How can core strength help prevent joint pain?

by ih-mis admin

Whether sitting, standing, or moving about, core strength is important for overall function and movement of our bodies. Often times when trying to improve core strength, variations of abdominal crunches come to mind. However, there are more functional and effective exercises to help you achieve the increased core strength you're looking for.

The area of the body, which is commonly referred to as the core, is your midsection and it involves all your muscles in that area including the front, back and sides. These muscles work as stabilizers for the entire body. The core includes many muscles deep within the torso; they attach to the spine and to the pelvis. The major muscles included are the pelvic floor muscles, transverses abdominis, multifidus, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, erector spinae and diaphragm. Minor core muscles include the latissimus dorsi, gluteus maximus and trapezius.

Everyday movements that we typically take for granted are highly dependent on this part of the body, and lack of core muscular development can result in a predisposition to injury. Poor core strength can lead to many dysfunctions in our bodies, including lower back pain, pelvic floor dysfunction, hip pain and knee pain. Sometimes these conditions are excused as “old age”, but really you can do something about it.

Sometimes with exercises prescribed in physical therapy the simplest of movements done correctly can give you the greatest gains in strength, flexibility and balance. These exercises are so effective because they engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously. When completed consistently the result is decreased pain and improved function. This is certainly the case with these exercises demonstrated in these videos by Deann Cleveland, physical therapist at Missoula Bone & Joint.

  1. Single Leg Bridge
  2. Side Plank 
  3. Single Leg Dead Lift

If you or someone you know would benefit from improved core strength, call us at Missoula Bone & Joint Physical Therapy (406) 542-4702 to schedule with Deann Cleveland.