Our deep abdominal muscles (transversus abdominis) work with other muscles to stabilize our low back and pelvis. These muscles, often referred to as our “core”, provide a corseting action which narrows and flattens the midsection when contracted. These muscles can often stop working when there has been an injury to the back, which can further compound the injury.
Recruiting the appropriate abdominal muscles is tricky. Even without a history of low back pain, most people tend to recruit other layers of their abdominals (internal and/or external obliques and rectus abdominis) when attempting to activate their deep abdominals. Other times only the obliques are recruited in attempt of a “core” contraction, and the transversus abdominis remains absent in the contraction.
A combination of observation, palpation (assessment by touch) and Real-Time Ultrasound Imaging will be used to assess and teach proper abdominal technique.