Core Stabilization to reduce back pain- white rock
At Advanced Physiotherapy in White Rock, our programs focus on educating our clients so that they gain knowledge and understanding as to why they are experiencing problems with spinal discomfort. For clients with low back pain, the focus, depending on assessment findings, is then on the retraining of the deep muscles of the abdominal, pelvis and low back region to help restore or optimize spine stability. Our physiotherapists create a plan to help clients improve their core stability.
Core stability relates to the bodily region bounded by the abdominal wall, the pelvis, the lower back and the diaphragm and its ability to stabilize the body during movement. The core can be thought of as a cylinder of muscles around the inner surface of the abdomen.
There are 4 main muscle groups considered:
- Transversus Abdominus (TA)
- The deepest of all the abdominal muscles lying under the oblique abdominals and rectus abdominus (the 6-pack muscle!).
- It is this muscle that is considered to be the corset of muscle providing stability.
- It connects to the individual vertebrae of the lower (lumbar) spine and wraps right around each side to meet in the midline of the front of the abdomen.
- When contracted it functions to both increase the pressure inside the abdomen and pull tightly on the vertebrae themselves to provide exceptional stability to the spine.
- These deep back muscles lies on either side of the spine and connect to each individual lumbar vertebrae.
- The multifidus muscle functions in extending (bending back) the spine as well as being an essential postural muscle keeping the spine upright.
- The primary muscle for breathing, the domed diaphragm provides the top of the cylinder core.
- When the Transversus Abdominus contracts, the diaphragm tightens to maintain pressure in the abdomen and so provides stability to the spine.
- Pelvic Floor
- Famous among pregnant women, the pelvic floor muscles provide a sling running from back to front, from the bottom tip of the spine (the tail bone) to the front of the pelvis.
- It contracts simultaneously with the Transversus Abdominus to form the bottom of the cylinder of muscles. The pelvic floor muscles are an important group of muscles for low back and pelvis joint health
When all these muscles contract together they keep the spine in its most stable position (the neutral zone), and aid in preventing injury. They are known to contract prior to any limb (arm or leg) movement and so they function in keeping the centre, or core of the body rigid during all movement. Evidence has found that in people with low back pain these muscles fail to contract before limb movement and so the spine is vulnerable to injury. It is also believed that insufficient core stability can result in lower back pain, poor posture and lethargy.