The “core” is a region bounded by the abdominal wall, the pelvic floor, the muscles and skeleton of the lower back and the diaphragm. When functioning optimally, the core is able to stabilize the body during movement. The main muscles involved include the transversus abdominus, the internal and external obliques, the quadratus lumborum, the multifidi and other small, segmental muslces of the back, the muslces of the pelvic floor and the respiratory diaphragm.
It is the action of these muscles contracting together upon the incompressible contents of the abdominal cavity (i.e. the internal organs or viscera) that provides support to the spine and pelvis during movement. Whenever a person moves to lift something or simply to move from one position to another, the core region is tensed first. This tension is usually made unconsciously and in conjunction with a change in breathing pattern. An example to try is to sit in a chair and to reach forward over a table to pick up a cup. This movement is first accompanied by a tension in the core region of the abdomen and can be felt by placing one hand on the abdomen as the movement is made. As the load increases the key muscles contract around the viscera, which are incompressible, to form a stable ball-like core region against which the forces are balanced in coordination with posture. In martial arts there is a saying that ‘power is generated from the ground up’ and core stability is necessary for the transfer of force and power from the ground across the body into any movement.
Core stability is essential for the maintenance of an upright posture and especially for movements and lifts that require extra effort such as lifting a heavy weight from the ground to a table. Without core stability the lower back is not supported from inside and can be injured by strain caused by the exercise. Insufficient core stability in the human can result in lower back pain, poor posture and lethargy.
A balance disorder is a disturbance that causes an individual to feel unsteady, woozy, or have a sensation of movement, spinning, or floating. Balance is the result of a number of body systems working together. Specifically, in order to achieve balance the eyes (visual system), ears (vestibular system) and the body’s sense of where it is in space (proprioception) need to be intact. Also the brain, which compiles this information, needs to be functioning normally.
Problems with balance occur whenever there is a disruption in the vestibular, visual, proprioceptive or cognitive systems. Symptoms of a balance disorder may include dizziness, vertigo (spinning), disequilibrium (off balance and falls), and light headedness.
Our specialists can work with you to determine the root cause of your balance disorder and provide treatment to stabilize your system.
Electrical Stimulation (E-stim)
Electrical stimulation (E-stim) uses a machine that sends a light electrical current into the treatment area via pads attached to the skin. E-stim works by mimicking the natural way by which the body exercises its muscles. The electrodes attached to the skin deliver impulses that make the muscles contract. It is beneficial in increasing the patient’s range of motion and improves the circulation of the body. It is used in treating conditions like sprains, arthritis, muschle pain, healing wounds and sciatica.
E-stim is also commonly used to help with chronic pain and after surgical procedures to foster healing. The general type of electric stimulation is used for healing wounds and alleviating pain. For the convenience of the patient, a portable E-stim unit can be prescribed by the doctor or a physical therapist for the patient to use at home.
Traction refers to a machine that provides a “pull” on either the neck or low back using a set of straps or a harness. The pulling relieves pressure on joints in the spine, opens up the spaces in the spine where nerves exit, reduces pressure on vertebral discs, and can assist in treating other problems with the spine.
Traction can be used as part of the treatment for bulging or herniated discs, nerve root compression, and a variety of other problems. Your physical therapist can determine whether traction is appropriate for your condition and the proper settings to use. Traction is usually an adjunct to other treatment received.
Ultrasound treatment uses a machine to send sound waves into the tissue being treated. Depending on the settings used, the sound waves cause enough vibration with resulting friction to produce heat in the area. At lower settings it can be used for other reasons, such a micro-massage, without heating up the area.
Ultrasound can be used for a variety of conditions like muscle spasms or increased muscle tone, hematomas (bruises), swelling or edema, and areas of irritation or pain. Your physical therapist can determine whether ultrasound is appropriate for your condition. Ultrasound is usually an adjunct to other treatment received.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a psychotherapy treatment that was originally designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories (Shapiro, 1989a, 1989b). Shapiro’s (2001) Adaptive Information Processing model posits that EMDR facilitates the accessing and processing of traumatic memories to bring these to an adaptive resolution. After successful treatment with EMDR, affective distress is relieved, negative beliefs are reformulated, and physiological arousal is reduced.
During EMDR the client attends to emotionally disturbing material in brief sequential doses while simultaneously focusing on an external stimulus. Therapist directed lateral eye movements are the most commonly used external stimulus but a variety of other stimuli including hand-tapping and audio stimulation are often used (Shapiro, 1991). Shapiro (1995) hypothesizes that EMDR facilitates the accessing of the traumatic memory network, so that information processing is enhanced, with new associations forged between the traumatic memory and more adaptive memories or information. These new associations are thought to result in complete information processing, new learning, elimination of emotional distress, and development of cognitive insights.
EMDR uses a three pronged protocol: (1) the past events that have laid the groundwork for dysfunction are processed, forging new associative links with adaptive information; (2) the current circumstances that elicit distress are targeted, and internal and external triggers are desensitized; (3) imaginal templates of future events are incorporated, to assist the client in acquiring the skills needed for adaptive functioning.
Biofeedback is a training technique in which people are taught to improve their health and performance by using signals from their own bodies. One commonly used device picks up electrical signals from the muscles and translates the signals into a form that people can detect. This device triggers a flashing light or activates a beeper every time muscles become tense. To relax tense muscles, the client must slow down the flashing or beeping. People learn to associate sensations from the muscle with actual levels of tension and develop a new, healthy habit of keeping muscles only as tense as is necessary for as long as necessary. After treatment, individuals are then able to repeat this response at will without being attached to the sensors. Other biological functions which are commonly measured and used in similar ways to help people learn to control their physical functioning are skin temperature, heart rate, sweat gland activity, and brainwave activity.
Clinicians use this information to gauge and direct a treatment plan. Research has shown that individuals can alter their involuntary physical responses by being ‘fed back’ information about what is occurring in their bodies. Biofeedback can train individuals with techniques to live a healthier life.
Biofeedback can be used as a stand alone treatment or in conjunction with other therapies. There are many conditions that can benefit from biofeedback, including chronic pain disorders, insomnia, anxiety disorders, PTSD, headache, TMJ, stress, asthma, hypertension, incontinence, neuromuscular disorders (Bell’s Palsy, whiplash, low back strain, torticollis, stroke, muscle spasm), Raynaud’s Disease, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It may also be used to aid in posture training and peak performance.
To learn more watch this short video.
Neurofeedback is a form of biofeedback in which the brain is trained to help improve its ability to regulate all bodily functions and take care of itself. When the brain is not functioning well, evidence can be recorded on an EEG (Electroencephalogram). By challenging the brain, much as you challenge your body in physical exercise, we can help the brain learn to function better.
Neurofeedback is a process in which sensors are placed upon the head at specific sites to monitor the EEG brainwaves that are being produced. These sensors are non-invasive and not painful. The brain wave activity is then fed back to the client in real time via visual and/or auditory display. The client can then affect this activity through an operant conditioning paradigm. This concept basically states that if there is a positive reward for a behavior it will be followed by an increase in the probability that it will occur again. A display of the electrical activity of the brain on a computer screen can be used to train and alter different cognitive and emotional states. The displays that we use simply convert very sophisticated signals into images and sounds that are easily understood and allow for effective changes. This can be done using a variety of modalities including a form of video game in which the client is essentially playing the video game with their brain. Using these modalities frequently and over time the brain wave activity is shaped and we begin to affect the state of mind. The clients can see these changes and move towards a predefined goal and learn self regulation. It is not necessary for the client to understand all the intricacies of this process to be successful. As the client trains their brain using neurofeedback the client can learn to improve alertness, attention, emotional regulation, behavior, cognitive function and mental flexibility.
Changing the brain clearly affects the mind. Many studies have shown changes in the physiology of the brain when QEEG is done pre and post treatment. Neurofeedback, which teaches the brain to change itself, helps attention, mood, behavior, cognition, and more. Once these changes are practiced and learned, the effects tend to hold. As you improve or better regulate brain functioning this can affect many issues from insomnia and attention deficit to brain injury, stroke, autism or seizures. This does not mean that we get rid of the problem but that there is simply a reorganization of the brain to function better in the context of whatever injury or loss exists.
Somatic Experiencing® (SE) draws from many different disciplines to address the physiology of stress, trauma, chronic pain and associated conditions. Trauma may begin as acute stress from a perceived life-threat or as the end product of cumulative stress. These types of stress can seriously impair a person’s ability to function with resilience and ease. Trauma may result from a wide variety of stressors such as accidents, invasive medical procedures, sexual or physical assault, emotional abuse, neglect, war, natural disasters, loss, birth trauma, or the corrosive stressors of ongoing fear, conflict or pain.
SE is a body based approach to deal with the problematic (and often physical) symptoms of trauma. Sometimes cognitive approaches aren't enough to restore a clients sense of safety and rebuild resilience; you may also need to work with your physiology. SE helps uncover and adapt the habitual behavior and physiological patterns associated with traumatic symptoms, beiefs and feelings.
Somatic Experiencing® can be utilized as a stand alone treatment or in coordination with physical therapy, biofeedback or other treatment modalities. Research shows that it can be an effective approach in treating: PTSD, anxiety, chronic pain, depression, and other physical and mental health concerns.
Manual Therapies are a specialized treatment approach that consists of ‘hands-on’ techniques designed to mobilize joints, muscle, connective tissue and nerves in order to facilitate healing and restore function. It is an effective treatment for a wide range of conditions.
Myofacial Release (MFR)
Myofascial release (or MFR) is a soft tissue therapy for the treatment of skeletal muscle immobility and pain. This alternative medicine therapy aims to relax contracted muscles, improve blood and lymphatic circulation, and stimulate the stretch reflex in muscles.
Counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals. Counselors utilize proven theories and techniques to help client's achiever thier individual goals. At CORE Services we offer traditional "talk therapy" as well as biofeedback, neurofeedback and Somatic Experiencing, which work with your physiology.
Counseling is offered as a stand alone service or as an adjunct service to physical therapy.
Physical therapy is defined as therapy for the preservation, enhancement, or restoration of movement and physical function impaired or threatened by disease, injury, or disability that utilizes therapeutic exercise, physical modalities (such as massage and electrotherapy), assistive devices, and patient education and training — called also physiotherapy