Why is Muscle Coordination Important In Core Strength Sioux City
We used to think low back pain was a result of weak back extensor strength. Therapy would involve working the these muscles to increase strength and endurance. In some people this helped quite a bit, while in others it made minimal difference. In the long-term, they still had chronic stiffness and dull pain. These people still experienced exacerbations of sharp and severe pain that limited their bending, turning, and twisting abilities. Their back would “go out” on them with different activities, especially twisting and bending movements.
Over time, rehabilitation specialists have learned that improvement involves more than one muscle group. It also involves more than just strength. There are plenty of very strong weightlifters with low back pain. Likewise, there also plenty of very fragile and weak people who do not have chronic low back pain. We now look at the muscles in the front, back, and each side of the spine. We also look at how well the muscles work together to coordinate spinal control.
If any of the core muscles fatigue too quickly, spinal injury can occur because of the inconsistency. People with chronic low back pain have several core muscles that are very strong; these muscles are forced to compensate for the weaker muscles. They also have a lack of coordination between the core muscle groups. We refer to this coordination as muscle patterns and control of motor movements.
I like to explain this concept be comparing it to juggling. Most people have the strength to juggle. One arm is probably a little weaker than the other, but it can still juggle the ball for a few minutes. However, if you ask your weak arm to juggle for an hour, it would probably fatigue and start dropping the balls. But it is just not about the strength with juggling – it is also about coordination. As you tire, your coordination begins to dissipate.
Do you have the coordination and muscle pattern development to toss three balls in the air and keep them moving?. We all have the strength to juggle for a while, but eventually we will tire. However, performers who juggle for long periods of time have built up the strength a coordination to do so, and can juggle far longer than the regular person without suffering a break in their coordination. In the same way, if you build up your low back strength, the muscle coordination will last much longer, meaning that your pain should be limited or disappear.
Stabilization coordination exercises teach you to lightly toss the ball from the right hand to the left hand, and have it land in an exact spot. In the meantime, your left hand is tossing a second ball in another direction, all the while keeping track of a third ball falling toward the right hand. These coordinated movements are controlling how the three balls move through the air, how fast they are moving, and how much force to use.
Our spinal stabilization muscles perform the same way as our arms during juggling. If one core muscle is weak, it will result in fatigue and early failure. Usually we do not ask our spine to stabilize for long periods of time, which is why the pain is not constant. At the end of a long week or exhausting day, our muscles are tired and the “juggling” is most likely to fail. This weakness leads to shearing forces across joints resulting in lumbosacral or sacroiliac injuries. If you have ever hurt yourself lifting a shoe, I would bet it was after a long and exhausting week. There were probably signs of fatigue and stiffness earlier in the day, long before the injury happened.
Treatment and therapies work to increase core stabilization and strength. The most common set of exercises are based on bridging on an exercise ball or flat ground. People start at a level determined by their current coordination and strength, and progress through the series of exercises on the ground; eventually, this shifts to an exercise ball. An unstable surface makes the exercises more difficult and further enhances muscle coordination.
When people master one-legged bridging on the exercise ball with the other leg extended, they tend to have very minimal amounts of back pain. At home, they only need to maintain this strength and coordination by performing the exercises a couple times a week.
These exercises are not hard. People are challenged by them, and it does require work, but more than anything, it requires being consistent about performing them every day. Consistent work at home will get you to your goal of bridging on the exercise ball on one leg and reducing your back pain.
Muscle coordination is one of the most important components to reducing your low back pain. These very simple exercises can be performed to make your back pain a thing of the past.