In fitness circles there is justifiably a great deal of focus on developing a strong “Core”. But what is the Core and why is it so important? From a chiropractic perspective the outcome of care is very dependent on the strength of a person’s Core.
The definition of the word core is the central or most important part of something; literally it’s heart. It is the inner support of a piece of fruit, the central theme of a book or the most essential of one’s values. The Core of the physical body are the muscles that support and move a person’s trunk. While many people think of stomach muscles as the Core, they are only a portion of the whole core. Simply looking at the amount of fat around a person’s waist will give no accurate indication of core strength. Some people with a lot of abdominal fat have good Core strength while some very thin people have a weak Core.
The Core does consist of the stabilizing muscles of the stomach as well as the back, the diaphragm and the pelvic floor. It also includes the muscles that move the trunk and lower spine. Because it is the central focus of the physical body, the Core is responsible for transferring forces to and from the legs, arms and even the neck. The strength and stability of the spine is directly related to the strength of a person’s Core.
From a chiropractor’s point of view, spinal health and Core health are interdependent. A weak or imbalanced Core will make the spine vulnerable to injuries. But on the other hand a malfunctioning spine can cause the Core to weaken. Anytime there is a loss of motion or position of the spinal vertebra, the nerves exiting from between those bones are affected. Some of the nerves in the lower back directly control the Core muscles. Irritated nerves may result in muscles becoming weak in some instances, or to spasm in others. The Core will consequently become weak, imbalanced or both. A cycle results where there is ever increasing instability of both the spine and the Core.
Don’t be surprised if Core exercises are a part of your chiropractic care program. The effectiveness of the chiropractic adjustments may depend on your commitment to exercising. Chiropractic care is about more than just relieving your back or neck pain. It’s about helping you be a healthier, stronger you! Call 403-529-9069 today for a free consultation.