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The "Weakly" Muscle - The Transversus Abdomens (TVA)

ORIGIN:      

Inner surface of the 7th-12th cartilages of the ribs, the deep layers of the thoracolumbar fascia, the anterior two-thirds of the iliac crest and the lateral one-third of the inguinal ligament.

INSERTION:     

Linea alba, the pubic crest, and the pectinous pubis.   

ACTION:      

Rotation, flexion and lateral flexion of the trunk.  Most importantly, to increase intra-abdominal pressure for core stability.        

REFERRED PAIN:

In researching the topic, I have yet to discover any referral pain sites for the Transversus Abdominus.  

DISCUSSION:

In many of our patients, regardless of condition, we begin the rehabilitation process by testing their TVA and getting their core to activate fully, without the help of other structures.  The majority of patients have no clue how to engage their TVA effectively and voluntarily.  If you are a person who weight trains and your trainer is constantly telling you to breath because you like to hold your breath, there is a strong possibility that you cannot connect to your TVA.  Anything that increases your intra-abdominal pressure is what we consider your core.  The TVA is fantastic at this job.  A breath hold also works, and even a Kegel contraction performs this task.  When the TVA is not well connected, the other two structures will likely take over.  Because of the importance of the structure, any and all dysfunctions in the body may be linked directly or indirectly to the TVA.  

TEST YOURSELF:

Firmly press the web of your hands into your waist between your ribs and pelvis.  Give yourself a healthy cough.  You will feel your hands move apart from each other.  Now try pushing your hands apart by engaging the same muscle without coughing.  If you can keep this muscle strongly engaged without Kegeling (Pelvic Floor contraction), and while breathing normally(not shallowly), then you know how to engage your TVA.  Otherwise, come on down and we can show you how.  

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