Low back pain and core strength

At ProMet PT we pay attention to the details and want to make sure that from day 1 you are making good use of your time. Your time is valuable and your body… Pretty important as well.

When we think of low back pain we have to be detectives in finding the “root cause” of the pain.  We also want to know that a strong core doesn’t mean sit ups, crunches and leg lifts.

Instead the core consists of 30+ muscle groups that help to do 2 things

  • Transfer force from the ground up
  • Stabilize the lumbar spine

The low back or lumbar spine wasn’t designed to move as much as we think. Because of this design we need to understand that in order to have a healthy back we should be getting our movement from the hips and thoracic spine (mid back) WHILE the core remains stiff.

The number one thing you could be doing right now to help…

  • Exhale

Now in order to activate the core we must EXHALE. By Exhale I mean it should be audible, I should be able to hear you exhale and it should be done on each and every repetition.

Whether you’re doing squats, planks, arm curls it doesn’t matter, ALL of it is directly working the core in some way. Remember the core helps us move the extremities by transferring force from the ground to the arms.

What else? Women’s health and Men’s health. The pelvic floor which contributes to urinary incontinence in men and women and especially in postpartum women is vital to our core as well.  The pelvic floor contracts in a way that helps to further create a natural belt around our mid-section by EXHALING. This is because we have a respiratory diaphragm and a pelvic diaphragm both made up of muscles that copy each other. SO if the diaphragm does one thing the pelvic floor mimics. When one contracts the other contracts but this is only going to be done by you guessed it…Exhale baby!

We run into trouble when we think we are moving the extremities but in reality all the movement is coming from an unstable low back. If you lift your hands up to the ceiling and have a friend or family member watch your low back as you do so you might see that your low back curves more as you reach up. Do this over a lifetime and sooner than later your low back will remind you of all the years you neglected the essence of core stability.

So let’s frame what core workouts really are and instead of doing core for 5 minutes at the end of your workout, do it throughout your workout with every repetition by simply having an intentional exhale with every repetition!.

Confused? Eager to learn more? Have chronic back pain? Have urinary incontinence? Postpartum, even if it’s been years? Give us a call today at (718) 554-6610 or stop into one of our offices in Glendale, Kew Gardens (soon to be Briarwood) or Manhasset to schedule an appointment today.

Antonio Colletti, DPT, CSCS

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