Importance of Core Strength (for Heavy Lifting and Exercising)
Does having a weak core cause back pain?
This week’s blog post will take a detour from my usual knee injury discussion!
As we all know, life tends to run far from smoothly and we often encounter bumps in the road. This week, which happened to be a stressful week for various reasons, I had conveniently rekindled a past lower back injury while deadlifting. This was quite funny as I had mentioned in a past post, that developing new injuries during stressful times is quite typical of me. It’s quite interesting how your body reacts when it knows it has too many aspects requiring energy. This injury ultimately resulted in booking an appointment with a different physiotherapist here, Stefanie Del Gobbo!
What is included in a neural assessment?
Upon arrival, she ran various tests. The most important one was to ensure no damage had been done to the nerve. Her neural assessment included ruling out any neural causes such as a pinched/irritated nerve. She did so by observing if any pain came shooting down into my legs. The reason for this is that our largest nerve, the sciatic nerve runs all the way from our lower back through our hips and buttocks and down each leg. So, if it was irritated, it would be a large indicator that it has been damaged. Luckily, my pain was limited to my lower back. From there, she proceeded to check other tests to allocate exactly what the pain is. It turned out to just be an irritated and inflamed muscle so we worked on developing a few exercises that would ease the pain as the initial days of symptoms pan out.
A common mistake that individuals make when training, is lifting too heavy or incorrectly, without the proper form OR core strength to do so. I, myself, find that a huge reason for my lower back pain, is my lack of abdominal strength. I can genuinely feel the lack of stability between my back and core while exercising since the injury. Many individuals fail to realize the link between the two! This goes for those who often are inconsistent in training, or perhaps only train legs 3x a week, leaving out other key muscles.
It is essential that individuals are engaging in a well-rounded training program. This would include training legs, arms, and especially core for heavy lifts. For heavy lifts, it is important to learn how to brace your core correctly. As we are lifting weights, our bodies need to be able to support the lift and maintain a centre of gravity. Without sufficient strength all around, it is likely you will injure some part of your body. Your abdominals are one of the major muscles to focus on to limit lower back pain in particular because they work together with your back muscles to maintain posture. Without proper spinal alignment, the other parts of your back must compensate, and some parts may fall injured due to the increased work you’ve put on it!!
In the next blog post I will be discussing some exercises Stefanie provided me with to strengthen my core and heal this back injury! Catch you then! 🙂
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