Core Stability: Why Is It Important and How to Strengthen it?
Following on the last post on improving spinal flexibility, the next step, in improving spinal health and particularly lower back health for back pain sufferers is too wake up those sleeping abdominal muscles. The ‘Core’ group of muscles refers to the group of muscles that surround the abdomen and lower back. ‘Stability’ refers to using the activation of these muscles to provide active support and control for spinal movement.
What Are The Core Muscles?
The core muscles encompasses a group of deep and superficial abdominal muscles. These muscle form a canister of support for the spine, particularly the lower back and pelvis. These muscles include the diaphragm, transversus abdominus, multifidus, and the pelvic floor.
Why is ‘Core Stability’ Important for Low Back Pain?
For sufferers of low back pain, the strength of the core is not the issue. Awakening the core muscles will provide the support to spinal tissues and help reduce back pain. Often in episodes of low back injury the rest involved with the injury will causes our ‘core stability’ muscles to have a holiday. Having an active core musculature has shown to assist support and control of the lower spinal vertebrae and the associated soft tissues. We don’t need to hit the gym to wake these muscles up but some simple gentle exercises can ‘wake’ up the core muscle. A couple of minutes of exercise can be enough to manage the pain.
Two Safe and Easy Core Stability Exercises
1- PLANK ON KNEES
The plank is the ‘old faithful’ of core stability exercises. It easy to perform, and very effective for awakening the core muscles.
Here is how it is done.
- Place the Elbows on ground directly under shoulders.
- Place Knees on ground
- Keep hips, pelvis, trunk off the ground, in the plank position. Avoid letting the abdomen and spine sag towards the floor
- Keep hips, spine and trunk and neck in alignment
- Hold for 15 seconds, repeat 3 time.
- With practice you can increase the time of the hold
- If experiencing any back pain stop.
3: Bird Dog:
The bird dog is another simple core exercise that combines, muscle activation, endurance and balance
- Start in the ‘Table Top’ position with hands under shoulders and knees under your hips.
- Move your right leg back, by dragging your knee back until the knee is straight, keeping the leg inline with the torso and the pelvis level.
- Try not to let the pelvis twist, keeping it level, do not let spine and abdomen sag towards the floor.
- At the same time move the opposite arm forward, again keeping in line with your body, until arm in fully extended and level with the shoulder.
- Hold the extended arm and leg in this position for 1 sec
- Slowly bring the arm and leg to the start position, and repeat 3 times.
- Repeat with opposite arm and leg.
- Stop if experiencing any pain
Do All Chiropractors Use the same treatment Techniques?
No, no and no. There are literally thousands of chiropractic techniques out there that chiropractors can learn to aid in the diagnose and treatment of neuromusculo-skeletal conditions.
A common thread between all chiropractors in Australia, is the 5 years university training, necessary to become a registered chiropractor and a primary health care professional. Once graduated however Chiropractors can choose out of thousands of different techniques to aid there existing skill set.
The techniques used by chiropractors depend largely on their treatment philosophy. At Fluid Chiropractic, we use a variety techniques that aim to increase joint movement and range of motion. To do this a combination of joint mobilisation, manipulation, muscle stretching and dry needling can be used. This combination of techniques is referred to as diversified practitioner within the profession. Examples of other common chiropractic technique systems include Gonstead, Sacral-Occipital Techique and Applied Kinesiology
Joint mobilisation, is the use of gentle stretching movements and resistance, applied specifically to stiff joints, that can increase joint movement and decrease muscle stiffness. Osteopaths refer to joint mobilisations as muscle energy techniques, however they essentially the same method and have the same result and joint movement and muscle tone. More information on other chiropractic techniques can be found on this link https://fluidchiropractic.com.au/services/chiropractic/.
Common to all chiropractor is the knowledge to accurately diagnose and manage musculo-skeletal conditions, including both spinal and sports injuries.
Causes of Headaches
Headaches are often multi-factorial in cause. Neck stiffness, stress, hormones, dehydration, foods can all be triggers that can lead to headaches. The most common type of headache seen in Fluid Chiropractic is cervico-genic or tension headache.
Cervico-genic and tension headaches are caused by stiffness and dysfunction in the joints and muscles of the neck. See the nerves from the upper neck communicate with the nerves of the face and skull. Muscle Tightness and poor joint movement from the neck and jaw can refer pain to the head and skull and can be felt as a headache.
Signs that your neck is causing your headaches are:
– Neck movement aggravates your headache
– Headache is eased by pressure at the base of the skull
– On the days away from your desk, the headaches are lighter.
How Can Fluid Chiropractic Help?
The first step is to accurately diagnose your headaches. If the cause is not joint or muscle related we will send you off to your GP for further examination. Otherwise we will provide a treatment plan, that uses a variety of techniques, including:
– Mobilisation of stiff joints
– Headache relief exercises
– Dry needling to improve muscle flexibility
– Postural and ergonomic advice
Vaughn Bolack- Chiropractor
Welcome to The Fluid Chiropractic Kiama Website
Hi , welcome to our website, if your here your probably have some sort of pain or injury and looking for some relief. Secondly your probably wondering what is Fluid Chiropractic Kiama. Fluid Chiropractic is a Kiama based chiropractic business run by Chiropractor Vaughn Bolack.
With a focus on spinal pain and sports injuries, we utilise a number of safe and gentle techniques ranging from joint manipulation and mobilisation to dry needling and exercise rehabilitation to get you moving again . Our approach to treatment draws on techniques used by Chiropractors, Osteopaths, Physiotherapists and massage therapists
Don’t be fooled by the name, Fluid Chiropractic Kiama is not a new chiropractic technique involving liquid. Rather the name refers to fluid movement. Fluid movement is what we aim to restore (after reducing pain!), and maintain with all our patients.
We work at 2 locations; On Monday, Tuesdays and Thursdays you will find us at the home based clinic in Kiama Downs. On Wednesdays we work from ‘Central Health Kiama’. The contact details are the same for both clinics.
We hope to see you there.
Vaughn Bolack- Chiropractor