Healthy Blog

Core Stability Explained

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Many folks are now aware of the phrase core stability but what does it really mean to people with back injuries and what role does it play in training for sports? 

Core stability muscles   

The abdominal wall has four layers of muscles and two of these layers are vital for supporting the spine.  The two main core stability muscles are called Multifidus and Tranversus Abdominis which form the inner layer of muscles in the trunk of the body.

Multifidus is a network of small muscles running between the vertebra close to the centre of the spine.  It helps to limit the abnormal or poorly controlled movements of the spine that cause injury and severe pain.

Transversus Abdominis (TA) is a muscle that acts like a corset wrapped around the body to brace and support the back.

When properly exercised, these two core stabilising muscles work together to change a soft abdomen and a weak spine into a strong rigid cylinder shape.  Pelvic floor muscles also help to maintain the cylinder.

Good core stability

Good core stability means that these muscles are working efficiently to keep the spine rigid and prevent injuries.  For athletes, it’s very important to have good core stability because almost all sporting movements come from these powerful muscles.

Physiotherapy treatment

After an injury, the pain stops muscles from working properly and they don’t just switch back on when the pain is reduced.  Without physiotherapy to re-train muscles to do their job efficiently, you’re quite likely to develop a weakness. 

Research shows that without guided exercises to re-set the core muscles you’re more vulnerable to the same and other injuries in the future.

Recovery

This is why the physio will always test your core stability, even if the injury seems to be unconnected, like a hamstring strain.  For a complete recovery and to prevent the same injury happening again, the physio will prescribe exercises to strengthen your core muscles and balance your whole system.
Physiotherapists are skilled at teaching the core stability exercises that now promote better recovery from injury and serious back pain.