Improving your core strength is a powerful and effective benefit that physical therapy offers. The core is comprised of a set of muscles that anchor your center of gravity and allow you to constantly maintain balance, whether you are moving or standing still. Core strength training with physical therapy can help you improve your balance and correct any stability issues you may be facing. For more information regarding our services and how core strength training can help you stay balanced, contact our office in Herndon, VA today!
Core muscles and balance – how they go hand-in-hand:
It is important to know where your core muscles are located before beginning a core strength training program. Many people believe that their core muscles consist solely of their abdominals – but there are actually many more muscles that make up the core! Your exclusive core muscles are located in your pelvis, hips, and lower back, along with the transversus abdominis muscles that make up the “pelvic corset.” These core muscles serve as your body’s natural stabilizers, making constant adjustments in response to nerve cells called “proprioceptors,” which give you your sense of spatial awareness.
The stronger your core muscles are, the easier it will be to steady yourself. When muscles are weak, it takes a toll on your center of gravity, making balance much more difficult to manage. An unstable core can lead to several health risks, such as an increased risk of falling, abnormal arm and upper body movements, back pain, difficulty standing up from a seated position, and incontinence.
Seeking help through physical therapy:
Unstable cores can be successfully corrected with physical therapy treatments focused around core strengthening. We have the necessary, tools, skills, and techniques you need to rebuild your core strength and improve your balance. At your initial appointment, you’ll be greeted by one of our licensed physical therapists who will evaluate your gait, stance, and functional ability of your core muscles. This will help determine where the weakness is centered and which muscles will need the most strengthening. Afterward, an individualized treatment plan will be designed for you, based on your specific needs. This may include any of the following treatment services:
- Gentle exercises. Depending on the severity of your balance impairment, it may be best to start off slow. Your physical therapist may suggest beginning with gentle and safe exercises, such as leg lifts or pelvic tilts. These types of exercises can help strengthen your back, pelvic, and abdominal core muscles.
- Abdominal exercises. These may include situps, pushups, and crunches. Abdominal exercises help strengthen the abdominal muscles that work with your core.
- Tai chi. Tai chi is a slow-motion form of Chinese martial art. The poses and transitions done within this type of treatment can help your body develop the core muscles it needs in order to retain the necessary stability from one move to the next.
- Stability boards. Various types of physical therapy balance boards have a flat surface and a curved underside. Standing on these devices and working to maintain your stability can greatly improve your core balance.
If your balance is impaired and you are looking to improve it, contact Optimal Motion to schedule a consultation. We’ll determine the best course of action for your needs and help you find balance once again in no time!