David Richardson Advance Rehab
Eighty percent of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Supporting evidence continues to mount in respect to treating and preventing back pain with core stabilization, not to mention the benefits of increased athletic performance. It’s important to understand the truths while dispelling the myths.
It’s More Than 6-pack Abs
The core is comprised of more than just the abdominal muscles…a lot more. The “so-called core” is defined by all four layers of the abdominal muscles, groups of muscles in the back known as the paraspinals, multifidi and quadratus lumborum in addition to the gluteal and hip girdle muscles. These muscles work together to act as your body’s natural corset in an effort to stabilize and protect your spine during functional movement. Because the core is comprised of more than just the abdominal muscles, some of the most popular exercises may not be the best nor the safest way to improve its function.
Sit ups and Crunches Do Not Increase Core Stability
The repetitive nature of spinal flexion involved with exercises such as sit ups and crunches may actually put you at greater risk of low back and neck pain as they mimic the most common mechanism of injury. Strengthening only one aspect of the core while ignoring the others is a recipe for disaster. Additionally, with the amount of time that most people spend in the seated position on a daily basis, it is even more important that the muscles along the posterior chain, the backside of the body, are strengthened to increase postural symmetry.
Appropriate exercises that target the functional core are known as spine sparing exercises, ones that keep the spine in a neutral position and are designed to make your core resist forces to move it. The goal of these exercises is to activate the muscles in an effort to keep the spine in a safe and stable position, requiring your core to function in a protective manner. These exercises can help reverse the postural damage that results from sitting all day.
How Physical Therapy Can Help
Physical therapists are experts in human movement and corrective exercise. We can identify areas of dysfunction, train you in proper body mechanics and develop a treatment program that will increase core stability - positively affecting your pain, posture, balance and movement efficiency. A strong and stable core makes life easier, not to mention more distance with that driver or velocity on that serve!
At Advance Rehabilitation, we believe proper patient education is crucial to the success of a treatment program. We thrive to provide you with the knowledge that physical therapy can help. The benefits are vast and include relief from headaches, neck, back, shoulder, hip, knee and foot pain along with improvement of balance issues.
David Richardson, PT, DPT is the Clinic Director for Advance Rehabilitation on St. Simons Island. He graduated from Armstrong Atlantic and State University in 2012 with his Doctorate of Physical Therapy. He has a collegiate athletic background with experience in sports medicine and orthopedics. He can be reached by email at email@example.com