Suffering from lower back and/or pelvic girdle pain?
One particular reason why you may be suffering from lower back and/or pelvic girdle pain is because your TRANSVERSE MUSCLE OF THE ABDOMEN (Transversus Abdominis) isn’t working properly. This muscle supports your back and pelvis and with training the pain can be controlled.
Where can you find this muscle?
It’s the deepest muscle of your stomach muscles (deeper than your 6 pack muscles) and runs across from your stomach to your back. Your ribs and pelvis are also attached to it.
What trainings can I take to make this muscle stronger?
You can begin with a position that is most comfortable for you:
•Kneeling on your hands and knees
•Lie on your back
•Lie on your stomach
(You and your physiotherapist will decide which position is best for you)
Now, take a relaxed breath in and out. When you hold your breath out, remember to slowly draw in your lower abdominal muscles towards your back, the area towards your pubic line towards your back. Try to avoid moving your back or pelvis.
To support this exercise, you may want to contract your pelvic floor muscles if you can, as this will help your transverse muscle of the abdomen to work
How do you know the transverse muscle of the abdomen is working?
If you put your hands on your hips with your fingers pointing in, you may feel a sliding of the muscle. This is an indication that the muscle is working. Make sure the contractions of your muscle are slow and gentle. Your physiotherapists may recommend a certain amount of time to practise this contraction.
Are there other variations to this exercise?
Yes there is…
-You can try to hold your muscle in while your slowly breathe in and out
-You may also increase the length of time you hold the contraction from day to day
-Other positions may be tried out while performing this exercise, such as standing, sitting, bending, getting up from a chair or walking
A few important points for you to remember:
•Avoid holding your breath
•Practice as often as you can throughout the day
•Try to use the muscle in your daily routine to remind you to do the exercise
•Time is the key, so keep trying as this exercise takes time to master
Still cannot do it?
At Sydney Women’s Physiotherapy we utilise a real time ultrasound machine to see the transverse muscles of your abdominal wall, teach you how to activate them correctly, and design a program to enhance your skill in engaging them easier.
Once you have learnt to activate this muscle you can carry out activities such as carrying your children or grandchildren with more strength, stability and overcome your back and/ pelvic girdle pain.