muscles attached to your pelvis and spinal column that pulls bones out of alignment.

If you want to either prevent or relieve joint and muscle pain, just focusing on building the strength of core muscles is not sufficient. You’ve also got to loosen off tight core muscles. Doing one without the other doesn’t provide the total fix for joint and muscle pain.

For instance, if the back of your thighs are weaker than the front of your thighs, there will be an uneven pull on the front of your spinal column.

Tight hamstring and buttock muscles will tilt your pelvis back, the result being the development of a ‘C’ shaped curve in your spine, rather then the normal ‘S’s curve. This is one of the principal causes of lower back pain and it comes with territory of the sit-down society.

Few people realize that one of the key tasks that muscles perform is keeping their bones in correct alignment. Muscles aren’t just there for locomotion and propulsion.

If the core muscles are weak and tight, the pelvis and vertebrae move out of alignment. That, of course is the bad news. The good news about this principle is that if you embark on a regular and systematic training program to improve the strength and flexibility for muscles right throughout your body, there’s a good chance you can join the 20% of people who are unlikely to succumb to joint and muscles pain.

If that sounds simple, it is.

All it takes is a couple of hours a week doing the exercises designed to keep your muscles strong and flexible. Look after the strength and flexibility of your muscles and the bones, ligaments, tendons and discs will look after themselves.

There are any number of exercises you can do as part of a core strength training program at home.

There are four great strength exercises you can do at home. I recommend you do them at least three times a week.

I also recommend you join a gym and spend forty minutes, three times a week doing exercises to improve the strength of muscles that

  • push out and pull back
  • push up and pull down
  • leg extension and leg curl

coupled with exercises to strengthen your abdominal, hip flexor and back muscles.

As well as the strength exercises I recommend you start doing the twelve great flexibility exercises to keep your bones on better alignment. Here are four of them.

In the meantime stay tuned highly tuned and remember, core muscles need to be strengthened and loosened if you are to avoid or recover from back pain.

Regards and best wishes for a pain free life.


John Miller

PS: If you’d like to know more about the strength and flexibility exercises you need to do to get your back into better alignment and pain free, consider buying our back pain ebook at