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Why is my Physiotherapist Getting Me do Core Exercises for My Foot Injury?

Why is my Physiotherapist Getting Me do Core Exercises for My Foot Injury?

Erin Marsh | July 01, 20

Once we clarify what "CORE" means, it might become more clear. Our core is what keeps us centred, so our limbs can move. Think of it like this--a door gets moved from the handle-this is the moving part that is worked by our limbs. Then we have the hinge side--our core creates stiffness so that the other end may move. If we tried to pick something up with our hand, but our upper back didn't stay stabilized, we would just get pulled back down to the object we're trying to lift! This can show us how there is a stiffness-mobility relationship throughout our entire body at work, all the time!

Another key point is that our "CORE" is not just our abdominal muscles. Essentially, your "core" is the front, back, and side muscles that create stability around our spine. In a way, we have an 'upper back core' and a 'lower back core,' so that we can have chest stability when our arms and head move, and torso stability when our legs move. You might not think it, but your diaphragm, shoulder blade muscles, and even some of your hip muscles like your glutes and groin are also muscles that help stabilize the core, not just our abs and back!

Think of your ribs and pelvis as two cans stacked on top of one another. This creates a neutral spine for even and healthy joint loading in all directions. Keeping a strong and healthy core can ensure compensation does not continue long term. That way, when you start returning to activity, the risk of re-injury is less likely.

Example - Standing on one leg to take a step; the torso and hip have to re-center our bodyweight by shifting over so that balance is maintained. If you injured your foot and have been weight bearing unevenly side to side, your core becomes adapted to this as well. Do you also notice that your hip or back hurts after a while of walking this way? Our system knows when we are out of balance, we can feel symptoms even far away from the area that was injured. Amazing, isn't it?

This simple practice of balancing stiffness and mobility applies to injuries all over the body, and is an important part of recovery. No one wants to have a limp for the rest of their life simply because that's how they adapted to avoid pain...let's pull apart the problem, and piece you back together properly :)

Everything really is connected! Have you ever heard the song 'the head bone is connected to the neck bone...' etc? An injury can affect the whole chain of flow, and a physiotherapist can guide you back to a smooth-running system again.