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Are Weak CORE Spinal Muscles an underlying cause of Spinal Degeneration and Disc Herniations ?

Posted Jun 02 2009 4:35pm 1 Comment

San Francisco Bay Area Spinal Rehabilitation Center comments on the relationship between Disc Degeneration and weak Spinal Muscles:

Why Spinal "CORE" Exercises?

First of all, the " Spinal CORE" muscles are not the muscle groups that most therapist refer to as the CORE. A complete spinal rehabilitation program will address both. The Spinal "CORE" muscles wrap around the spine like the CORE of an apple. There are 180 of them. These are the little muscles that connect from one vertebra to the other controlling the inter-spinous ranges of motion. Research shows that when these muscles are injured it can create fertile ground for disc  disease and spinal degeneration. Here's the deal, two kinds of muscle fibers make up the musculoskeletal system. One is fast-twitch muscle fiber. The other is slow-twitch muscle fiber. Muscles have both types of fibers but usually one fiber type dominates a muscle group. Our postural muscles, which include the muscles of the " Spinal CORE" have mostly slow-twitch fiber. These muscles are very difficult to exercise. In the gym, when we’re ‘pumping iron’ and doing aerobic exercises, we’re affecting fast-twitch muscle fiber or phasic muscles. What’s happening to our postural muscles? Not much. So exercises to strengthen phasic muscles don't improve posture.

When phasic muscles fatigue and/or when they’re injured they go flaccid and collapse. Postural muscles react very differently from phasic muscles when they’re injured or fatigued: they spasm. And the way postural muscles spasm is rarely even, either side-to-side or front-to-back. That’s why poor posture distorts our appearance because our spine is no longer aligned. It also sets the stage for abnormal spinal motion and asymmetrical forces on the spinal disc and joints.

Isometric exercises, which involve pushing against a force that moves very slowly or doesn’t move at all, help eliminate postural muscle spasms as well as rehabilitate their balance, strength, and endurance. Whew, that's a little tricky to explain. The bottom line is, a spinal correction program is not complete unless the "Spinal CORE" muscles are exercised. So, how do we do it you ask ? Well, a company called LPG of France designed a machine called SpineForce specifically for this purpose. SpineForce is the only machine in the world that is actually able to assess the integrity of the "Spinal CORE" muscles and create customized treatment plans based on the results. We incorporate the SpineForce into our DRX 9000 spinal regeneration programs. The sessions are 15-30 minutes and there are varying levels of intensity. Tiger Woods actually has a SpineForce at his training facility. It is very popular with elite athletes and was actually written up in The ROBB REPORT a while back as something the rich and famous athletes are using to improve performance. We are one of the only clinics in the Bay Area with the SpineForce. I am told the Golden State Warriors have one for their players. If you would like to go for a free trial session, give us a call at 415-392-2225.

Comments (1)
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The DRX9000 does not help everyone that does it. Anyone that does the DRX9000 treatment should go in with this in mind. If it works great...if not at least you know and it gets ruled out as a treatment option. This is not possible with drugs or surgery. You have to be exposed to the risks in order to find out...and some surgeries are permanent (spinal fusion). The DRX9000 is very safe and gentle...and side effects (other than soreness) are rare. Either it works or it doesn't. If it doesn't you are still whole and able to explore other treatment options. Sure there is a cost. The machines cost over $100,000 and treatment requires at least 20 one hour sessions, along with extensive home care and case management. If you will be unable to accept the fact that it did not help, in the unlikely event it doesn't, you should stay away.
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