My wife and I bought a lamp on this Martin Luther King Day weekend. OK, three lamps and a mirror, but who’s counting. Wait, this is a health story, I swear.

So, one of the lamps we bought was too big to fit in my car. It was light enough, however, for me to carry. Since I live close to the furniture store–Blueprint in West Hollywood–I thought I’d just carry it home.

As I was carrying the oversized box, I noticed how much I was using my abdominal core to stabilize my body as I walked. It occurred to me–we really do rely on our abdominal muscles for everyday movements. You know, sometimes we know things intellectually, or perhaps even practically but forget, then we do something–like carry a box–and we are reminded of that which we know (have I confused you, yet?)

In my West Hollywood chiropractic office, I give abdominal core exercises to anyone presenting with low back pain. That’s because a functional core is essential to long-term low back pain prevention. And interestingly, the fundamental movement I teach my is called an abdominal hollow. Abdominal hollowing is the pulling inward of the core muscles and upward of the diaphragm. It’s creating a concavity of the midsection. Hollowing is a movement we do naturally when we carry things, such as I was doing while carrying the box. When people lose this ability to hollow–through deconditioning and such–they are unable to stabilize the body, specifically the low back. As a result, the force is transferred to the lumbar spine especially the disks and guess what?…POP! Herniation.

So keep your core strong: Visit a chiropractor and go to the gym, or drop down and give me twenty crunches. Better do it if you want to save your back and save on delivery charges.

BTW–here’s the lamp. What do you think?

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