As a Chiropractor, I work with many patients wanting to get well. Getting well for many people may be eliminating neck pain, back pain, constant tension in shoulders, or have more energy.
In many cases, there are two big components missing from their wellbeing—proper spinal alignment and adequate core strength and stability. Both, especially in combination, are absolutely essential for physical health.
I truly believe core strength is one of the major foundations to our health, and therefore, our quality of life. The definition of core is “the most central or most important part of something”. Our core is where we generate the power to drive our bodies in every action they perform. From major stressors like lifting weights at the gym, to small actions like chores around the house, our core is responsible for supporting our spine and the rest of our skeletal framework. Without core strength, your body will always struggle to hold balance and alignment. Injury is much more likely to occur.
To increase my ability help people reach their goals, I completed a certification to become a fitness trainer specializing in core strength. Adding this component to patient care helps me go above and beyond the traditional application of spinal alignment and relieving stress on the nervous system to get patients well.
What muscles make up the core?
The core is comprised of many muscles working together: muscles of the trunk including the abdominals and little muscles surrounding the spine called paraspinals, muscles of the hip girdle including the gluteals and upper leg muscles, and the shoulder girdle muscles. These muscles are constantly working together to stabilize your core. Core stability comes from the strength and ability of these muscles to hold it together, literally.
Benefits of core stability:
Injury prevention, maintenance of low back health, athletic performance, and spinal stability are just a few benefits of having a strong core. Injury may occur to the discs of the spine such as a herniated disc due to lack of support during a simple activity such as bending over. Without proper gluteal firing and hip stability, stress on the knees may be overwhelming. This may lead to arthritis over time or knee ligament injury. Core stability is imperative for movement of arms and legs as in athletics. If you’ve ever carried groceries or moved boxes or swung a baseball bat or golf club or shot a basketball or served a volleyball, you felt the activation of your core beginning in your abdomen or trunk before the transfer of power out your arms and legs. In fact, the more core strength you have, the better you perform in any of those activities. While performing well is satisfying, it may be more agreeable that avoiding injury while playing your favorite activities is a good foundation. Some research has proven that optimal performance comes from optimum production, transfer, and control of force and motion to the extremities in athletic activities. This means that power from your arms and legs is dependent on the strength and stability of your trunk/core muscles which produce and transfer forces across the body.
In the end:
Core endurance = Spinal stability
Core strength = injury prevention and better athletic performance
Both endurance and strength = better balance
If you want to feel better and improve your quality of life, then contact Dr. Grandfield to find out how to get started. Getting aligned is the first step to empowering your body and mind in any endeavor.
Yours in Wellness,
Dr. Traci Grandfield,