The Pelvic Floor is an important core muscle
The pelvic floor is mainly known for its importance in continence, sexual activity and pregnancy. And while we value all of these things, the pelvic floor is a muscle that should be leveraged 24/7. This layer of muscles, which spans the base of the pelvis and support the pelvic organs, also has important applications in spinal health. As an integral member of the core stabilizing muscles, the pelvic floor works with the deep abdominal, back muscles and the diaphragm to form the main network of support for your spine. Pelvic floor muscles naturally start to weaken around age 40, and letting them fall by the wayside can have serious ramifications for your spine and overall wellbeing.
What is the psoas?
It is one of the three most important muscles that connect the spine to the lower body. Along with the gluteus maximus and the piriformis, the psoas forms the vital intersection in the middle of our body that allows for articulation, coordination and communication between disparate parts of the body. The psoas in particular is a medium-sized muscle that attaches the lumbar vertebrae to the femur. Along the way, it passes across the outside of the pubis and connects with the iliacus muscle to form the iliopsoas.
Are your muscles chronically contracted?
Such systemic tension in our musculoskeletal system has myriad ramifications in the present and a ripple effect that will be felt long in the future. That is why we make alleviating such tension a top priority at our office in Ramsey. When you think about it, almost every facet of the modern lifestyle is geared toward creating muscle tension:
- Commuting, working
- Sitting incessantly
- Sedentary forms of entertainment
- Poor diets and a lack of exercise
This tension is accumulating constantly and pulling your body out of alignment. The best thing you can do to avoid tension on a daily basis is to stretch and exercise regularly. But sometimes your body needs a little more- an extra layer of attention that focuses specifically on the root causes of systemic muscle tightness. All this tension calls for myofascial release!
You can’t escape the compression
From the day we are born, gravity begins working on our spines. Growing up, our young spines are mobile and generally resilient against the downward force of gravity. But as we grow older, this compression effect begins to show its ugly head. Here is the recipe that leads to compression-type back pain:
- Our spines are finite- they weaken with age
- Our weight is naturally more than when we were young, increasing the burden on intervertebral discs
- We are less active in comparison, and we generally sit a lot more, which increases the compressive force of gravity as compared to standing or lying down.
- Many of us sit with poor posture which further increases the pressure.
- There are many other intangible factors which go into this recipe.
The collective effect is an over compression which causes generalized back pain, especially in the lower back, as well as more aggressive conditions including herniated discs, sciatica and degnerative disc disease. The good news is that yoga can help you mitigate all these factors!