The Connection Between Core Strength and Better Balance

better balance core strength

The Connection Between Core Strength and Better Balance

Physiotherapy as an industry has been talking about the link between core strength and better balance for years. When the “core” muscles around your trunk are strong, they prevent chronic lower back pain and many other injuries, but they also keep you from losing your balance and falling down. A stronger core will help to keep you upright — especially as you age and start to become more at risk of falling. If you’d like to get started on a core routine to improve your balance, contact NRG Athletes Physiotherapy today to speak with a physiotherapist!

How Core Strength and Balance Are Linked

There are three systems in your body that help to control your balance. One is the vestibular system; the liquid in your inner ear functions sort of like a “carpenter’s balance” to keep you level. If you’ve ever felt dizzy, it means the liquid in the vestibular system can be “off” a little bit. Another balancing system is your visual system. Your eyes send signals to your brain about your position in relation to the world around you. The final system is the proprioceptive system, which has to do with your core.

 

Proprioception nerves are sensory nerves situated throughout the body that make you aware of your posture and awareness of spatial things around you. To stay balanced, you have to have equilibrium in all three systems. A weak core is one element that can make you feel off balance and cause you to fall down.

Core Muscles, Core Stability & Core Strength

Your core muscles are more than just your abs! In fact, there are two groups of core muscles: Inner core and outer core. The inner core muscles are attached to your spine; they’re the muscles that stabilize your core. The outer core muscles work in conjunction with the inner core muscles when you need to move your body from point A to point B (or to do most physical activities).

Core stability relates to your inner core muscles. These muscles stabilize your spine. Core strength relates to the outer core muscles and is developed to help you move around better. Engaging in physiotherapy will help you to train both inner and outer core muscles for better balance and movement.

Core Strength & Stability Through Physiotherapy

You don’t need a bunch of expensive gym equipment to start working on your core strength. In fact, here’s a quick exercise that many physiotherapists will recommend if you’re just starting out. It’s called the “drawing in maneuver,” or if you prefer the less fancy term, “sucking your gut in.”

First, stand up straight and find the proper pelvic position. This is done by rotating your hips forward and back finding the comfortable “middle” position. Then, draw your belly button in toward your spine. Don’t hold your breath — it’s not a breathing exercise. You should be able to talk, breathe and slowly walk around with your belly button drawn in. It sounds easy, but if you’re older, out of shape or recovering from an injury, the drawing in maneuver will be a little difficult at first.

 

You want to build up your core muscles until you can hold your belly button in for 30 seconds before moving on to more difficult core exercises. Also, if you feel any pain from this exercise, stop immediately. It shouldn’t be painful. As you build up your core, your physiotherapist will recommend moving on to more strenuous exercises that are appropriate for your age and ability. This can range from planks and bridges for the more athletic, to gentler workouts like a yoga routine for older folks. Your physiotherapist will also work with you on specific core exercises to help your balance.

 

If you have a weak core or you’re struggling with balance, physiotherapy can help! Contact NRG Athletes Physiotherapy Winnipeg, CA and schedule an appointment to get started with a physiotherapist today.

5 Benefits of Therapeutic Massage for Athletes

As an athlete, you already know that you’ve got to maintain optimal health if you want to keep playing the sport you love. Physiotherapy with an experienced physiotherapist is a big part of that, especially when you’re recovering from an injury. One of the main parts of a good physiotherapy regimen after an injury involves therapeutic massage. Below, you’ll learn five of the best benefits of therapeutic massage for athletes. Call NRG Athletes Physiotherapy now to learn more about how massage can help you live pain-free.

1. Improved Circulation

Regular massage during your physiotherapy program can improve circulation considerably. Better circulation means that your muscles get the blood supply needed to prevent stiffness and tension. Your muscles will work and feel better after therapeutic massage.

2. Improved Immune System

Sickness can be extra hard on athletes. Just one bad cold or flu can keep you out of the game you love for weeks — and you might feel less than your best for quite a while after that, too. Fortunately, massage helps boost your immune system’s natural defenses. During massage, your body is prompted to power up its natural cytotoxic capacity, which basically means that you’ll be better able to fight off germs, bacteria and illness more effectively.

3. Less Scar Tissue

When you’re injured, your body forms adhesions — bands of tough scar tissue — around the injury. These adhesions can restrict your movement, cause serious pain, and can delay your recovery for a very long time if they’re not treated. Your physiotherapy massage can deal with those adhesions very efficiently. Your physiotherapist can use specific targeted techniques that break up the adhesions, which unbinds your muscles. This is a very important component of your physiotherapy program because being adhesion-free is important for both pain relief and for your range of motion.

4. Muscle Relaxation

While muscle relaxation is the best-known benefit of massage, it takes on a whole new importance for an athlete. Muscle soreness, tightness and pain are all things that you expect as an athlete — but the good news is that you can greatly decrease these issues with regular therapeutic massage. Even after you’ve completed a physiotherapy program following an injury, you might benefit from regular massages with your physiotherapist.

5. Improved Posture

Massage, when coupled with other kinds of physiotherapy, can do a lot of good for your posture. Massage helps bring your body into an optimal place of alignment, which can naturally improve your posture. Better posture has multiple benefits for athletes. When you’ve got good posture, your body can move at its peak, all the time — and this means that you’re playing your sport with a bit of a natural advantage built in.

 

As an athlete, your body needs to be in the best condition at all times. This means that after an injury, you’ve got to recover with the help of a physiotherapy program designed by an expert physiotherapist. It also means that you need to recognize the importance of health maintenance. Something as simple as a therapeutic massage once or twice a month can help you feel your very best, and this means that you’ll be able to be at your peak for every game.

 

If you’re looking for noninvasive solutions for pain and injury or if you just want to be the best athlete you can be, contact NRG Athletes Physiotherapy Winnipeg, CA now to get started with an expert physiotherapist.

Is Pain Stopping You From Getting Back in the Game?

According to the Canadian Government, at least 6 million Canadians are living with chronic pain (pain lasting longer than three months). As if this isn’t a troubling enough trend, in recent years, physicians have been prescribing more and more prescription pain medications, including opioids. In the year 2013 alone, physicians prescribed nearly a quarter of a billion opioid prescriptions for pain relief. This over-prescription has contributed to the significant abuse and overdose epidemic going on this country.

In the face of this public health problem, there’s been a push for a return to more non-invasive and safer pain relief strategies, including physiotherapy. So whether your pain is acute or chronic in nature, we encourage you to get in touch with our NRG Athletes Physiotherapy team for natural pain relief.

5 Ways a Physiotherapist Provides Effective Pain Relief

A physiotherapist is a clinical expert in movement and dysfunction who uses a combination of manual and active techniques to help people recover from injury or illness affecting a variety of bodily systems. They provide pain relief for their patients in several ways:

1. A physiotherapist uses techniques and services that have been rigorously studied and supported by scientific research.

Strong research shows that physiotherapy services can significantly reduce back pain, post-operative pain and a variety of other pain-related conditions. By implementing a plan of care using techniques vetted by scientific research, therapists are truly able to improve patient outcomes.

2. Physiotherapy techniques have minimal-to-no side effects.

Treatments frequently used by your physiotherapist — including joint mobilizations, massage, and modalities such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation and diathermy — have a very low risk of side effects, significantly lower than those imposed by other methods of pain relief (including invasive procedures and medications).

3. A physiotherapist provides pain relief by addressing pain at its root, rather than simply masking it.

The problem with pills is that if they are at all effective at relieving your pain, it’s usually only a temporary relief at best — stop taking the medication, and the pain will return. This is because most pain medications don’t fully address the specific underlying reason for your pain to be there in the first place.

On the other hand, a physiotherapist carefully evaluates your body and identifies the underlying reasons for your pain. By addressing the underlying cause (like scar tissue or muscle length imbalances), your therapist can help you relieve and even prevent pain.

4. A physiotherapist can implement individualized exercise programs that are specifically tailored to your stage of recovery.

Everybody (and every body) is intended to move, but when you’re in pain, it may seem counterintuitive to say that exercise can help you feel better. The truth is, physical activity can significantly reduce your pain, and physiotherapists are experts at designing individualized exercise programs that can promote tissue healing, swelling reduction, improved range of motion, and increased strength and endurance.

5. Participating in physiotherapy is an engaging process that can inspire you to take a more active role in your pain management.

As important as primary care physicians are, they generally don’t get to spend very much face-to-face time with their patients. But the typical physiotherapy session lasts anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, and your physiotherapist gets the opportunity to work closely with you and include you in in-depth discussions about progress, goals and needs.

Are you or a loved one currently dealing with pain? Contact NRG Athletes Physiotherapy Winnipeg, CA today to schedule an appointment with a physiotherapist and experience the kind of non-invasive and drug-free pain relief you deserve.

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