Research into core muscles and balance shines light on back pain
Strengthening your core could be one way to fight off chronic back pain. Dr. John Srbely DC, PhD is a researcher from the University of Guelph who is studying abdominal muscles and their relationship to balance and posture. His current investigation is looking into specific mechanisms for each of the individual abdominal muscles, breaking down their functions to examine their impact on balance. Core muscle weakness can impair balance in all individuals – from the average man or woman to the pro athlete.
Through his findings, Dr. Srbely hopes to pinpoint weaknesses and issues that may predispose or contribute to back pain. If chiropractic doctors are alert to these causes they can recommend precise exercises and strengthening activities for their patients. Since all of the muscles connect to joints, Dr. Srbely’s research may also suggest best practices for joint motion and optimal biomechanics to avoid painful injuries in the future.
Much of the existing research links core strength to posture, biomechanics and stability. This certainly is not a new concept for most of us, especially if we consider the prevention and safety advice that is offered on a regular basis: Sit up straight, bend your knees while lifting and be cautious of repetitive actions are just a few. Dr. Srbely’s research also suggests that doing things the “right” way after experiencing pain could help to reverse the negative effects, or in essence, help you recover.
As we age, stability and balance are even more important since we tend to lose muscle mass and bone density in our golden years. With this kind of research, doctors will have the tools to better prepare us for approaching this stage of life or improve our mobility and function if we are already there.
This study is by no means a cure for all back pain, but it is a significant step towards better understanding what exactly goes on with our musculoskeletal system. Even more importantly, this research is one of many “bricks in the wall” as Dr. Srbely puts it that will guide prevention and recovery guidelines for all healthcare practitioners.