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Intrinsic Core Strengthening

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What Is Intrinsic Core Strengthening?

Have you ever started a treatment program that works for a bit, but as time goes on the problem comes back? That’s why we created intrinsic core strengthening.

When you’re in pain, your big muscles tense up to protect your injured area. Most people wait and don’t get the treatment they need when this happens.

In this situation, some muscles become overused, and some are underused, creating a muscular imbalance, and over time your body adapts to this imbalance, making it harder to resolve it. This is a topic I have studied deeply in my book ‘Rethinking Posture In The Modern World‘.

muscle imbalance dublin physio & chiropractic

For example, when someone has surgery; the physical therapists typically want to start movement exercises immediately to get the right muscles moving again.

This point is one of my most significant issues with training today.

Doctors are trained to re-align the spine and joints in the body with little concern for re-balancing the muscles. 

Re-balancing the muscles – start with the intrinsic core. The intrinsic core is a group of small, but important, ‘postural muscles’ that give the spine control, coordination, and smoothness during movement. These muscles are called the multifidus, the transverse abdominis, the pelvis floor muscles, and the diaphragm.

 

For more information about Intrinsic Core Strengthening or to book your consultation, call us at (01) 254 4800 or visit our contact page.

 

The Multifidus

The Multifidus muscle’s primary function is to provide stability for the back. They are short muscles that run up from on the sides of one vertebra up to the middle part of the back of the next vertebra upwards. They work by providing small, fine-tuning movements for posture. They are active all day long.

Transversus Abdominis

The Transversus Abdominis is the deepest abdominal muscle. It is the “corset muscle” of the spine and pelvis. In the typical situation, TA contracts in anticipation of body motion to guard the spinal joints, ligaments, discs, and nerves.

Pelvic Floor & Diaphragm

The Transversus Abdominis and the Multifidus work in together with your diaphragm and pelvic floor to make a flexible but stable region in and around your lumbar spine. When these intrinsic core muscles are strong and doing their job, gives the ability to stabilize your lumbar spine in its many positions. This enables you to overcome back problems and reduce your chances of a reoccurrence.

Why Intrinsic Core Strengthening Works

At our clinic, we don’t only want to fix a particular condition; we want to make sure it never happens again. By properly strengthening the intrinsic core muscles, we can overcome the typical issues people have down the line.

Why We Created Intrinsic Core Strengthening

We believe if the core muscles are not balanced and robust, the problems will keep coming back.

That’s why I developed a method to balance and strengthen the core, to help my clients live the lives they want to live pain-free, without limitation and fear of symptoms reoccurring in the future. For example, walking the dog without fear of knee pain or low back pain.

woman walking her dog dublin ireland

Little did we know that this treatment almost immediately relieved most of our client’s pain patterns. This positive side effect was a fantastic bonus!

Why It Works

Our core therapy treatment consists of actively engaging the brain and the core muscles to develop balanced movement patterns to create muscle memory, which in turn creates the following benefits:

  • Instant pain reduction.
  • Better range-of-motion.
  • Stable core muscles.
  • Stronger pelvic floor muscles.

New Approach To Balancing And Strengthening The Core Muscles

With our particular way of balancing and strengthening the core muscles, we start by instantly reworking symptoms by affecting the control system from the brain to the muscles.

For example, the brain signals in normal movement patterns of a healthy body are high-quality, very low energy, and efficient.

If the patient is in pain, the brain will override this approach, too much higher energy but a low-efficiency movement.

This changed pattern is always noticeable in the patient in pain.

By breaking these patterns, our method instantly reduces pain while increasing flexibility in low back, mid-back, neck, hips, shoulder, and knee pain sufferers.

man stretch low back dublin physio ireland

How Does It Work?

The patient usually performs around 10-20 assisted movements that are directed towards the ‘in-pain’ movement pattern.

These types of supported movement patterns ensure that the movement pattern will adjust the brain signals from irregular back to normal, which should allow:

  • Increase in strength due to changing the brain to muscle patterns and not due to muscle strengthening which would take a lot more time and exertion to attain
  • Long-term, reliable, instant, results and the expected increase in range of motion with no end range, risk-prone movements.
  • Immediate, consistent, and improvement in posture.
  • No need to “teach” good posture
  • It happens automatically.
  • Corrects forward head position, shoulders rolled forward, and pelvis position.
  • Lasting pain relief.
  • Suitable for almost all common conditions – Back, Neck, Shoulder, Knee, Pelvis, and Hip pain

What Causes Weakness in the Intrinsic Core?

So, what causes the intrinsic core to get weak?

Unfortunately, it is common to find people with weakness in one or several of the intrinsic core muscles.

Most people develop problems when they get an injury that causes their posture to change. Unfortunately, most people with any back problem typically suffer from a weakened intrinsic core. This is because the body is stuck in a compensation state of using extrinsic back muscles instead of the core.

woman sitting with back pain dublin physio

Another one of the most common causes of weakness is caused by incorrect exercise. When people focus too much on training the external core muscles like the abdominals and the obliques. The deeper intrinsic muscles tend to get ignored by allowing the larger extrinsic muscles to do all the work instead.

The other reason includes sitting too much. Sitting for long periods, especially with poor posture, leads to a significant weakening of the core.

Strength and Stability

The strength that comes from the core is essential. However, the other side of understanding the intrinsic core is how important it is to have a balanced relationship with the core muscles.

By balance, it means that both the strength and flexibility of the core muscles are congruent. This makes them more adaptable. We use this adaptability when we are faced with demanding strength-based postures such as lifting, jumping, and movement in general. First, get the foundation right, and the building blocks will be a lot more stable, the integrity of the entire body with be strengthened, function at a higher level, and you will simply move easier.

man blocking blocks dublin physio

Make Sure Your Intrinsic Core Is Working Correctly

Getting your intrinsic core to work correctly is essential to prevent lower back injuries and maintain the health of your spine. If you would like any more information about intrinsic core strength or would like an assessment, feel free to contact Dublin Physical &Chiropractic or fill out our questionnaire.

References 

[1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25931693/

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3805012/

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    by | Aug 18, 2021

    <a href="https://drlawrencewoods.com" target="_blank">Dr Lawrence Woods</a>

    Dr Lawrence Woods

    Chiropractor

    My goal is to help people get out and stay out of pain. With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience as a chiropractor, I learned the value of living pain free for a happy and healthy life. I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.
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