Trunk Stability and Low Back Pain
Did you know many instances of low back pain are exacerbated by weakness around the spine?
We see this all the time in practice. When we have a lot of range of motion, and little muscular support (weakness), it causes strain on the affected joints.
Think of a loose hinge on a door - the looser the hinge, the more strain gets placed on the joint itself. Over time, this wears down the mechanical structures. It's no different in the body.
What's the best way to target weakness around the spine? Functional trunk strength, or core stability!
...What does that mean?
We can do all of the crunches in the world and not strengthen the muscles surrounding the spine. This is because crunches, and much of the 'ab' work we traditionally think of target a muscle called the Rectus Abdominus. The muscular support system is at its foundation, the Transverse Abdominus (Google for pictures).
How do we engage the TA? Neutral spine, body weight or resistive exercises.
Front squats. Back squats. Deadlifts. Planks - with appropriate core control.
All to be performed with appropriate breathing and force production.
Take care of your muscular support system, and it can help prevent instances of low back pain!
Yours in Health,
-Dr. Caitlin, PT, DPT, CSCS, CF-L1