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Core Stabilization

Dr. Matt Brown
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What is core stabilization?

Just as a tree can’t stand tall and strong without a steady trunk, humans need a strong core to support the rest of our bodies. The “core,” or the entire front and back of the torso region, creates a solid base of support for the spine, pelvis, shoulders, neck, and limbs. Core stabilization consists of strengthening the core muscles in order to achieve greater overall physical control.

Many patients who have experienced injuries to the neck, spine, or back need to strengthen not only the affected area but also the entire core. For this reason, many physical therapy routines will focus on — or at least incorporate — core stabilization exercises.

Source: East Pointe Health and Fitness

Why do people need therapy for core stabilization?

The core forms the foundation of posture and movement. Training and strengthening the core isn’t just about developing stronger abs — it’s about preventing injuries, improving posture, and developing safe and efficient movement patterns.

Consequently, many injuries and conditions that require physical therapy also require core stabilization. Whether you have a spinal injury, poor posture, or a broken limb, it’s common for your physical therapist to include some core strengthening exercises in your therapy regimen, as a stronger core supports movement throughout the body.

The most common reasons for core stabilization therapy include:

  • Injury
  • Low back pain
  • Poor posture
  • Muscle weakness

Source: Body Pro Physical Therapy

Physical therapy for core stabilization

Perhaps unsurprisingly, core stabilization exercises for physical therapy are similar to the abdominal and back strengthening exercises commonly performed as part of a regular workout routine. Crunches, planks, and “supermans” are simple and reliable core strengthening exercises.

However, if you’re trying to strengthen your core in order to recover from an injury or counteract pain, it’s wise to work with a professional. An experienced, licensed physical therapist can help you develop a core strengthening plan that’s tailored to your condition and needs. It’s important to work with a professional to ensure that you maintain proper form and don’t further injure yourself.

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