Friday, April 23, 2010

Deep Breath and Exhale

Reading this article I had to laugh.  It seems someone is always out there to "rexamine" or blow holes in someone elses theories.  While, I am trying to keep an open-mind and see both sides of this, I have to think that this researcher is looking for an excuse to not do any core stability training and hit up the local McDonal's in London, or he was just looking for something to write about! 

The Myth of Core Stability

While core muscles, specifically the transverse abdominal muscles may not directly be responsible for lower back pain and other maladies, it is undeniable that there is some type of relationship.  Muscles either work for you or against you, hence the agonist/antagonist action.  If you have a weak core and are overcompensating with your hamstrings will that not have an effect on your lower back?  A good number of mucles including the hamstrings and glutes attach to the ishial tuberosity and parts of the iliac, when the bones are moved during pregnancy, does that not affect the muscle position and lenght?  And don't tell me that movement of those bones and muscles has never been enough to compress a nerve.  Has no one ever heard of sciatica?  What about the obturator?

What about the general value of core strength?  Increased core strenght allows for a longer torso and more upright position, which in turn increase the amount of space the diaphragm has to expand not only transversely, but longitudinally.  This increase will allow the lungs increase in surface area upon inhalation.  Deep breathing opens up the alveoli decreasing any chance for atelectasis or bacterial build-up, promoting efficiency with each breathe in the exchange of O2 and even more importantly CO2 expulsion.  This benefits the entire body by transporting nutrients and removing wastes to cells and tissues, especially those that are inflammed and irritated, i.e., the lower back muscles.  But what do I know. 

People may lood symmetrical, but they aren't.  Having a weak core only allows a person to overcompensate with other muscles causing misalignment of the axial skeleton that may otherwise be minimized by a STABLE and STRONG core!  Resulting in lower back pain from overcompensation.

And another thing... one of the reasons women may recover faster postpartum is because they are supercharged!  They have increased amounts of relxin to help relax joints and muscles throughout the body and they have a huge increase hematocrit and hemoglobin, RBCs and WBCs.  Not to mention platelet count must increase to decrease the bleeding and platelets carry serotonin, which provides that "happy feeling."  They are about as close to invincible as a person can get!  Obese people do not have those reactions to with the jelly belly, but they do overcompensate with posture to minimize pain and lack of core strenght for stability and don't tell me overweight  (>25% Body Fat) and obese (>30% body fat)  don't have more musculoskeletal issues than non-big people! 

Core stability regarding strength is not bullshit either.  When a person complains of knee problems, often it is due to decrease strength in other areas, in pubescent girls it is often due to the rapid growth in bone, not met by the same amount of muscle increase, especially in the quads.  However, once the girl is prescribed strength exercises her knee tends to feel better....amazing!  Is this not a parallel for back pain and CS???  Okay, I am done.

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