How many times have you told someone that in order to have a strong back they need to strengthen the core? I have many times. Maybe you even thought that about your own back. It sounds logical and makes sense, but the research doesn’t support this idea. Core stability exercises are used in physical therapy offices and for rehabilitation of NSLBP but the evidence does not support their efficacy. It’s not that they’re bad, they’re just not better than other forms of exercise or movement.
This review looks at 29 studies (from 5 databases) that look at the effect of core stability exercises and alternative treatments on NSLBP pain and disability. The meta-analysis from all of these studies compares the efficacy of core stabilization exercise to other types of exercise such as walking and general exercise.
This meta review of 29 studies asks two questions: 1) Are core stability exercises effective? And 2) Are they as effective as other forms of exercise?