The muscles that support your spine can

The muscles that support your spine can be thought of as a “canister”. The front and sides of the canister are formed by your abdominal and rib muscles. The back of the canister includes those muscles attached to your spine. The bottom of the canister is formed by the muscles of your pelvic floor, while your diaphragm serves as the roof. Together, these muscles control your abdominal pressure and spine stability. In order for your spine to stay healthy, these muscles must be strong and coordinated- thereby, reducing strain on its tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. You should not have to focus on core stability – this should happen automatically from the subconscious control from your brain.

There are lots of reasons why your core muscles have become weak. Spinal instability may the result of an accident, injury, prolonged illness, or pregnancy. Sometimes, you may have overdeveloped the wrong muscles or “learned” bad movements. This weakness in one of your spinal stabilizers requires that one or more of the others work harder – leading to strain or overuse injury. Ongoing problems create a self-perpetuating cycle of “learned” dysfunction. A lack of spinal stability causes back pain but is also associated with problems throughout the body, including chronic groin pain, knee sprains, and shoulder problems.

When your core is weak, specific strengthening exercises are required. Your doctor has selected the following exercises to help improve your stability and decrease your chance of injury. It is important to perform these exercises consistently, as repetitive exercises will allow your body to “relearn” to subconsciously move in a safe and coordinated fashion, thereby reducing your risk of injury and improving your comfort and performance.

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