Mention the words “core of the body” and most people will envisage six-pack abs. We’re not surprised. These front abdominal muscles – the rectus abdominis – sit just below the ribs. When you see where they’re situated, then they certainly appear to be at the core of the body. But the core involves so much more than just that part of the body that some people like to show off at the beach on a summer’s day!
Your core also includes:
- Muscles along the side of your body — the internal and external obliques.
- A deep muscle wrapping around the front — the transverse abdominal.
- Muscles in your back between your spine bones and run along your spine — the erector spinae and multifidi.
- Your core also includes your diaphragm, pelvic floor muscles, hip flexors, and gluteal muscles.
Your core is much more complex than most people realise, and because of this, it is incredibly important. The core generates the power you need to move efficiently. It stabilizes your body, allowing you to move in any direction as well as having proper balance. It helps to prevent falls and supports your body. In other words, it lets you do just about everything! So, the stronger your core, the better off you are in many ways and that includes minimising back pain.
At our North Shore physio clinics, we deal with back pain all the time. It’s one of our most requested physiotherapy services. Around 85% of all adults will suffer some form of back pain during their lives, and while there are many causes for this condition, we believe that a stronger core could help reduce this pain to a great degree.
If the muscles around the lower back are weak, your body has to rely more on passive structures for stability, such as ligaments — the tissue that connects bone to bone — as well as the spinal bones or discs which lie between the spinal bones. This can cause a lot of pain in the lower back region. A stronger core, where the muscles provide the stability that the spine needs while improving posture and alignment at the same time, can only be beneficial when it comes to looking after your back.
There is a range of exercises you can do to strengthen your core, and we’ll happily give you some advice on those. And, of course, we’ll also treat any back pain you might be suffering from right now. We’re just a phone call away.