After yesterday’s disappointment with the piece in the Canberra Times that missed the point, I was bouyed to see the headline on sbs.com.au
Two physios say the idea that back pain is a result of a weak “core” is wrong and must be corrected to better manage the complaint affecting thousands.
This is gonna’ be good, they’re really going to take the idea apart and provide the public with some robust science.
In fact, years of core strength exercises could be making a person’s chronic back pain worse, says musculoskeletal physiotherapist Professor Peter O’Sullivan from Curtin University.
He says people with back pain are already too rigid. Their muscles have tensed up as a protective response to the pain and core strength exercises can be counterproductive.
“The common belief around tensing up a structure that’s already tense doesn’t really make sense,” Prof O’Sullivan said.
Fuckin’ yeah, drop that truth bomb…
According to physiotherapist Professor Paul Hodges, from The University of Queensland, the myth that core stability equals a stiff spine needs to be corrected to better back care.
He says too many people “wrongly” believe that a weak core leads to back pain.
It’s a fear that has been fuelled by those in the fitness industry who heavily advocate core building exercises as a way of managing the common pain complaint.
Professor Paul Hodges, isn’t he the guy… the one that in the past was all over Transversus Abdominus… This is great, keep talking.
While core stability exercises are easy to teach, they involve very little movement of the spine, says Hodges.
“The common assumption in gyms is that people assume core stability means that you stop the spine from moving.”
“The Plank” exercise for example involves a person on their elbows and toes while holding their body stiff for a period of time. Many pilates studios also involve people lying still on what is known as a reformer bed while holding their spine rigidly in place.
That’s not what core stability means, says Prof Hodges.
Keep going, I’m just about to revise my faith in humanity, the therapy profession, the world….
“Core stability is getting the balance between movement and stiffness.
“If you think about most functions, they actually need the spine to move,” he said.
This blanket idea that exercise should just be about stopping people from moving their spine is only half of the story.
Prof Hodges says some people do move too much and need to be controlled a little more and vice versa.
Last chance to get on an Australian Explain Pain or Graded Motor Imagery Course for 2016
Gold Coast 30 September – 2 October Explain Pain and Graded Motor Imagery (Close to full, remaining tickets selling fast)
Perth 15 – 17 October Explain Pain and Graded Motor Imagery
EP3 events have sold out three years running in Australia, and we are super excited to be bringing this unique format to the United States in late 2016 with Lorimer Moseley, Mark Jensen, David Butler, and few NOI surprises.
EP3 EAST Philadelphia, December 2, 3, 4 2016
EP3 WEST Seattle, December 9, 10, 11 2016
To register your interest, contact NOI USA:
p (610) 664-4465
Have you downloaded our new Protectometer App yet? Just search the App Store from your iPad for Protectomteter’