If you want to avoid back pain, one of the best things you can do is maintain the strength of your core. At the Carrollton chiropractic office of Dr. Peter Lazarnick (Dr. Pete), we provide a variety of soft tissue therapies, in addition to spinal adjustments, to help patients recover from musculoskeletal problems. But in order to fully heal and prevent relapses, it is necessary for the patient to develop core muscles that will bear the body’s weight. This week, we’re going to take a closer look at what the core is and why strengthening it is key to preventing everything from inflammation to sciatica.
The core muscles are those in or near the abdomen, but there’s more to them than what we see on the surface. The outermost core muscle is called the rectus abdominis, and it’s the one that people think of when they think of “abs.” But it’s not the most important core muscle for back support. For that, we rely more on a deep muscle called the transverse abdominis that wraps horizontally around our viscera, and on the obliques that support the sides of our trunks. There are also smaller muscles running between the vertebrae that are used when flexing the back. To stabilize our lower backs, we rely on the muscles that run between the lumbar vertebrae and the thigh bones, and those that link up the lower back and pelvis.
If our core muscles are weak, tendons and ligaments have to take up their load. These tissues wear out more easily, and when they fray, they trigger the body’s inflammatory response. The resulting swelling can further compress our joints. When our hip flexors are weak, our lumbar vertebrae sway side to side, making it easier for them to become subluxated. Which core strengthening exercises are best for you will depend on your condition, and if you’ve suffered an injury, we advise you to seek our professional guidance when determining a workout routine. But there is almost certainly something safe that will help you regain core strength and flexibility, making you more comfortable and resilient to degenerative conditions and injuries.
Dr. Peter Lazarnick is located at 486 Bankhead Hwy, Carrollton, Georgia, 30117. To schedule an appointment, call 770-832-2226 or visit www.askdrpete.com.