What is Core Stabilisation? Part 2 of 2

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Core Stability is the training of the core muscles to support your spine, neck and shoulder blades. It is a fundamental principle to current physiotherapy treatments of back and neck pain.

Core stabilisation training is effective as a long-term solution to recurring back and neck pain used by our physiotherapists. Compared to other treatments such as manual therapy, it has been shown to have longer sustained improvements.

Core muscles lie deep within the torso and are generally attached to the spine, pelvis and shoulder blades. The contraction of these core muscles stabilises the spine, pelvis and shoulders to form a solid base for movements of the arms and legs.

The main concept of core strengthening programs involves using many muscles in a coordinated movement. Rather than isolating a specific joint as in most weight lifting workouts, core stability exercises focus on working the deep muscles of the entire torso at once.

For example at your lower trunk area, your abdominal muscle group is made up of your sit-up muscle (rectus abdominus) and 3 other muscles that wrap around your sides, your internal and external obliques (see figures) and your transversus abdominus or corset muscle.

The last of these muscles, your corset muscle, is found at the deepest layer. Research suggests that your corset muscle is one of the most important providers of support to your lower back. In fact, it has been suggested that in almost 90% of all your body movements, your core muscles are active supporting your entire trunk region.

The dynamic relationship between the control of the lower back area by your transversus abdominus and multifidus (intersegmental muscles between the vertebrae) working synchronously together with other your muscles that move the limbs is a fundamental part of the Core Stability concept.