To Begin Fixing – Disrupted Abdominal Muscle Function

There are multiple different factors that can disrupt normal or optimal abdominal muscle function. As I have explained in previous articles core function is essential for supporting internal organs, providing support for the Circulatory system, and is the foundation on which all movement is built. Therefore, it’s important to know what can degrade core functionality. For if you don’t know what or where the problem is, you won’t know how to begin fixing it.

Internal Organ & Muscle Communication

What I’m about to tell you may sound like a radical concept. Your organs talk to your muscles. What am I talking about? Let me explain, internal organs borrow their pain-sensitive nerve fibers from the muscular system & the fascia that surrounds them. This essentially means that when an organ is in pain or not functioning correctly, the brain can’t determine if it’s the muscle or the organ that hurts. The brain only knows which segment of the spine the pain message is coming from. This is due to the function of the spinal cord, a part of the central nervous system (CNS), which extends down the spine and is protected by the bony structures of the vertebral column.1 Specific nerve channels are attached to each segment of the spine. In return, to receiving which segment of the spine the message came from. The brain then tells all the tissues and organs on that nerve channel to behave like they’re in pain. Since pain always weakens muscles, the abdominal muscles generally lose tone and don’t respond to exercise like a painless muscle would.

A Radical, But Familiar Concept

Again, this may seem radical, but you’re probably more familiar with this concept than you realize. For example, when someone is about to have a heart attack, they don’t feel pain in their heart, but rather on the left side of their chest and the left arm muscles. Here is another example, when people are constipated they often suffer from back pain and find that a laxative or enema eliminates the pain. What is displayed in both of these examples is that the organs are always in constant communication with the muscles. We just need to learn to listen to what our organs are telling us.

What You Eat (Your Diet)

Another concept that many may consider radical, but is connected to the first concept, is that what you eat (diet) could be disrupting core function. As consuming foods or drinks that you’re allergic or intolerant to will affect your abdominal function. Anything that causes inflammation of an internal organ that communicates through the nervous system and controls abdominal muscles will cause the muscle to weaken or be non-responsive to exercise. There are many different potential causes of inflammation in the organs such as alcohol consumption, medical drugs, food additives, food preservatives and colorings. On a side note, inflammation is so pervasive in human dysfunction and that there is an entire journal dedicated to its study.2 There is even a growing suspicion among holistic-minded scientists and healthcare professionals that eating irradiated foods and foods that have been heated in microwave ovens cause inflammation in your digestive system.3

Dirty Machine Tricks

Last up we have the dirty tricks that machines play in weakening our core stabilization muscles, or deep core muscles. This dirty trick is that though some of your muscles get stronger on machines, your stabilizer system muscles does not get equally as strong. This happens, in part, because our nervous system, in its efforts to stabilize the spine, doesn’t want to do any more work to activate the deep abdominal muscles than it must. Take a second and think about it, how much stabilization does the body need when it’s supported by the floor and wearing a seatbelt! The brain is only going to activate the muscles in direct relation to the demand. A machine may challenge the outer unit (larger muscles designed to move the body) while doing a great job of stabilizing the load with large bolts, pins, and rails that way you don’t have too. The result is a relatively little, if any, significant contraction of the smaller stabilizer muscles crossing the working joints. The appearance of new, bigger muscles from working out on machines may be something many envy, but they may also provide false confidence. Since many are likely to get hurt because they can’t adequately stabilize the spine, or the extremity joints being used.

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK6229/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1074343/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15729830