Important Breath

breathing

Each one of us breathes everyday, otherwise we would not be alive. We know that breathing is important or else we cease to be alive, but I believe it’s importance is not completely understood.  If you think about it, breathe is life.  Yet it happens without thought, without awareness of what exactly is taking place and the depth of it’s importance. Breathing is the one physiological function that happens voluntary and involuntary. We can consciously control it with our mind, or allow it to happen automatically by the central nervous system. I write this post to bring awareness to the breathe and encourage conscious awareness with it. The benefits of doing so are healing and simply surreal. Continue reading “Important Breath”

Core Strength-More than just a 6 pack

core strength importance low back health

I recently began working with Travis. He is a young guy with a strenuous job of cleaning carpets. He sits in the truck and then is bent over in the position he cleans in.  He came to see me for low back pain and neck pain. We are doing a series of exercise and stretches to strengthen his core muscles and get his front body and back body to work together to create a stabilized center.  So far from the two weeks we have worked together (3 times a week), his improvement is outstanding. He is sleeping better at night and his headaches have gone away.

What is Core Strength?

Core Strength is extremely important for a number of reasons.  Many people think of abs or core strength as that six pack look and appeal.  It is so much more than that.  Your abdominal muscles are a part of your core, but several muscles are involved in what your core is. The abdominal and back muscles work together to create your overall core strength.  Lack of these muscles working, and lack of them working together, creates imbalances that in then turn create problems. A prime example is low back pain. Problems of a week core can go beyond just the low back too. Why?  Because the muscles of the low back are connected to other muscles that respond to the weakened low back, and therefore tighten or shorten creating other physical symptoms and limitations.

So rather than focusing solely on crunches to build that six pack, it is recommend to think of the core as what gives you posture, and support, and stabilizes you to protect the precious spinal column. If you sit often, training and strengthening these muscles is very necessary.

What are Core Muscles? 

  • External Obliques-Side abdominal muscles
  • Internal Obliques-located under the external obliques, running perpendicular to them
  • Rectus Abdominis– Front ab muscles.  The ones that create the “6 pack”.
  • Hip Flexors-This group makes up the muscles in front of the pelvis and upper thigh. There are many muscles that make up the hip flexors. The Psoas is the deepest and one we talked about last week.
  • Transverse Abdomonis- the deepest of the ab muscles located under the obliques. These muscles are tend to get ingnored and not properly conditioned and strengthened, being they are so deep.
  • Erector Spinae-Bundle of muscles and tendons that extend the upper, middle, and lower back. These muscles straighten and rotate the back.
  • Multifidus-Muscles and tendons located under the Erector Spinae that help stabilize the spinal column.

Continue reading “Core Strength-More than just a 6 pack”