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Why a Strong Core can Prevent or Alleviate Injury as a Result of an Accident

Dr. Jeff J. Mollins has been diagnosing, treating, and documenting injuries sustained by accident victims, for thirty years. Dr. Mollins firmly believes “that an ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure”. He is well aware that accidents, whether it is a work accident, car accident, slip and fall, or a construction accident will happen regardless of how careful someone may be. However, Dr. Mollins is also aware that if a person maintains strong core muscles, it will likely eliminate or reduce the injury that is sustained.

When most people think about the core of the body, they think of the abdominal or “six-pack” area just below the ribs. While the abdominal muscles are an important part of the core, other muscles are included as well. Your core includes:

  • Front abdominal muscles – the rectus abdominis
  • Muscles along the side of your body – the internal and external obliques
  • A deep muscle that wraps around the front – the traverse abdominis
  • The muscles in your back that are located between your spine – the erector spinae and multifidi
  • The muscles in your buttocks -gluteals

If the above “core muscles” are weak, when an injury occurs (i.e. a car accident), your body will rely more on other passive structures, such as ligaments (the tissue that connects bone to bone) and the discs (which lie between the spinal bones for stability and range of motion). If core muscles are strong, chances are these vital structures may either not be damaged or less damaged when trauma is placed on the body. Weak core muscles may allow damage to these structures. Damage to spinal ligaments and/or discs may vary from mild to severe, can be extremely painful, may take a long time to heal, and in many situations may be dire where surgical intervention is necessary.

The following are some exercises to strengthen the core and can help lessen or prevent damage to the back if a traumatic accident may occur.

  • Side plank – Sit on the floor with your right hand below your right shoulder and feet stacked. Lift your body, keeping your legs long, abdominals engaged and feet stacked. Hold. Repeat on other side. You can modify the pose by dropping your bottom knee to the floor for extra support.
  • Plank – Kneel on all fours. Pull in your abdomen and step your feet behind you until your legs are straight. Keep your hand directly under your shoulders and your neck straight. Hold your abdomen and legs tight and avoid letting your lower back sag. Hold and breath for 30 seconds. You can modify this pose by lowering your knees.
  • Bird dog – Kneel on all fours. Reach one arm out in front of you, draw in your abdomen, and extend the opposite leg long behind you. Repeat on the other side.
  • Scissors – Lie on your back with your arms at your sides and legs painted straight into the air above your hips. Press your lower back into the mat and tighten your abdomen. Lower your right leg until it is a few inches from the floor. Raise your right leg up and begin lowering your left leg the same way. Continue switching right and left.
  • Upward dog – Lie face down with head slightly lifted and hands palm-down under your shoulders. Point your toes. Exhale, then press through your hands and the tops of your feet and raise your body and legs up until your arms are straight and your body and legs are off the ground. Keep your neck relaxed and long and thigh muscles tight as you hold and breath.

Dr. Mollins is aware that accidents cannot be avoided. If you are involved in any accident, call him immediately. Keeping these core muscles in shape can prevent or alleviate the damage that may result from a traumatic injury!

Posted in: Auto Accident Doctor, Back Pain Treatment, Blog, Construction Accidents, Diagnostic Testing, Injury Documentation, Injury Treatment, Neck Pain Treatment, Orthopedics, Physical Examinations, Slip and Fall Accidents, Uncategorized, Work Injuries, Workers Compensation