Never mind that low back pain is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. according to the CDC. While it’s an ‘impressive’ statistic, you can only really appreciate the agony of lower back pain if you have experienced it firsthand.

And whether your low back pain is acute (flared up) or chronic (long-standing), it should be enough motivation to take the steps to get it under control and also to prevent future problems.

Most experts agree that one of the keys to improving the health of your back is to stretch the muscles in and around the low back and to also strengthen and stabilize your ‘core.’ And by core I am referring to the muscles in the back and front of your lower spine that work in concerted effort to keep your upright while also enabling you to move freely so you can do things like run, jump and stand up.