Wellness Wednesday: Tree Trunks and a Strong Core

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Loudoun County, Va. — Many people will experience some form of lower back pain in the course of their life. There are many factors that can contribute to lower back pain, including:

  • Muscle strains
  • Overuse injuries
  • Disc and skeletal issues
  • Poor posture

When treating lower back pain, it is important to address body mechanics and more importantly, strengthen your core. Focusing on core strength is one of the most effective ways to help ease lower back pain. Physical therapists should take patients with back pain through lots of core strengthening exercises as part of their plan of care.

What is your core?

Your core is made up of several muscle groups that work as a stabilizer in your abdominal and lower back region. These muscles function together to form a corset effect that helps to stabilize your lumbar spine and trunk. These muscle groups work together to provide us with mobility and stability from the front of our bodies to the back as well as from side to side.

When most people think of having a strong core, they tend to think this means just having a strong abdomen. While it is important to have a strong abdomen, you shouldn’t just be focusing on strengthening the abs because this leads to muscle imbalances. We also need to strengthen the muscles in our back as well as on our sides. When we see one part of the core stronger than the others, this imbalance of strength can lead to injuries, most commonly seen in the lower back.

Having a strong core is important for every movement and even ‘non-movement.’ Whether we’re sitting watching TV or moving around, a strong core is critical. It makes performing physical activities as well as daily movements easier.

A strong core impacts how your upper and lower body function. Think of a tree. It is important for a tree to have a strong trunk so that it can hold up with branches and support its roots underground. Without a strong trunk, the tree would bend over or break from the weight of the branches. A strong trunk is also important to support the tree and branches when the wind is blowing. When we are sitting, walking, running or playing sports, a strong core is essential to performing these activities without injuring ourselves.

NOTE FROM OUR SPONSOR: Physical therapy can help with lower back pain and core strengthening. At Loudoun Sports Therapy Center, we will help you understand how your lower back pain is related to other muscle weaknesses such as your core. We’ll also help you understand how this weakness is affecting your daily activities. In addition to strength training and hands-on manual therapy, we’ll also assess your body mechanics and help you move properly. All of this will help you return to your daily activities and hobbies with the confidence you need to perform movements correctly and pain-free. If you or someone you know is dealing with back pain now or has in the past, call Loudoun Sports Therapy Center TODAY at 703-450-4300 and start handling your back pain for good!

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Loudoun Sports Therapy Center is a premier physical therapy clinic. We offer outpatient orthopedic and sports physical therapy as well as specialty programs.

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