Of all the things we can do to maintain total body wellness, one of the most important is keeping our cores strong. This isn’t just a matter of liking the way we look or being in competitive athletic shape; our core muscles provide critical support to our spines and hip bones. At ChiroCareLA in Glendale, Dr. Jack Alajajian and his team are committed to helping our patients sustain wellness over the course of their lives, and for that, it’s necessary to understand some basic aspects of the core and how to care for it.
The muscles of our abdomen are made up of several layers that are all shaped differently. The deepest core muscle is the transverse abdominis, which wraps around our visceral organs in horizontal bands. The internal and external oblique muscles are on the sides of the trunk and are involved with rotating it and bending the spine. The rectus abdominis muscle is the one on the front that forms the “abs” and connects to the sternum. It helps to stabilize the trunk, but keeping it toned isn’t as important for the spine’s support as maintaining flexibility and strength in the hip muscles that connect to the lower spine. The hip flexors are further subdivided into different muscles that link between the lower spine, pelvis, and upper thigh, and the spinal column has thin muscles running along it that link up the vertebrae.
When the core muscles are weak, they are more prone to fraying and becoming inflamed. Besides causing stiffness, inflammation of the hip flexors can compress the sciatic nerves, and without the support of strong core muscles, the joints of the spine are at greater risk of developing fractures and subluxations. We don’t recommend that injured people attempt to devise their own core workouts, but we do work with our patients to help them devise a plan to recover their core strength and flexibility. In addition to advice on therapeutic exercises, our clinic offers anti-inflammatory soft tissue therapies and chiropractic adjustments to prevent misaligned vertebrae from irritating the surrounding muscles. We also offer training on posture to prevent core and spinal muscles from being overburdened while at rest.
Dr. Jack Alajajian and his staff operate ChiroCareLA.com at 815 E Colorado Suite 250, Glendale CA, 91205. Call 818-246-3600.