There is a lot of discussion about strengthening the core if you have low back pain. In this article I will discuss functional relationships that will inhibit the core muscles from being strengthened. Due to dysfunctional movement patterns, you could be wasting your time trying to strengthen your core if these dysfunctional patterns exist and are not reprogrammed.
NeuroKinetic Therapy (NKT) is used to identify tight (facilitated) muscles that are causing other muscles to go weak (inhibited).
Here is how we identify what muscles are inhibited and which ones are facilitated:
Step 1: Find a muscle that tests weak (e.g. Psoas).
Step 2: Touch a muscle that makes the Psoas test strong (e.g. Quadratus Lumborum/QL).
Step 3: Test the muscle (QL) that made the Psoas test strong then immediately test the Psoas again.
Step 4: If the Psoas is still weak then we know the QL needs to be release and the Psoas needs to be strengthened.
The tight muscles are released using Soft Tissue Release (STR), Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST) or other forms of self myofascial release techniques (stretching, rolling on a lacrosse ball or foam roller etc.) OUCHY!
After releasing the QL we then need to test the QL and Psoas against each other and if the Psoas now tests strong then you have successfully reprogrammed the dysfunctional pattern.
Your homework would be to release the QL and then strengthen the psoas. If you don't do the strengthening component you will be in a vicious cycle of chronic low back pain and spending all of your hard earned cash to fix the same problem.
Save your money in your piggy bank and actually do your homework!!! $$$$
OTHER MUSCLES RESPONSIBLE FOR AN INHIBITED PSOAS MAY INCLUDE:
An inhibition of the psoas can cause tightness, and pain in the lumbar spine and the sacroiliac joint. Because the psoas attaches to the lumbar intervertebral discs, it is crucial in the management of low back pain to deal properly with these dysfunctional relationships.
Just because the psoas is "tight" doesn't mean it needs to be stretched. The question you need to ask is "why is it tight?" If it is tight and weak then stretching it will make it panic and cause it to rebound and tighten up more. When a muscle is weak it protects itself by shortening. This is why it is very important to determine if the muscle is weak or strong before you go ahead and start yanking away at your hip trying to stretch out your "tight/weak" hip flexors.