It is a term used to describe the control required to maintain functional stability around the lumbar spine and pelvis while we do an activity or move our limbs. Core strength is thought to prevent pain and dysfunction through our lower back, upper back, neck and shoulders and act as a foundation for allowing us to function optimally. An example of optimal function is when we reach out with an arm or we take a step to walk, our nervous system switches on our muscles to stabilize our trunk.
The stability of the spine involves passive system (ligaments, discs, capsules, facet joints), active system (muscles) and motor control system (the brain and nerves which switch on the correct muscles at the proper time).
Transversus abdominis is the deepest muscle of the abdomen and wraps around the abdomen between the lower ribs and top of the pelvis, functioning like a corset. This is the first muscle which contracts in our body before any leg or arm movements to stabilise our trunk.
Multifidus is a deep muscle located along the back of the spine very close to the midline. The deep fibres are short and span single vertebral segments to adapt to our posture. It contracts with the rest of the core muscles in response to any arm or leg movements and also it extends our back when both sides work together.
Diaphragm is a respiratory muscle that sits at the base of the chest (under the lungs) and separates the abdomen from the chest. It contracts and flattens when we inhale which creates a vacuum effect that pulls air into the lungs, and when we exhale, the diaphragm relaxes and the air is pushed out of lungs. But also it is an important trunk stabiliser muscle
The Pelvic floor is a group of muscles that connect the pubis bone at the front to the tailbone (coccyx) and “sitting” bones (ischial tuberosities) at the back. The pelvic floor supports the bladder as well as the reproductive organs and also participate in the trunk stability.
When the core muscles function normally, they can maintain segmental stability, protect the spine, and reduce stress impacting the lumbar vertebrae and intervertebral discs.
Are your core muscles working correctly? If in doubt come and join our Core Conditioning class on Wednesday 12:30pm or Friday 3:30pm. Our classes are lead by our woman’s health Physiotherapist Noelie Mendoza and are sure to get your core muscles working!
Call us on 01189462299 to book your session.