Request Appointment
Email Us
call us now (02) 4396 5686

The trunk muscles are composed of the inner and outer core. Most people who train their core muscles only ever do the outer core and are not even aware of the inner core. I like to think of the trunk as a bridge. The big power core muscles are like the steel cables on the Glebe Island Bridge and the inner unit of core muscles are the small bolts and nuts. To keep the bridge stable you need both. If the bridge is unstable and the bolts are loose there is no need put extra steel cables on. The same concept applies with our trunk muscles. We know from research that when we have lumbo-pelvic pain the inner core muscles turn off and waste away within two weeks. Is does not matter how many crunches, sit ups or planks you do the inner core will not strengthen (no need for more steel cables when we can tighten the bolts!) When our inner core is weak and slow to contract the brain starts to use the outer core to compensate. But after a while these muscles get tired and sore and that is when they can knot up. Thankfully there is now a lot of research on how to train the inner and outer core muscles, which can significantly improve athletic performance and reduce the rate of injury.

This week I had a patient who is a very fit lady but suffers with low back pain that is worse in the morning. She finds it difficult to get out of bed some days just to start the day. Her training involves a lot of running and outdoor training at the beach. So you have to ask the question “How much fitter do you need to be, to be out of pain?”. I placed this lady on a core stability program that focused on the inner core. After several weeks the pain was only minimal and there occasionally. If she forgets to do her core exercises the pain returns after 2 days. She is currently doing basic core exercises and as she progresses to the advanced level there should be no pain at all.

I have had a similar experience myself. Two years ago I could squat with 110kg on my back and lift 140kg off the floor and have a terrible inner core. It was not until I did a course on using Real Time Ultrasound (The Real Time Ultrasound is the same machine that we look at our babies with) that I discovered my inner core was virtually non existent. The years of martial arts and weightlifting had made my outer core super strong, but my inner core was like that of a 2 year old! I could even teach Pilates at a high level and balance on a fit ball all using my outer core. Now that my inner core has improved my pain has dropped significantly.

If you have any back or hip pain make sure you are training your inner core and not just the outer core. This does not mean starting on a fit ball or doing the plank! If you are unsure about how to do the inner core book an assessment with a Physio who uses Real Time Ultrasound.

Yours in Good Health

Mark Collins

 

 
Request Appointment
Email Us
call now (02) 4396 5686