What is core stability or core strength?
The “core” as it is commonly referred to is a group of muscles that provide support, stability and control movement of your spine and pelvis. A common misconception is that your core is simply strong abdominal muscles, but there are many more muscles that are important in giving you a stable spine and helping to reduce back pain and stiffness. There is so much more to core strength than a six pack!
Think of your trunk like a coke can. The can is made up of a stable bottom, top and the cylinder. If you squeeze the unopened can from any direction the coke will not go anywhere. Once you open the top of the can, if you squeeze the cylinder the coke will spill out of the top. If the can had a hole in the bottom, then the coke would gradually escape.
The forgotten core muscles – diaphragm and pelvic floor
Now put this analogy into your spine complex. The bottom of the can is your pelvis and pelvic floor muscles, the cylinder is your spine and deep abdominal muscles, the top of the can is your diaphragm which attaches around the base of your ribs and to the spine at the back. Now if you are to squeeze your abdominal muscles and get them stronger and stronger, but the pelvic floor or the diaphragm (or both) are not working well, then the system fails. Even if they are strong but timing of contraction is poor, the system still fails.
Inner West Physiotherapist Suzie Williams says, “Core stability or core strength is a combination of deep abdominal control, in conjunction with an efficient pelvic floor and diaphragm, whereby all the muscles work together in perfect harmony! To improve this body system is very achievable, if you are doing the right exercises for you. It can be hard to know if you are doing exercises correctly, which is where real time ultrasound can give you the guidance and specificity you need. The muscles we are referring to are deep inside you, and difficult to feel from the outside”.
Real time ultrasound gives you the feedback you need to get the exercises right and ensure you are using your core effectively.
For more information or to book a session using real time ultrasound with Inner West Physiotherapist Suzie Williams at Better Health today.