There are a lot of movements we do every day around the house that can put us in compromising postures leading to pain, dysfunction, fatigue and even injury. Most of the time we simply push through the pain. Sometimes, well-meaning clients think the solution is an intense “boot camp” style workout regimen. Unfortunately, neither of those solutions address the real issue: functional core weakness.
Functional Core Weakness is defined as the inability of the muscles of the core to effectively function and support the body for everyday physical demands without pain or dysfunction.
The following are common questions we get from clients. If you can relate to these questions, you likely are suffering from Functional Core Weakness.
1. Why does my mid back kill me after folding laundry?
Many chores like laundry, dishes, vacuuming, etc. place the body in prolonged postures of looking down and holding our arms with our elbows out. This alignment places a lot of stress on the muscles of the mid back and causes a recurring aching pain right between your shoulder blades or along your bra strap.
As we rebuild your core muscles, we retrain your upper body posture and give you strategies to use your muscles in their most balanced and efficient positions. We believe if a chore can cause you fatigue and pain, it also has the potential to make you stronger when done more effectively. So you can skip the run and do some vacuuming instead!
2. Why do my hips hurt after sitting a while?
Hip pain is a common symptom of core weakness and usually means your body is collapsing and the pelvic stabilizers in your hips are compensating for that weakness. The most common treatment is to simply stretch those muscles, but that is only a piece of the solution. When muscles are chronically tight, it is essential to identify why. Releasing a muscle without replacing the strength that the tight muscle is trying to provide will not have a lasting effect.
The most common reason that the hips are tight is that the core is weak. So the solution is actually improving functional core strength…..HEY! We do that! ?
3. Why does my back hurt when I wake up in the morning?
Many of our clients complain of feeling stiff and achy in the morning. We can consistently improve this pattern by retraining you to use your core effectively and release your compensation patterns before you go to bed at night. If your core is weak and the muscles in your back and hips have been doing extra work to help stabilize you and help you move all day, they need to be released before being immobile all night.
As we rebuild your core muscles your body builds postural endurance that can significantly reduce that start-of-the-day pain. Here’s a great stretch to do before bed to minimize morning aches.
4. Why do the soles of my feet hurt?
Fallen arches or plantar fasciitis are common complaints of clients with a functionally weak core.
When the core is weak the body is unsupported in significant ways. Your body finds a way to keep moving around even when the core is not doing its part to hold you up. That instability and lack of support cause the body to collapse into the hips, sagging and tucking the tail, which often leads to a toe out and hyperextended knee posture. All of these less than optimal alignments place odd forces onto your feet. This combined with hormonal laxity that is common in postpartum and diastasis recti can cause a lot of foot problems.
There are several things you can do for your feet but to correct the underlying issue, you must start with the core first. Strength there will change how your hips, knees, and feet feel and function.
We know it can feel overwhelming when you add all these little (and big) aches and pains up. But pain is the way your body communicates to you and asks you to fix the weakness, poor alignment, muscle imbalance and more. When you consider how the core works you can see how your body is trying to communicate to you in several ways that it needs more functional core strength. Listen to your body. The Tummy Team specializes in functional core rehabilitation and we work holistically to address all the ways your body seems to be failing you. Check out our online Core Foundations program or if you are local come to see us at our clinic in SW Washington.