Pascoe Vale Osteopathy
(located within ‘Hamish Everard Natural Therapies’)
446 Gaffney Street,
Pascoe Vale 3044

Core strength, why it’s important and how to get it

Core Strength – why it’s important and how to get it!

Written by Dr. David Howard – B.Sc. (Clinical Sci.), M.H.Sc. (Osteopathy), B.App.Sc (Human Movement) from Pascoe Vale Osteopathy located in Pascoe Vale, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Although we all love the idea of having a 6 pack and a flat stomach, doing lots of stomach crunches isn’t the key to strengthening the mid section – focusing on the core is! Not only does having a strong core act like a corset tightening the midsection, it is also vital in preventing lower back pain and injury. Strong core muscles are your own internal back brace when lifting or going about your everyday activities. This type of exercise also trains you to be more conscious of your posture which further helps in preventing injury.

The Muscles

The function of the core muscles is to stabilise movement of the lumbar spine and pelvis before and during any movement. There are two types of muscle fibres in the body – fast and slow twitch fibres. Fast twitch fibres can be found in muscles like the biceps whose function predominantly involves short, fast and strong contractions (i.e. when lifting something).  Slow twitch fibres are your postural muscles like those of the core, whose function is to contract softly yet over a long period of time. The exercises therefore to strengthen the core are slow and controlled and initially require a lot of concentration to do correctly.

The key muscles of the core are the Transversus Abdominus, Multifidus, Internal Oblique and the pelvic floor. When all of these muscles contract together, they produce pressure within the abdomen which stabilises the lumbar spine. This core ‘protective system’ is very intelligent – as you think of performing a movement, the muscles contract ready for when you do the movement.

Since these muscles have a postural and stabilising function, they need to be strengthened when your spine and pelvis is in the correct alignment. These muscles don’t need great strength but instead need endurance. The key to training the core is doing it regularly, carefully and correctly.

Read moreCore strength, why it’s important and how to get it

How to choose a great pillow

Is your pillow ‘painful’ or ‘perfect’?

Written by Dr. David Howard – B.Sc. (Clinical Sci.), M.H.Sc. (Osteopathy), B.App.Sc (Human Movement) from Pascoe Vale Osteopathy located in Pascoe Vale, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Most of us, hopefully, spend at least 8 hours a night with our head on a pillow. This can become a big problem if your pillow is not woman-with-pillowsupporting your neck correctly.

The spine in your neck curves in order to evenly distribute the weight of your head when upright. Whatever position you prefer to sleep in, it is important to keep your spine as close as possible to its correct alignment – which is how it is when upright. This means that the natural curve is maintained and the shoulders aren’t squashed.

Symptoms of a bad pillow

If your neck is not supported correctly when sleeping, an array of symptoms can develop such as:

Neck pain
Headaches
Migraines
Shoulder pain
Numbness and tingling in the hands (due to the nerves and blood vessels being squashed)
Upper back pain
Lower back pain
Neck stiffness in the morning
Restlessness/tossing/turning at night (which will negatively affect your immune system) 

Read moreHow to choose a great pillow

Tips on desk set up for perfect posture

Tips on desk setup for perfect posture

Written by Dr. David Howard – B.Sc. (Clinical Sci.), M.H.Sc. (Osteopathy), B.App.Sc (Human Movement) from Pascoe Vale Osteopathy located in Pascoe Vale, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

With technology being a big part of our lives these days many people spend long periods of time at a desk or in front of a computer, neck painwhether it be at work or at home. Poor desk set up and poor sitting posture are huge contributing factors to the many and varied symptoms of a large percentage of my patients.

Some symptoms of poor desk posture:

Headaches
Neck pain and tightness
Shoulder tightness
A feeling that you can’t sit up straight
Pain in between the shoulder blades
Shoulder and arm pain

If left for too long, these symptoms can develop into more serious issues such as:

Rotator cuff tendonitis (inflammation of the tendons of the shoulder muscles)
Bursitis of the shoulder (inflammation of the lubricated balloons between muscles)
Numbness, tingling, weakness and pins and needles in the arm.

Read moreTips on desk set up for perfect posture