Core Muscles and Intra-Abdominal Pressure: A Key to Spinal Health

Procedure Information

April’s Five Minute Manager

The Core’ De-mystified



As opposed to those involved in movement and force generation, core muscles can generate & maintain Intra-abdominal pressure which has been demonstrated to unload the spine during both static and dynamic lifting tasks.



Intra-abdominal pressure is developed by the Diaphragm, Transversus Abdominus & the Pelvic floor as opposed to musculature popularly associated with the word core such as Rectus Abdominus (6 pack muscle).



  • As opposed to exercises targeting Rectus Abdominus such as Sit-ups or Crunches, those that target the core would constitute incrementally progressive loading the limbs whilst the patient generates and maintains intra-abdominal pressure. 
  • Movements becoming more complex, functional and in varied directions with increased resistance would constitute the growing load described.



  • We have found it vital to challenge client’s understanding of core strength
  • We have found that following Pelvic or abdominal surgery such as a Cesarean delivery, following pregnancy or in the presence of a hernia the re-establishment of core muscles is particularly crucial.


Hope this helps! Looking forward to seeing you soon!


Michael Rafla
Australian Sports Physiotherapy
Ivanhoe, Heidelberg, Coburg, Northcote, Carlton North
0431 271 714


Frank, C., Kobesova, A., & Kolar, P. (2013). Dynamic neuromuscular stabilization & sports rehabilitation. International journal of sports physical therapy, 8(1), 62–73.

Seeking Physio Guidance?
Request a Call Back Today!

Wondering if physiotherapy is right for you? No worries – we’re here to assist. Just leave your Full Name and Contact Number below, and one of our physiotherapists will get in touch to chat about your concerns and offer professional insights to put your mind at ease.