Excel PT: The Core Of The Problem

THE NEWSLETTER ABOUT YOUR HEALTH AND CARING FOR YOUR BODY Health Tips Newsletter

GETTING TO THE CORE OF THE PROBLEM

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INSIDE : • 4 Core Activation Tips • Featured PT

• Exercise Of The Month • Patient Success Spotlight

There is a frequent misunderstanding of what comprises the “core”, as a common thought is that having “six-pack abs” is equivalent to a strong and efficient core. In actuality, the rectus abdominis muscles are primarily responsible for the 6-pack look, but this is just one muscle group. Strength and overdominance of this one muscle group can lead to issues and deficiencies elsewhere. The rectus abdominis needs to work in coordination with other muscles in a process

At Excel Physical Therapy, our therapists work one on one with patients to reduce these compensatory issues and teach individuals how to “activate” and use the proper muscles. The instruction to “tighten your core” may be confusing for many, especially if they have deficits in this area. This is where a skilled physical therapist can provide assistance. Compensations may present differently per individual, which is why doing generic exercises will not always fix a problem. Every individual should be properly evaluated first to find where their deficits reside, so they can have an appropriately targeted treatment plan implemented into their plan of care. Our therapists use hands-on techniques and corrective exercises to ensure that our patients are completing the proper task with the right muscles and that they are not just going through the motions. We ensure that each individual understands how they are moving, so they have the ability to maintain good movement on their own once the course of physical therapy treatment is completed. Having a stable core is essential for everyday function and overall health, but it is commonly overlooked as the cause for many issues. Sources: Dienn,J.,Reeves,N.,Kawchuk,G. (2019)MotorControlChanges inLow-BackPain:Divergence inPresentationsandMechanisms. Journal inOrthopaedicandSportsPhysicalTherapy.1-24

By Mike St. George, PT, DPT

physical therapists describe as “motor control”. This is basically the way our central nervous system acts to coordinate posture or a specific movement task. Having pure strength in a muscle group, such as being able to complete sit-ups with a heavy weight on your chest, is an achievement, however, it is more important to ensure that the body can use all of the core muscles together to ensure that the spine and pelvis are moving appropriately during any given task. When there is a deficiency in the function of the core, compensation occurs. This may be present in the form of low back pain, hip pain, pelvic issues, and leg pain due to these areas taking on more stress and loads.

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www.excelphysicaltherapy.com

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