Core Stability = Core Stiffness

You may have heard it bantered around the media or fitness industry that ‘core stability’ or strengthening muscles around the spine is the key to having a healthy back. My view is that ‘core stability’ exercises such as the plank below

Plank Exercise is a typical ‘core stability’ exercise


stiffen the spine,  leading to more stiffness and pain. Why? The core stability exercises involve a bracing movement of the spine which in turn compresses the spine. Additionally these bracing exercises cause us to pre-tense the body before we move our backs. The research tells us that it is not a normal movement for the back and not needed for normal functioning movements, and may in fact lead to more stiffness.

How to have a healthy back – my top tips;

Many people that I see in my Osteopathic clinics with back pain is a result of stiffness due to poor posture and lack of movement. My top tips to keeping a healthy back are;

  1. Trust your back – your back is stronger than you think and sometimes we over-worry about our backs possibly because we have injured it in the past. Instead of being afraid of hurting the back try to use it in a healthy way –  bending, twisting and stretching the way we were designed.
  2. Move, move, move – too much time sitting causes us to stiffen up and develop poor posture. Sitting for hours in a hunched up position compresses the spine and causes stiffness. Get up and move around every 30 mins.
  3. Do back mobility exercises daily spinal twists and cobra exercises are my favorite back exercises.

By keeping a healthy attitude with your back and learning to ‘trust your back’ will hopefully keep your back pain away. However, if you would like some help getting out of pain or putting back on the right track please feel free to come and see us for help at the clinic.

I now operate out of 2 clinics:

Harpenden Injury Clinic:

Harpenden Sportsnspinal: