The spine is a complex structure that balances the need for stability versus mobility. In general, the range of motion available in your low back is greater than your mid back. It is ideal to be in the middle range of the mobility spectrum, not too tight, and yet not too loose. Our primary stability comes from the core muscles, bracing around the spine. Unfortunately, when one sustains a back injury, the supportive back muscles can become inhibited and less able to contract. Studies have even shown the multifidus, a stabilizing muscle in the back, completely decreases in size and that space becomes filled with fat tissue. When a client comes in experiencing back pain I assess whether the core musculature has sufficient tone to provide stability for the spine. Stimulating the core muscles and maintaining mobility is part of the massage therapy session, and my home care recommendations. There are plenty of exercises that help to engage the core, stand up paddle boarding is a fun outdoor option!