Core muscles of trunk and spine are helping to keep body in straight posture against the gravitation during all activities like walking, running, standing and sitting.
Function of core stability is correct posture/position of head, spine, its joints and pelvis. Coordination of these muscles enables exact setting and pressure in joints between skull and first few vertebrae, the pressure is optimalized along the spine in rib joints, and in the single vertebrae above each other in the intervertebral discs. The pressure is coordinated by muscles and the transition between spine, pelvis and ilium (the uppermost and largest part of the hip bone) against the sacrum (triangular bone at the base of the spine) and rump. The core muscle activation is automatic, it has protective function against the weight pressure level on the structure of the torso and spine. If the coaction of these muscles is unbalanced, it will lead to muscle disbalance and back pains, herniated intervertebral disc and blockage in certain areas of the spine. If the core muscles are dysfunctional, the surface muscles take over the function but cannot simulate the setting in each joint of the spine, which causes muscles tension, pain and blockage. The more work the surface muscles do, the core muscles lose functionality which in the end creates a vicious circle.
Core muscles and stability of torso and spine
- Transverse abdominal muscles (musculus transversus abdominis)
- Multifidus muscle (musculus multifidi)
- Muscles of the pelvic floor (diaphragm pelvis)
- Thoracic diaphragm (diaphragm)
The most effective way when these muscles get involved, is when pelvis and spine are in neutral position (podsazená ani vysazená) and all the muscles are involved equally at the same time with approximately 30% of their maximal contraction. Correct activation of the core muscles is important for all day activities, in professions where you sit whole day and also physically demanding activity.
Video presentation of balance exercise for strenghtening center of the body
Activation of the core stability
Author: Mgr. Iva Bílková, FYZIOklinika physiotherapy Ltd., Prague