Dr. Tyler Ideus
June 1, 2020
You know how when they say once you have seen certain things you can never go back? That is what it was like for me after taking my first course from Professor Pavel Kolar of the Prague School of Rehabilitation in Prague, Czech Republic.
I remember him showing dynamic MRI videos focusing on the diaphragm muscle. In one video the person was just breathing while lying on the back, and you could see its — contraction or flattening during inhalation and belly button toward the ceiling. In the next video, the person was holding his breath while lying on the back and just lifting his legs, and even in this scenario the muscle was under another huge contraction, proving its role in stabilization of the body.
As I think most of us know, solid core activity is a prerequisite for any movement. Taking the proof from Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization, we know the diaphragm functions as both a muscle that helps us breath as well as helps us stabilize, so it needs to be trained in both ways.
Unfortunately throughout life, some things can affect this balance, and when this muscle isn’t working in balance between the two, some muscles compensate and do too much while others are taken out of a position to be effective stabilizers as well — not that they are weak, just that they don’t contribute well to stabilization of a joint.
Unfortunately throughout life, some things can have an affect on this balance, and when this muscle isn’t working in balance between the two some muscles compensate and do too much while others are taken out of a position to be effective stabilizers as well — not that they are weak just don’t contribute well to stabilization of a joint.
Some of these reasons are as follows:
- Cosmetics — sucking in the belly
- Fitness misinformation — draw in the belly to strengthen the core
- Pain due to injury
- Poor weight lifting technique
- Excessive training (running too far or lifting too much)
- Excessive abdominal fat
- Issues during infant development
Thankfully, as I tell my patients, the brain and muscles — just extensions of nerves — are made for adapting and changing and through some awareness and exercise we have the ability to change patterns.
The following are the four stages that occur when overcoming bad patterns:
- Unconscious incompetence
- Conscious incompetence
- Conscious competence
- Unconscious competence
The age-old comparison of the core as the foundation of a house holds true, but until a person with pain and muscle dysfunction is aware of how to properly control the connection of the chest and pelvis through the core, the rest of the treatment will lack its full effectiveness.