4 Step Back Solution

Got an achy back?  You’re not alone.  Back pain is the number 2 reason for doctor visits, and one of the most common reasons for missed work.

What should you do if your back hurts all the time?  First, check with your doctor to find out whether your back ache is caused by daily habits, muscular weakness, or an accident.

If your doctor tells you there is structural damage to bone, ligament, tendon or muscle, he/she may prescribe medication,  and/or a treatment plan.

If your doctor discovers that the reason for your back pain is muscular weakness, or daily habits, and that participating in regular exercise will help, then you can begin doing exercise.


1) Stretch your back with Yoga poses, or Pilates exercises.

2) Strengthen your core muscles, especially the abdominal, and back muscles. Muscles work in pairs. That’s why they should be strengthened, and stretched in equal measure.

3) Avoid sleeping on your stomach.  When you sleep on your stomach, your pelvis tips forward, tightening the low back muscles.  In the morning you’ll wake up with a backache. Instead, sleep on your side, or on your back.

While you sleep on your back, place a pillow under your knees to help stretch your back muscles.  While sleeping on your side, place a pillow between your knees to ease your low back.

4) Practice the pelvic tilting exercise.  This exercise stretches your low back muscles.  Pelvic tilting can be done while standing against a wall, lying on your back, or seated on a chair, or on an exercise ball.

IRENE PORTRAIT picassa blue borderIrene Pastore is a native New Yorker, health and fitness blogger, and personal trainer. Irene owns this website, and writes all the blog posts. For her complete bio, visit the About Page.

Copyright 2016 Irene Pastore and Tour De Core.com


Get Hired: Improve Your Posture

What does your posture say about you when you walk in to a job interview?  Is your head jutting forward, and down? Are your shoulders rounded?  Is your appearance slouched?  If so, you’re not exactly portraying an air of confidence.



In today’s era of electronic devices, most working adults are in the habit of bending their neck forward, with the chin toward the chest.

As they slouch at their desk, use their cell phone, watch TV,  videos, or surfing the web, their shoulders and upper back round forward,  while the head juts forward and down.

Over time, looking down at your cell phone, removes the natural curve of your neck, puts strain on the muscles of your cervical spine, causing pinched nerves, and herniated discs.  Doctors are seeing more patients with mobile technology-induced head, neck and back pain.

Chronic downward tilting of your head, is the result of lifestyle habits that encourage what chiropractors, and orthopedic doctors refer to as, forward head posture, and thoracic kyphosis, a rounding of the upper back.

Frequent cell phone texting is an example of a lifestyle habit that may result in poor spinal health.

Forward leaning of your head tightens chest muscles, and weakens the upper back. When your upper back weakens, it develops a rounded appearance, while your chest appears caved in, and your shoulders collapse forward.

On a job interview, you’ll want to look healthy and confident. Slumping forward with your head down conveys the opposite.


Take heart, there is a solution to your problem.  It’s called corrective exercise.  Poor upper back, and neck posture can be reversed with strengthening exercises that target your upper back, stretching exercises that open the chest, and strengthening exercises for the back of your neck.

Copyright 2015 Irene Pastore, and Tour De Core Personal Training






The Rider’s Pain-Free Back

The Rider’s Pain Free Back, by James Warson, M.D. published in 2007 by Trafalgar Square Books.Product Details

Dr. Warson gives a thorough explanation of the causes, prevention, and remedies of back pain, for riders of all disciplines.

Science-based explanations are written so that everyone can understand, and appreciate the congenital and mechanical reasons for developing lumbar pain.

Dr. Warson’s book provides practical information on the diagnosis, treatment, and pain management related to back problems in riders.

If you’re a rider who has given up, or is thinking of giving up riding because of a sore, or painful back, this book is a must read.

Dr. Warson, a lifelong horseman, and neurosurgeon is the founder of the Front Range Brain and Spine Surgery Center in northern Colorado.

The Rider’s Pain-Free Back is sold on Amazon, where it rates a 5 star review from readers.

Copyright 2015 Irene Pastore and Tour De Core Personal Training