As a doctor, I understand how pain can significantly disrupt your life. It’s my goal to help you find relief wherever and whenever possible. In this blog post, I want to discuss the stability of the spine and core as an element of treatment for reducing pain. Through these concepts, we will elaborate on why it is beneficial in relieving discomfort from various areas in your body. By developing stability through intentional practice and movement, you can start seeing improvements even without turning to medication or invasive procedures– something that too many people turn to first when dealing with any sort of chronic issue time after time.
With almost three decades of practicing chiropractic care, I have gained extensive knowledge on how to stabilize your core. As a certified ergonomist, I have received specialized training in this area and have authored various publications on the topic. My expertise has been recognized through numerous achievements, including regular appearances on television, publishing a book on posture, and a prosperous Kickstarter campaign for ergonomic seat cushions. Furthermore, I operate a well-liked YouTube channel where I share valuable advice and insights.
Core Stabilization Guide
As a chiropractor, I have spent years working with patients on spine stability and its impact on overall body function and athletic performance. Spine stability is essential for preventing injuries and enhancing athletic abilities, and it plays a critical role in maintaining good health.
When the spine is unstable or buckles, it can lead to micro-movements and pain at the joint. Muscle activation and stiffness play a crucial role in creating spinal stability. The body uses stiffness to control movement, and when muscles are activated, they not only create force but also stiffness. Stiffness is asymptotic, meaning it levels off somewhere below 50% of muscle activation. When force and stiffness are low, the joint can experience unstable behavior. Similarly, at very high levels of activation and load, a force can overpower the controlling stiffness, resulting in micro-movements and insufficient stiffness.
Abdominal muscles, such as the quadratus lumborum and extensors, are essential for creating spinal stability. The discs between the vertebrae must balance mobility and flexibility with load-bearing capacity. For example, dancers may have incredible spinal mobility but lack the strength to perform a simple sit-up, while powerlifters may have very stiff spines but sacrifice mobility. Proximal stability is also essential for unleashing distal mobility. By stiffening the core, the muscles can direct 100% of their power towards limb movement, allowing for better performance in activities such as running, swinging a golf club, and kicking.
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As a chiropractor, I found that a well-designed ergonomic seat wedge can help improve posture and reduce the risk of developing posture-driven pain. By maintaining proper alignment and engaging the core muscles, individuals can reduce the strain on their back and neck, allowing them to sit for longer periods without discomfort. Additionally, an ergonomic seat wedge can help improve circulation and reduce the risk of developing conditions like sciatica or herniated discs. Overall, an ergonomic seat wedge can play an essential role in promoting a healthy sitting posture, reducing pain, and enhancing overall well-being, making it an essential tool for all-day core engagement.
Advanced Core Training
The spinal stability core is crucial for enhancing athletic performance and injury resilience. A damaged spinal joint loses its inherent stiffness and stability. The brain senses instability and shuts down the neural drive, which means that the brain won’t allow the full-strength neural drive to the muscles. This can inhibit performance and injury resilience. The facet joints of the unstable joint lack stiffness and stability, causing the entire spine to lose stability. This loss of stability can be compensated for by stiffening the hips to produce power across the spine. Over time, the unstable joint will become more stable.
Tests used to measure unstable behavior and pain, such as sequential static x-ray shots can measure the center of rotation of every joint. A healthy joint with stable behavior will have the center of rotation inside the disc, but an unstable disc will cause shearing behavior, and the center of rotation will leave the disc, leading to pain. Instrumentation is used to measure muscle activation and the three-dimensional motion of the spine. Intentionally provocative and destabilizing maneuvers are performed to create pain, and then the patient’s muscle stiffness is immediately tuned to see if the pain goes away.
Core Strengthening Exercises
Specific stabilization exercise(s) to spare the spine from excessive loads, such as planks, side planks, and bird dogs, can improve pain control and athletic performance. It is essential to tailor exercise programs to individual needs, as different people may require different types of stabilization exercises based on their sports and body types. For example, a gymnast may require more spinal mobility exercises to perform their routines, while a weightlifter may need more stiffening exercises to enhance their strength. Always remember, a strong core stabilizes your spine!
In conclusion, spine stability is crucial for preventing injuries and enhancing athletic performance. Identifying the cause of decreased stiffness and determining a tailored treatment plan can help relieve pain and improve overall function. By incorporating specific stabilization exercises, individuals can improve their power, control, and resilience, maintaining a healthy spine for the long term.
Muscles and Spine Assessment
As a chiropractor, I believe it’s essential to explain how I assess my patients’ pain points to provide the best possible treatment. During the assessment process, I conduct an interview to understand the patient’s goals and expectations. For example, they may seek treatment to relieve pain and resume their favorite activities like playing golf or weightlifting.
To determine the root cause of the pain, I ask patients specific questions about their pain points, what triggers and relieves the pain, the time of day they experience it, their job nature, and related factors. I look for patterns based on their posture, movements, and loads to understand the source of the pain.
How to Search for Answers
Let me give you a few examples of how I assess pain. First, I look for compressive injuries that cause micro-fractures in the vertebrae. I use bio-fidelic models to show how this mechanism works. I ask the patient to stand on their toes and land on their heels, one and a half times their body weight. If they experience numbness or tremors in their hamstring, it confirms that it’s a compressive injury.
Second, I identify bending mechanisms caused by repeatedly flexing the spine under compressive load, leading to collagen delamination. To test this mechanism, I ask the patient to sit on a stool, stack their spine, and pull up the seat pan. If they feel no symptoms, I ask them to slowly drop their chest to create a change in hydraulic pressure. If this increases their pain, it confirms posture-driven pain.
Lastly, neural tension can also cause pain. To diagnose this, I add some neural tension to the patient and observe how it affects the pain. If it takes the pain away, it’s likely a ‘McGill’ neural underhook mechanism. If it makes the pain worse, it shows that it’s not a neural underhook mechanism. Thorough assessments to understand the root cause of the pain and use specific techniques to help patients get out of pain and return to their desired activities.
What does it mean to stabilize your core?
Stabilizing your core means to engage and activate the muscles surrounding your spine and pelvis, including the abdominal muscles, back muscles, and diaphragm. This helps to maintain a stable and strong spine while performing different movements and activities, preventing injury and improving performance. As a chiropractor, I often instruct my patients to engage their core muscles during exercises and movements to promote stability and reduce the risk of pain or injury.
What is core stability and why is it important?
Core stability refers to the ability to maintain a stable spine and pelvis during movement. It is important because it provides a foundation for movement in the arms and legs and helps to prevent injuries. Without good core stability, there is an increased risk of injury to the back, hips, knees, and ankles. I often use exercises to improve core stability in my patients to help them prevent injuries and improve their overall movement patterns.
What are the stability muscles of the core?
Basically, any muscle attached to the hips above or below. More specifically, the muscles that make up the core include the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, internal and external obliques, erector spinae, and multifidus. The hip muscles that attach to the core include the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus, the hip flexors (psoas and iliacus), and the adductors (groin muscles). These muscles play a vital role in supporting the core and maintaining proper posture and stability.
What is the role of core muscles in spinal stability?
Core stability helps support the spine and protects your spine. The core muscles play a crucial role in spinal stability. They help support the spine by maintaining proper posture and alignment, which reduces the risk of injury and pain. Strong core muscles also help distribute weight and pressure evenly throughout the body, allowing the spine to bear weight more efficiently. This improves spinal stability, which is essential for maintaining good overall health and mobility. As a chiropractor, I often use specific techniques to assess and strengthen core muscles to help patients recover from injuries and prevent future pain.
What is the core of the spine?
The vertebrae and sacrum are components of the spinal column, and the spine’s core muscles provide stability and support to the spine, and motor control deep muscles, such as the transverse abdominis, multifidus, and pelvic floor muscles. In order to maintain spinal health and prevent injuries, it is important to maintain strong core muscles.
In conclusion, the stability of the spine can have significant consequences for our bodies both in performance and comfort. As chiropractors, we know that spinal stability is essential for normal body function as well as for preventing injuries and enhancing athletic abilities. While muscle activation and stiffness are necessary to create spinal stability, there are other ways to help improve spine stability throughout the day. One such way is with an ergonomic seat cushion. This simple device helps us maintain proper posture, which in turn helps us maintain healthy levels of core and spine stability. Ultimately, creating a strong and healthy spine is important to living a long, healthy life – whichever field or sport you choose to participate in.