Can a weak core cause neck pain?
When we talk about core muscles most of us think about the abdominal muscles. But there is more to core muscles than just that. In this blog we will discuss the core muscles of the neck and how a weak core can contribute to neck pain. This is especially important for those who get recurrent neck pain.
The muscles in the body can be broadly divided into core (stabiliser) muscles and global (movement) muscles. Core muscles are the deepest layer of muscles present in the body. Example: the deepest layer of muscles next to the spine that run between the two vertebra (Multifidus) are one of the core muscles in our body. As they lie in  close proximity to the spine they stabilise the spine by providing a scaffolding effect. All the other big muscles that create movement by producing torque are the global muscles. An example of this are the muscles present on the surface of the body. When you nod your head, the stabiliser/core muscles in the neck will stabilise the cervical spine while the global muscles will be activated to produce the nodding action.  
You can watch this video (@2.22 minutes) to learn more about core muscles and their function:

Core muscles are made up of type one or slow twitch fibres, which lets them stay on switched on all the time without getting fatigued. The movement muscles are made up of type two or fast twitch fibres that are like a light switch that can be switched on or off as needed as they get fatigued with constant activity. When you have a weakness in your core muscles the global muscles try and compensate for the lack of stabilisation by the core muscles. This is commonly seen in the trapezius muscle which gradually gets fatigued with the constant activity. This results in pain in the trapezius and other overactive muscles of the neck, causing pain in the neck and shoulder area. The same phenomenon is seen in the muscles in the front of the neck. When overactive they tend to pull the head forwards, leading to poor postures such as forward head posture and thus pain in the neck. When the core muscles are weak the global muscles will try and compensate for their lack of strength with most activities and this will also lead to recurrent neck pain. 

If you want to learn how  to manage your neck pain you can join my free community where we have done a free training on Simple Solutions to Manage your Neck Pain.

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