The New Core: Restoring Pelvic Power and Relieving Pain

BLOG-TRANVERSE-HOLDSRecent research has proven what we already know at our healing center; that it’s the inner most abdominals muscles that count the most when it comes to relieving pelvic pain, low back pain and establishing pelvic power. The importance of strong abdominal muscles cannot be overlooked but many times these very important muscles are trained incorrectly leading to more pelvic floor muscle dysfunction and pain.

The majority of the patients that come to see us at our healing center are doing the wrong kind of abs. These patents are not training their core correctly but are training their outermost abdominal muscles by doing traditional crunches and or an array of other abdominal exercises . The old fashion way of doing exercises and some of the FAD training/wellness programs have gotten it all wrong. These programs do not target the inner most abdominals, but instead target the outer abdominal muscles the Rectus abdominis and oblique muscles. Although these outer abdominals muscles can look sexy and give you the six pack appearance they do nothing for your organs, pelvic and back health.

For any person with low back pain, testicular pain, pelvic pain or recovering from birth, or pregnant traditional abdominal exercises can do more harm. Traditional crunches are not involved in enhancing lumbar and pelvic stability. Training your outermost muscles before training your transverse abdominal muscle( inner most muscles) might provide some health benefits but for long term health benefits and to reduce pain the transverse abdominals is where it’s at.

The old way of training the core does not provide improved function of the lumbar pelvic region. Instead, regular crunches, for those in pain, will create painful triggerpoints in the abdominal muscles leading to more pelvic, hip and lumbar pain. Training the old-fashioned way also increases your risk for incontinence and prolapsed organs. Additionally, those individuals who suffer from IBS, bladder pain, constipation and other visceral issues will not get the support that they need for their organs by training the outermost abdominal muscles only.

When it comes to pain relief and creating a life long core program that makes sense, it is the transversus abdominis (TrA) muscle that counts the most. The TrA must be incorporated into daily activities and all other core exercises. the TrA is the building block and when trained correctly builds a solid foundation for all other muscles in the pelvic lumbar region. Training the transversus abdominis muscle, and using it correctly, will bring pain relief and stability to the lumbopelvic region and support for your organs and sacroiliac joint.

Training the TrA is subtle and requires less effort in comparison to other traditional abdominal exercise.

How to find your TrA:

The TrA can be found by putting your hands inside and to the side of your front hip bones. When correctly activated, the TrA can be felt on either side of your hip bones. The “X” on the above photo marks the place where you should be palpating your transverse abdominals. You will feel for an increase in tension under the skin. If you feel a big tension or if the muscle pop out into your hands when performing the TrA holds then you have overdone it and you are training your outermost abdominals and obliques (which look pretty but do very little for you).

TrA Big Training Tip:

Imagine that your front hip bones are two sides of a hot dog bun. Now imagine that you are bringing the two halves of the hotdog bun together. Now hold these for 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat 1 set three times daily. Remember Its very important avoid holding your breath and to do this abdominal hold with gentle effort.

If you would like to come and have us create an abdominal program that will give you the relief and long lasting health you are looking for do not hesitate to call us Renew Physical Therapy- 212-213-4660.

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