Abdominal Core Health

A new concept in the treatment of abdominal wall diseases is abdominal core health. Members of the Abdominal Core Health Quality Collaborative (ACHQC; previously the Americas Hernia Society Quality Collaborative, or AHSQC) aim to redefine the hernia care field in surgery as abdominal core health, noting that abdominal core health encompasses more than just hernia repairs. In the past, diseases that affect abdominal strength or diseases of the abdominal core were treated separately.

The interactions between the abdominal wall, diaphragm, pelvic floor, and even the lower back are now carefully taken into consideration with the knowledge that the health of the abdominal core may have a substantial impact on the whole body. According to the ACHQC, the study of abdominal core health is “redefining medical education by creating a comprehensive didactic approach to one of the most dynamic and complex areas of the body – the abdominal wall – not just a focus on hernia.”

The Importance of Abdominal Core Health

Abdominal core health encompasses the quality of life, function, and stability of the abdominal core. To be generally healthy and be able to participate in everyday activities, you need core muscle strength and the support these muscles provide your body. The muscles and supporting structures in your front, sides, and back, as well as the diaphragm above and the pelvic muscles below, make up your “abdominal core” and play an integral part in daily function. Nearly all physical activities, including work, hobbies, exercise, and even a brief trip around the block or picking up your kids or grandkids, are made possible by the close cooperation of these body parts. A strong core aids in injury prevention, posture improvement, lower back pain relief, and improved breathing, so taking care of it is essential. Enhancing the strength of your core muscles is crucial for everyday function.

We can help with core health
and hernia surgery
because we treat the whole person.

Treatment for the Abdominal Core

It’s crucial to understand that the health of other nearby areas, such as the back, pelvic floor, or diaphragm, is related to and may affect the front section of the abdomen, where diseases like hernias originate. A seemingly basic problem may become rather challenging if not addressed with a holistic multidisciplinary approach. Because all of these sections are interdependent and associated with one another, they have the potential to affect other, more remote regions of the body. This is the reason why every patient should start out with a treatment plan and an individualized approach that has been carefully planned by a team of specialists.

When non-surgical treatments are suitable for your specific problem, you should seek to attempt them first. If abdominal core surgery is necessary, you should get treatment from a surgeon like Dr. Iskandar at the Iskandar Complex Hernia Center who is aware of how the abdominal core impacts the whole body. Additionally, preoperative rehabilitation to help you build strength would be beneficial, as would quitting smoking, losing weight, and managing your diabetes. Postoperative physical therapy will help speed your recovery.

Maintenance of Abdominal Core Health

Exercise (core exercises), physical therapy, medical therapy (such as the use of a compression garment or truss use), alternative medical therapies (such as acupuncture or yoga), surgical intervention, and disease prevention strategies may all be used to maintain abdominal core health and prevent disease (eg, hernia prophylaxis). After abdominal core surgery, including abdominal wall reconstruction or hernia treatment, the abdominal core should be rehabilitated to protect function and flexibility while aiding the healing process.

More FAQ’s about Abdominal Core Health

What disease processes involve abdominal core health?

Intrinsic diseases of the abdominal wall (hernia disease, diastasis, athletic pubalgia/core muscle injury, benign and malignant tumors), as well as extrinsic diseases of the abdominal wall (prosthetic and intervention-related complications, benign and malignant tumors), are among the disease processes affecting abdominal core health.

What types of medical specialties work together to address abdominal core health?

When abdominal core health care is a quality collaboration and coordinated across a team of experts from several medical specialties, patient surgical outcomes are improved, and quality of life, as well as long-term recovery, are maximized. These medical specialties include:

  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Personal training
  • Nutrition services
  • Integrative medicine
  • Critical care
  • Trauma surgery
  • General and gastrointestinal surgery
  • Plastic surgery
  • Colorectal surgery

What is the Abdominal Core Health Quality Collaborative (ACHQC)?

The ACHQC is a non-profit organization that collects health information related to abdominal core and hernia repairs in accordance with its mission to improve the patient’s clinical outcome and value in abdominal core health and hernia patient care. The Abdominal Core Health Quality Collaborative has a number of peer-reviewed publications written by experts in abdominal core health, including those who specialize in hernia repair, abdominal wall reconstruction surgery, gastrointestinal surgery, and plastic surgery.

What is your core made of?

Imagine your core as a sturdy column connecting your upper body and lower body. A strong core serves as the basis for all endeavors. The torso propels all of our motions; as we sit, stand, bend over, pick things up, exercise, and more, the abdominals and back support the spine.

Your core muscles are the ones that link to your spine or pelvis and are located deep inside your back and abdomen. The transversus abdominis, the pelvic floor muscles, and the oblique muscles are a few of these muscles.

The multifidus is a different muscle that helps move the trunk. This muscle travels parallel to the spine and is deep in the back. Together with the transversus abdominis, it helps to stabilize the spine and guard against back strain or damage during activity or normal posture. The combined function of these muscle groups may be supported by using the right “core strengthening” methods which can be learned from an experienced health professional.

We can help with core health
and hernia surgery
because we treat the whole person.

Is the core only abdominal muscles?

Your core is so more than your abdominal muscles. The human core is actually made up of 29 muscles in your mid and low back, butt, hips, and pelvic floor. Together, these muscles act as the foundation for all of your body’s movements.

What is the function of the core?

Your core has two main functions. First, to spare your spine from carrying an excessive load. The second is to transfer force from your lower body to your upper body and vice versa.

In addition, we are able to perform at our best and prevent injuries when we have a strong, stable core.

Why is your abdominal core important?

All of your core muscles will play a significant role in supporting, moving, and protecting you, since they either directly or indirectly insert into your spine and pelvis. Your motions will be powerful, pain-free, and injury-free if you have a rock-solid core. Having a strong core can also help reduce or improve lower back pain. Your posture is also affected by your core strength. When you have a strong core, it helps to straighten the position of your spine, improving your posture and breathing too. A strong core is critical for overall athletic performance as well, but even if you’re not an athlete, everyday activities like climbing stairs or walking can be much easier with a strengthened core. Less strain is put on other muscles when they don’t have to overcompensate for a weak core. As you can see, a strong core is very important for many functions and affects everyday life.

Does physical therapy help maintain the abdominal core after ventral hernia repair?

It has long been the protocol for ventral hernia repair patients to undergo physical therapy postoperatively. However, Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center for Abdominal Core Health is conducting a study to confirm if there really is a benefit for this group of patients. Ventral hernia repair is one of the most common operations performed involving dynamic parts of the abdominal core musculature. The failure rate of these repairs is 24-43%. The study will aim to quantify the effects of abdominal core rehabilitation using physical therapy and also seeks to discover the best way to rehabilitate the abdominal core postoperatively.

Can core muscle training cause an incisional hernia after abdominal surgery?

The current recommendation in most patient information is to reduce core muscle activity in the postoperative period to prevent incisional hernia, one of the most common problems after abdominal surgery. However, there is no proof to back up the claim that incisional hernias are more common when the core muscles are active. In contrast, it is expected that a decrease in physical activity will cause sarcopenia, chronic postsurgical pain (CPSP), and physical deconditioning.

We can help with core health
and hernia surgery
because we treat the whole person.

Does stretching help after abdominal core surgery?

Stretching eases pain, enhances blood flow, and maintains the mobility of your abdominal muscles for every patient (including hernia patients) after hernia surgery or other types of reconstructive surgery. Additionally, it lessens the formation of scar tissue and results in faster healing. Follow your doctor’s instructions and guidelines for stretching to protect your hernia repair.

The Iskandar Complex Hernia Center

Iskandar Complex Hernia Center is a center for abdominal core health and we offer hope, renowned expertise, and unparalleled compassion. Call the leading center for abdominal core health in Texas to learn more about how we can help improve your quality of life.

The Iskandar Complex Hernia Center offers patients a compassionate, coordinated, and comprehensive approach to abdominal health and is a leading expert and center for abdominal core health. Give us a call today to learn more and be on your path to an improved quality of life.

Abdominal Core Health Quality Collaborative

Posted on July 29, 2022

Posted in abdominal wall repairTagged , ,
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Dr. Iskandar, MD, FACS is a board-certified general surgeon with fellowship training in minimally invasive surgery and bariatric surgery. He is an accredited Surgeons of Excellence in Hernia Surgery by the SRC. The Iskandar Complex Hernia Center is one of only two North Texas Hernia Centers deemed Centers of Excellence. As a globally respected complex hernia expert, he specializes in complex hernia repair and abdominal reconstruction. He is also an Associate Professor of Surgery at Texas A&M School of Medicine.