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397c Diagonal Rd. Sturt 
 

Phone: 8358 1144 

What is a Gonstead Chiropractor? Print E-mail

The Gonstead practitioner is well educated in the teachings and application of this tremendously successful technique and case management system. Beyond the five years of chiropractic and university education required to become a Chiropractor, followed by national board licensing requirements to be a practicing Chiropractor, the Gonstead practitioner has spent additional time attending Gonstead Seminars to help perfect their application of chiropractic within the Gonstead System.

The Gonstead Doctor has set the standard in Chiropractic for patient examination and treatment. Examination of the patient includes complete patient history, static palpation, motion palpation, instrumentation of the spinal column, orthopedic and neurological testing, x-ray analysis and, if necessary, laboratory analysis. When all this information is combined, a trained Gonstead Doctor will immediately let you know if your health situation is a Chiropractic case. If it is not, a referral to the appropriate health provider will be given. If your case is a Chiropractic case, the Gonstead practitioner's will utilize  specific adjustments to restore optimal health as quickly as possible, with no "pre-planned" treatment programs. We pride ourselves on administrating individulaised chiropractic care based on the patients needs.  In the words of Dr. Gonstead, "Find the subluxation, accept it where you find it, correct it, and then leave it alone".

Above all else, our goal is to provide the patient and the profession the best in specific and ethical Chiropractic service. If you are worried about current limitations you may have in your life that may prevent you from receiving Gonstead Chiropractic care, simply call and talk to our staff and special arrangements will be made to accommodate your needs. Dr. Gonstead always put service and care of the patient above all else . . . . . . the tradition continues!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Monday
Oct102011

March April 2011 Newsletter - Core Stability Exercises

CORE STABILITY EXERCISES - WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING?

 

What Is The Core?

Your core is basically your torso – think of it as a cylinder with a top (roof) and a bottom (floor). Your core consists of your pelvic floor (the ‘floor’ of your core – sometimes referred to as ‘PC muscles’ or pubococcygeal muscles) your diaphragm (the ‘roof’ of your core) your transversus abdominus muscle (the ‘TA’ – front of your core) and your intrinsic back muscles (erectors and multifidus – the back of your core). The roof of your core (the diaphragm) is quite a complicated muscle, and an entire article could easily be written on proper diaphragm function. All that you need to know for now is that it’s really important to keep breathing deeply and regularly during all core exercises. We want to train our bodies to engage our core in all daily activities – and (let’s just hope) you will be breathing in all daily activities.

 

Why Do We Need Core Stability?

A strong torso, or core, benefits you in many ways. It improves posture, (preventing undue wear and tear on all joints) it strengthens and protects your lower back, and allows movement of your limbs (arms and legs) without stressing vulnerable areas like your neck and low back. In order for us to perform ANY movements, we require contraction of core muscles. This happens so that we have a stable base, or anchor, for body and limb movements. There are many muscles that cover our torso, and many of them CAN play a role in stabilising your torso, and they should only be utilised to create stability when the proper postural muscles have fatigued.

Unfortunately for many of us due to deconditioning (sitting for hours each day and not getting the opportunity to exercise) this fatigue happens too often. Whilst this is a wonderful thing that our bodies do, it isn’t a great solution long term. This ability for your body to adapt is called ‘compensation’ – if one body part isn’t working properly, another body part will do extra work; work that it isn’t really designed to do – but it will do it all the same, just so that you can keep going. You may have heard Tracey or Janah talk about compensations before; they happen a lot in the spine, but they are just as common in the muscular system. As chiropractors, we are more interested in correcting spinal dysfunctions first and foremost because the spine houses the nervous system, and proper spinal function is integral for a properly functioning nervous system, which is important for ALL body functions, not just pain reduction, or muscle tightness. One thing to point out before we go any further: sit ups do not create core strength. If you’re confused, ask us why.

 

How Much Core Stability Do I Need?

The ideal scenario of core control is one in which you are subconsciously engaging your core muscles at about 30% muscle contraction most of the time, increasing to about 70% for complex activities (moving both arms and legs and torso – activities like sport and house work) and engaged at full strength when lifting or moving heavy objects (heavy manual labour, lifting boxes, some gardening, lifting and carrying children etc.) If you are not doing this, then the load will be transferred to the wrong muscles, or worse still, the ligaments that hold your joints together. This is when injuries happen. So in order to avoid injuries, its best to develop the strength in the right muscles, and to use those muscles easily and effortlessly most of the time.

 

Where Do I Start?

As with everything it’s best to start with the basics. The idea is to slowly progress through increasing levels of difficulty, instituting harder exercises and incorporating for example leg/arm movements whilst keeping your core muscles “switched on” or activated. It is extremely important that you start with the basics until you are certain you are doing it right. Really, it is waste of time and may cause you injuries if you are not doing it correctly from the very beginning. Get Tracey or Janah to check what you are doing is correct before moving onto more challenging exercises.

 

Pelvic Neutral

First of all you need to establish pelvic neutral. This is often easiest to find when lying on the floor. Begin by lying on a solid flat surface. A carpeted floor or Yoga/Pilates mat is perfect. Lying on your back with your knees bent so that your feet are both comfortably flat on the floor. Now, flatten your lower back to the floor. Then, do the reverse and see how far you can comfortably arch your spine away from the floor. Do this a few times until you are comfortable with the movement. Next, find the halfway point between these two extremes of movement. It should be comfortable for you to be in this position. (If you are uncomfortable, stop, and wait until you see Tracey or Janah to work out why it is uncomfortable for you.) From here, keeping even steady breaths in and out, engage your pelvic floor. (If you are unsure of the best way to do this ask Tracey or Janah for a quick explanation.) If you place your fingers just on the inside of the pointy hip bones at the front of your pelvis (the ASIS – Anterior Superior Iliac Spine) when you engage your pelvic floor, you should feel the muscles under your fingers (the TA muscles) press out slightly.  You can increase this contraction by drawing your belly button inwards whilst exhaling, or imagining the tummy muscle (the TA) closing in like a drawbridge from the pubic bone up. This will also activate the intrinsic back muscles that support your spine.

Try to establish pelvic neutral with core contraction in different situations. Try standing up and placing your hands on your hips, with your fingers facing forwards, and your thumbs facing backwards. Slide your hands a little further around your back so that your thumbs are sitting about 5cm from your spine. Again find pelvic neutral. In this position it may help to think of it as keeping your torso upright, tall not tight, and then tucking your tailbone under, then arching your back and sticking your tailbone out. Once you have found the halfway point ‘pelvic neutral’ then engage your pelvic floor and TA muscles again. You should feel the muscles sitting under your thumbs engage. If you can’t check with Tracey or Janah to make sure you’ve got your hands in the right place.

Those are the basics. From here, we want you to practice engaging these muscles as often as you think about it. A good way to trigger any activity you want to build into a habit is to choose a colour, and every time you see that colour, connect it with the activity. For instance, say my colour is orange, every time I see something orange, I am going to think about posture and engage my core muscles. This means when I see an orange piece of paper, I correct my posture and switch my core on. When I see a carrot, I correct my posture and switch my core on, when I see an orange billboard I correct my posture and switch my core on, when I see an orange traffic light I correct my posture and switch my core on. Traffic light colours are good ones to pick, as most of us will see them several times a day, and sitting in your car seat is a really good place to practice proper posture and core control, as it’s often the place where we get a bit lazy and where injuries are likely to be exacerbated. Ladies should know it’s the best place for those pelvic floor exercises anyway!

 

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