I used to have pretty amazing core strength. Two pregnancies later, not so much. I kept up with a wonderful prenatal workout plan that kept me strong through out my first pregnancy. However, once toddler #1 was off and running, and I was pregnant the second time around, I certainly wasn’t as diligent.
“The Core” group of muscles are the muscles include:
1) Abdominal muscles
2) The mid and low back muscles
3) The muscles on the sides of our body (Obliques)
4) The pelvic floor
After I had my second baby, I started having some serious back trouble. As time passed, slight “twinges” of momentary back pain, turned into fully immobilizing pain that would last for days. These episodes weren’t brought on by very much… picking up a tea towel could send me into instant distress.
After my third major episode of back pain in a three month window of time, I decided to get some professional help. I wanted someone to tell me exactly what I needed to do to prevent this from happening. Thankfully, my colleague at WIN Health & Rehab Centre, Dr. Tania Mannella, was the person who got me back on track. Dr. Tania is a really forward thinking Physiotherapist, who is also focused on creating individualized plans for those she works with.
When I met with her I explained what was happening, she assessed me and came up with a customized plan. Here’s what was super fantastic about her plan:
1) The plan was suited to my lifestyle. I brought home an exercise ball so I could easily do parts of my plan at home in my living room.
2) The plan evolved. I’d meet back with Dr. Tania, and as I got stronger, she would modify my exercises slightly to keep promoting more strength and stability.
3) The plan was easy. I was given exercises that were safe, effective and easy to do. In the beginning, I pondered if the simple exercises were doing something for me. I was used to doing more challenging exercise once upon a time. However, even after the first few days of the early simple exercises, I started to feel stronger and less back pain.
4) It worked! In a short period of time I started feeling less pain and more strength. Over the long run, I’m feeling greater stability through my core and greater strength than when I started out.
I’ve worked steadily on building my core strength, and it’s much improved, however I still have work to do. True Core strengthening goes beyond doing crunches or planks as part of an exercise plan. The Core muscles are very intricate, and to properly build their strength requires a progressive approach that changes as we gain strength. This helps to continuously and comprehensively build strength in that area.
For me, Core strength means way more than just what it offers aesthetically. A strong Core contributes to the alignment of my entire body. Also, having strong Core muscles is preventing a reoccurrence of my injury. When these elements are in play, I am more effective in my daily activities. I can keep up with my kids, exercise without fearing an injury and be effective at work.
In addition my Core Strengthening plan by Dr. Tania, I recently started working with Tiina Kupper, WIN’s Physiotherapy Assistant and Certified STOTT Pilates Instructor. Tiina has developed a customized set of Pilates exercises to help compliment what Dr. Tania started with me. Tiina is a very thorough and enthusiastic teacher. With her upbeat personality, she takes time to educate me about being aware of the discrepancies in my strength and alignment. This helps me learn how to focus on getting the most out of her guidance.
Going through this new journey to get my Core Strength back has been a really eye opening experience, especially with regard to Physiotherapy. I believe this contemporary approach to Physiotherapy would be effective for everyone. Through my own personal experience, and what I also see patients dealing with in the clinical setting, I know we all can benefit from feeling stronger throughout our core muscles.
Dr. Tania Mannella and Tiina Kupper are now offering “The Core Program” at WIN Health & Rehab Centre. They specifically designed this eight week program that is focused on building Core strength and stability. At the end of the eight weeks, participants can continue on at WIN or with an individualized program that can be done at home.
This therapy changed my life and helped me realize a new path of proactive health care and preventative medicine. To get started on your path to Core Strengthening visit Dr. Tania Mannella or call WIN Health & Rehab Centre for more information at 905.354.0267.