Let me put it out there up front and apologize; getting adjusted will not get you the six pack abs you’ve been wishing for. Six-pack abs are built in the kitchen – but that’s a completely different topic.
What I’m talking about is how getting spinal adjustments will help normalize how the muscles in your core work and how that can get you out of low back pain and help prevent some other injuries.
Poor core activation has long been associated with low back pain. When the abdominal muscles and low back muscles are weak or even late to contract when you need them, injuries can often arise. These injuries aren’t always in the low back either. They can show up in areas further away like the shoulders, hips, or knees too.
Think of boxers or baseball players who need to be able to quickly accelerate their arms in their respective sports. They might have a quick jab or a fast pitch, but those actions don’t come solely from their upper bodies. To generate the type of power they need (and to generate that power repeatedly), they need an orchestrated effort between their legs, core, and upper body so they can put their entire body behind that effort.
This train of power is broken without a well-functioning core. As a result, other areas of the body will take on more stress to perform those actions. Several coaches, trainers, sports chiropractors, and physical therapists often see this problem hiding behind some of their clients other complaints.
So how do adjustments fit into this?
Chiropractic adjustments remove factors that inhibit your nervous system, allowing your nerves to fire the way they’re supposed to so your body can act like it was built to. This study showed that subjects that had delayed core activation (a factor in back pain and other issues) demonstrated an immediate improvement in their core activation f
ollowing an adjustment.
So while chiropractic adjustments can help get those muscles to fire properly and on time, that might not be enough to really build a stronger core. From a rehab or injury prevention standpoint, I tend to favor exercises like planks or deadbugs that work on maintaining a stable, neutral spine for extended periods before hitting other core exercises. These types of exercises can make thosemuscles strong without putting stress on the more vulnerable structures in your back. However, without removing negative factors in your spine that can interfere with how your core acts, strengthening your core by itself might not be enough to get the job done.
If you’re looking to strengthen your core to prevent further injury or clear up your low back pain, I recommend a combined approach of adjustments with prescribed exercises to strengthen your core safely.
Remove any of the interference on your nervous system and using the right exercises to (safely and effectively) strengthen your core is an integral part of your care at Falkner Family Chiropractic & Sports Rehab. Find out if that’s why your pain keeps coming back and how we can help!