The core is not one ambiguous muscle that is located in the center of your body, and it is certainly not just the abdomen, as certain fitness misinformation would suggest. Rather, the core is a complex network of muscles that work together to influence almost every waking movement we make as humans. The muscles of the stomach and back, from the sternum down to the pubic bone, make up the core and serve the following main functions: to protect and contain internal organs, enhance mobility of the spine and trunk, stabilize the body by transferring forces across the body without causing injuring and to coordinate the pelvic-lumbar region. Core stability is important because it generally also means spinal stability: we define a stable core as one that supports the spine and keeps the body balanced.
Compromised or weakened core musculature is consistent with a lifestyle that involves too much sitting and not enough exercise and this is a health concern because a weak core leaves you vulnerable to injury from daily motions (think gardening, tying your shoe, simply bending over or lifting). Your muscles simply don't have the strength to transfer forces effectively between the upper and lower body, or from side to side, and injuries are likely in this scenario.
At Hayes Family Chiropractic, we want to help you establish your core as a stabilizer by focusing on strengthening and stretching that targets specific muscles, including the transverse abdominus and the Multifidus muscles, two muscle groups whose health often coincide with core strength. Stretches such as planks, side planks and dead lifts are excellent for strengthening core muscles to provide support for the rest of the body. If you are suffering from chronic back pain of any degree, it may be time to start looking for the underlying cause. We can help you develop a stronger, more stable core that will keep pain at bay and boost your well-being and all it takes is a phone call to schedule an appointment at our Dunedin office today!
Dr. Diane Hayes, D.C.