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The Importance Of A Strong Core

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By: Rachel Herrmann, DPT, PT

When most people think of the core, they think of the abdominals and doing sit-ups and generally know that one needs to have good core strength. Beyond that, most people don’t know much else about the core.

So what are the core muscles and what do they really do? The core muscles consist of the muscles surrounding and providing stability and postural control to the torso, abdomen and pelvis. These muscles help provide for a stable foundation on which the arms and legs can move and transfer forces.

  • 4 sets of abdominal muscles (rectus abdominals, internal obliques, external obliques and transverse abdominals)
  • multiple sets of muscles that run along the back of the spine
  • the quadratus lumborum
  • the pelvic floor muscles
  • the gluteal muscles
  • the iliopsoas
  • latissimus dorsi.

What happens if these muscles are weak?

Having weak core muscles means that your arms and legs have to try to work harder to move on the unsteady base that is created by the weak core.  This increased work load can lead to excess joint movements throughout the body, it can increase pressure and strain on the discs and ligaments of the spine. Poor posture from core weakness will also contribute to neck, back, shoulder or hip pain which can then contribute to issues and pain further down the upper or lower extremities. Essentially, a weak core can contribute to any number of issues from head to toe but low back pain being the most common issue.

How can physical therapy?

Physical therapists can help assess the strength, endurance and stability of your core muscles. Then they can teach you ways to strengthen those muscles as well as teach you how to use those core muscles in combination with arm, leg or whole body movements that can help you get back to your daily, work, and sporting activities safely and without pain. So if you are having back pain or any other pain, let us physical therapists help you get to the core of your issues.

Don’t wait until you have pain in order to actually do something about it. Because when you have pain, then it’s already past the point of preventing injury. That’s a sign that their may be something more serious going on. So it’s always good to get a general idea about your core strength. Call LSTC TODAY at 703-450-4300! 

For more information on the importance of core strength in day to day living, CLICK HERE

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