The transverse abdominis (TrA) is a horizontally orientated muscle deep inside very close to the spine anteriorly (Deep below your obliques). This muscle is what stabilizes and helps reduce injury to our spine. In research out of New Zealand performed by Dr Heidi Haavik they assessed 90 healthy, pain-free young men to see if they automatically switched on their core muscles a few milliseconds before they raised their arms in the air. For people who can’t engage their core (TrA) properly before activities are more prone to injury.
Of the 90 subjects, 17 could not pre-activate their core muscles properly. The researchers reviewed them six months later to see if things had improved and surprising they hadn’t. Not one of the 13 (4 not available) subjects could organise their bodies any better.
A chiropractic examination found that all of these 13 individuals had a pelvic subluxation. They gave these 13 people an adjustment and re-tested their core muscle activation. The result was an immediate 40% improvement in core muscle function.
The same group of researchers also found that a single adjustment improved brain-body communication to such an extent that leg muscle strength improved by the amount you’d expect to see from three weeks of training in the gym.
The “core” conclusion here is that before you head to the gym or out for the day make sure you have scheduled your regular chiropractic visit to make sure you are activating that core (TrA) and utilizing your strength as well as preventing injury.
For more information about how Chiropractic care can help your core, visit Karrinyup Wellness Centre and book a Complimentary Spinal Assessment with one of our experienced chiropractors and we can help you understand why it is essential to your daily life and prevention of injury.
Dr Shinae Brownrigg
Reference: Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy41(6):389-99 · April 2011