What is Core Stability?
Core stability is the training of the abdominal and back muscles which act to support the spine. Core stability is the corner stone on which the Pilates concept of exercise is based and is fundamental to the physiotherapy treatment of neck & back pain, and pelvic disorders.
Recent research has identified the specific roles of the abdominal muscles which can be divided into 2 groups – superficial and deep. The top layer of muscle under the skin (rectus abdominus and external/internal obliques) is responsible for moving the spine (bending forwards and twisting), these muscles provide power, speed and strength to the body during functional and sporting activities. The deepest layer (transversus abdominus) has been shown to be an important stability and support muscle of the spine. When working normally, this muscle wraps around the trunk like a muscular corset controlling movement and protecting the spine. Studies have identified that this muscle is susceptible to weakness and deactivation as a result of pain and injury. This can compromise the stability of the spine and predispose to further injury.
The signs of instability are:
Sudden sharp jolts of pain with small movements or for no apparent reason.
Difficultly rising back up to an upright position after forward bending.
Having to walk your hands up the thighs/ fronts of your legs or use support to straighten up after bending.
An unexpected catch of pain having almost returned to the vertical position from bent over.
Feeling wary about your spine, not trusting it.
A sudden dart of pain when turning over in bed, often sharp enough to wake you up.
What are the benefits of good Core Stability?
Significantly reduce the likelihood of recurring low back and pelvic pain.
Enhance your postural control
Increase your freedom to move normally.