Core strength is essential to build a strong stable base. Core stability should be the foundation for a good rehab program. Strong core muscles with good neuro-muscular control lead to less injuries and proper movement patterns. Focus on core stability for proper rehab of knee injuries.
Hey guys, this is Manu Kalia, physical therapist and Ayurveda herbalist. So this video is a continuation of some of our videos where I’ve discussed about various knee injuries and problems. This particular video, I’m going to talk about what you want to think about when you are designing your strengthening program, whether when you’re recovering from those injuries or if you’re trying to improve your performance or just do better at certain sports or running or cycling or anything—and this is just not limited to knee injuries, this applies to all sorts of problems, it could be low back problems, could be hip problems—to give you the framework how you’re thinking of designing your rehab or specifically the strengthening part of the rehab program.
And I’m going to talk about one component of that in this video, and what we’re going to talk about is we’re going to talk about poor stability or strength. What does it mean when you say core strength or core stability? What area are we talking about? So, specifically we’re discussing the midsection area, but more specifically we’re going into the deeper muscles which are responsible for giving strength, stability to your low back and in your midsection of this whole region.
And we’re talking about your deep stabilizers, that’s what we’re talking about, which are giving support, stability and dynamic control to your spine. So we’re talking about transversus abdominis, which are deeper layers of your abdominal muscles; we’re talking about your multifidi, which are low back muscles; we’re talking about your pelvic floor muscle; we’re talking about your diaphragm; we’re talking about your natural corset which covers this whole midsection and which not only gives it the stability and support but also gives it that dynamic control to stabilize your base before you initiate a movement so you can perform a movement more effectively. So, proximal stability before distal mobility. So what it basically means is stabilizing the proximal area, this midsection, before you start to do something away from your body. So before I initiate a movement, I kick a ball, I reach for something, I need to stabilize my core, my midsection, so I can perform that movement effectively. Otherwise, it’s going to be a poor movement pattern and I won’t be able to perform that movement effectively. Extensions will not be able to work properly unless the base is stable and secure. So think about it that way.
So when you’re thinking of designing that rehab program, you want to focus on working on that midsection and back core. And it’s not just necessarily the muscle size or the strength of those muscles. More than that, it has to do with the timing of those muscles. So the motor control, the neuromuscular control that needs to take place, these muscles need to fire and stabilize my spine and my midsection before I initiate a movement.
Now, some of these patterns are built into our system. We learn these as kids. But following an injury, poor habits, poor postures, they stop working properly. The timing, the coordination, goes off, in addition to getting weaker too. So, for example, low back injuries or pain will usually shut down a lot of these muscles. They won’t be firing as effectively. So not only do they get atrophied or weak, but also the timing is off. The motor control is off. They don’t fire before I decide to reach for it and grab something or before I go from sit to stand or before I kick a ball or run, which causes low back problems or other injuries to continue, to persist, because that timing and that control is not there in the system anymore.
So that’s why you have to work on these muscles, your core stabilizers, first, before we start to hit, work on other groups. I mean, you can do things simultaneously but this needs to happen also. This needs to happen actually first to build that base before you start to really focus on the extensions, the other muscles. And we’re talking about core stability; we’re not necessarily talking about your six-pack, how many sit-ups can I do. Those are your prime movers, the muscles that move my trunk up and down, sideways and do all those things. Yes, they’re important too, they also give strength and stability and hold your posture up, but the deeper muscles are the ones that are a bit more important. That’s what we want to focus on first.
So the program should be geared towards working on your stabilizers first, those muscles first, and then you progress to working on your prime movers. It might be your rectus, which are your obliques, and your back, a lot of the other back muscles like your lats, your other spinal muscles, all these other muscles next. And then, of course, working on the outer muscle groups, so of your extensions, so whether your hip or glute muscles, your thigh muscles and all these other things.
So when you’re planning your program, always focus on this section first, and then you work your way up from there. And not just strength – we’re thinking about motor control, timing of these muscles, and a lot of that is trained by awareness, not just why you’re doing the exercise but also postures. Just because you might go spend a half-hour or an hour doing your strengthening exercises before the rest of the eight, 10 hours a day, you’re hanging out on your computer screen like this, so that one hour of workout and working on strengthening those muscles sometimes doesn’t translate over to poor postures for eight, 10, 12, 14 hours a day. So it’s the awareness of maintaining those good postures whether or not you’re going from sit to stand, whether or not I’m sitting, whether or not I’m picking up something off the ground, whether I’m bending to grab something off the floor. All those things need to be incorporated in order for you to have better success in training a lot of these muscles.
Once my base is strong, it’s much easier to work on all these extensions. And as I said, this is essential to work on this even if I have that knee problem that’s going on, because I got to have a strong core for my extensions to work effectively. So keep some of these principles in mind and refer to some of the videos I have on core stability, and I’ll be posting new stuff for you guys, too.
So a lot of these concepts I’m going to be discussing in our program. Go to the site and sign up for it. It’s a holistic approach to treating chronic knee issues and it has not only physical therapy exercise science solutions but mobility/strength exercises, soft tissue mobilization techniques, massage techniques, but also the holistic perspective where I discuss a lot of herbal formula as we go over dietary solutions, so yoga – there are a lot of things in that program. It’s a comprehensive to addressing a lot of those common knee-related issues. So make sure you check it out and please share the video if you think other people might find it helpful, and subscribe to the channel and leave a comment if you have a question.