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You have heard the term “core stability”

by Jane McClurg 3rd January 2017

As many of you have suffered from or still do suffer from lower back pain, this “core stability” is a way of helping to protect your lower back and prevent on-going lower back pain.

Poor muscle control is one of several factors contributing to lower back pain, and so focusing on regaining this muscle control in the core is the very start to a successful rehabilitation program.

The two muscle groups involved are Multifidus (which aids in extension and lateral flexion of the vertebral column) and Transversus Abdominis (TVA) (which constricts the abdomen and supports the abdominal viscera).

The most significant motor skill that is  linked to the stability of these two muscles is the action of abdominal “drawing in”. People with lower back pain cannot perform this action.

Rehab of these muscles takes place in 3 distinct stages:

  • Formal motor skill training
  • Gradual incorporation of skill into light functional tasks
  • Progression to heavy load functional tasks.

Today we will look at Stage 1: Formal motor skill training.

The patient must develop a perception of the skill and then improve the precision. This is followed by the precise repetition of that skill so that it becomes automatically incorporated into normal function.

The Exercise

The aim is to use the correct muscles in response to the command “draw in your abdominal wall without moving your spine or pelvis and hold for ten seconds while breathing normally”.

To do this exercise you should start by lying on your front (prone). Practice breathing in then out then on the next in breath draw your abdomen in towards your spine without moving your pelvis or spine. Once contraction has been achieved resume normal relaxed breathing.
The contraction should be held for 10 seconds and the procedure repeated up to 10 times. So give it a go  to see what works for you then get your technique checked to ensure you are not recruiting other muscles.

When this technique is successfully learned we encourage you to continue the exercise in sitting and standing positions.
Only then we can progress on to Stage 2 of Light Functional Activities.

Stage 1 is a basic exercise to regain your muscle control and start the rehabilitation process to reducing your lower back pain.
Done daily you can advance to Stage 2 quite quickly.

Be proactive with your health had help yourself to a healthier back!

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