Core Confusion?

Now…if you’d ever suffered from back pain at any point in your life (I wish you never have back pain ever)…or still do, you may have been told that

  • you need to exercise your core
  • you need to exercise and be active

What’s a “core”?

Our core muscles are our

  • obliques (the side diagonal muscles of our body)
  • rectus abdominus and
  • deep abdominal muscles

Is core stability important?

Of course.

Our deep core muscles are directly connected to our spine, and their function is to stabilize and support the spine with posture and movement. The obliques help with side-to-side movement; the abdominus helps your body bend forward (like sitting up)

If you have back pain that comes back again and again, you will likely improve with active spine physiotherapy, manual therapy, some pain relief ultrasound therapy and electrical stimulation; and maybe even decompression traction therapy.

As the pain decreases and your back improves, we can progress towards

  • core strengthening exercises
  • core stabilizing exercises

to improve core muscle control, strength and endurance.

Weak core muscles = Back pain

Back pain is gosh-darn-it painful!

Medical research are showing how patients with back pain tends to have 2 core muscle-related issues:

  1. core muscles that are both weak and poor endurance
  2. core muscles that are difficult to activate

These cause inadequate support of the back and body muscles for stability and movement…which is why it contributes and aggravates back pain!

How to strengthen your core

Following the two core issues above that many back pain patients have, they shouldn’t go straight to fitness or pilates instructors for core training.

The reason for this is:

  • they tend to train / teach generally, and general core classes do not cater specificly to individuals (ie YOU) — they do not isolate or train the deep core muscles
  • general core stability or training classes can be too intense for you, which may lead to secondary re-injury and more back pain
  • you may pickup compensatory movements which may aggravate the problem in the long run

A safer way

For us, if there’s any injury or pain, the best way is to find see a physiotherapist to

  • assess
  • customize a treatment plan to you
  • treat you specifically

only thereafter can we work on core issues be it strength or stamina or activation issues.

Some physiotherapists are trained under clinical pilates, which as a safer way to train your core.

Where To Next?

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