When I went to the hospital for my most recent back injury, the fact sheet they gave me said that one in four Americans will experience disabling back pain in their lifetime. It´s like a modern plague. Being active sometimes helps and sometimes hurts. It´s easy to re-injure yourself by being too active. Typically, without treatment there will be a series of progressively worse injuries over time.
Happily, I found a great physical therapist, and he gave me a list of ways to know you´re pushing it too hard. If your pain is behaving in these ways, take a day off, then gently get back to core strengthening exercises the day after.
1) Pain that spreads from your back to your buttocks, hips, or legs, or if the symptoms are are already having in these areas become more intense or move further down the leg.
2) Pain that steadily increases to an unacceptable level.
3) Increased pain for more than 1-2 hours following an activity that limits what you are able to do.
4) Delayed pain later that day or the next morning that limits what you are able to do.
5) Pain that increases a little bit every time you do something.