The core muscles of the back and pelvis, neck and shoulder blades are assessed. Specific exercise programs are instructed to regain their function, reduce pain and improve performance.
- Following extensive research from the University of Queensland, it has been found that the stability muscles of 'transversus abdominus' (TrA) and 'multifidus' of the lumbar spine are essential to retrain following low back pain or injury.
- TrA is a deep/ inner abdominal muscle which is often under-recruited in sporting activities and becomes weak due to stronger 'rectus abdominus' and 'obliques' (the 'six-pack'/ washboard-look abdominals)
- Multifidus is a deep/ segmental stabilizer of the back and can also become weak due to back pain or an over-dominant erector spinae (long back muscles)
- The 'gluteal' (buttock) muscles also play a similar role in stabilizing the pelvis and lumbar spine during dynamic sporting movements
- When TrA, multifidus or gluteals become weak there may be an increase in 'shear forces' on the back and pelvis resulting in inefficient movement, poor performance or pain and injury
- The 'deep neck flexors' and 'scapula stabilizers' also play a similar role in the performance of the neck and shoulder complex.
- These muscles may be assessed using a 'pressure biofeedback device' as well as observation and palpation of specific movement patterns.
- Core stability programs are then able to be instructed to the athlete to regain normal muscle function.