Dynamic Disc Designs
Core Muscles of Spine

Understanding Core Exercises

Core stabilization exercises and why they work for many mechanical low back pain sufferers.

spinal stabilization

At Dynamic Disc Designs, we believe the answers may not be as complicated as we thought. In a 2012 publication titled, A Meta-Analysis of Core Stability Exercise versus General Exercise for Chronic Low Back Pain1 the authors looked to tackle the question on whether there is a difference. Most clinical practice guidelines consider exercise therapy to be helpful in treating chronic LBP patients’ pain and enhancing their functional status. As this was a growing trend in fitness, core stability training is now being questioned by some on how it is to be used in sports medicine and rehabilitation programmes.

Many studies have shown that core stability exercises are important to LBP rehabilitation. Panjabi proposed a well-known model of the spine stability system, which is divided into three subsystems: the passive subsystem (which includes bone, ligament, and joint capsule), the active subsystem (which includes muscle and tendons), and the neural subsystem (which consists of the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system). According to this model, these three subsystems collaborate to provide stability by controlling spinal movement. To promote optimal spinal stability, an effective core stability exercise should consider the motor and sensory components of the exercise and how they relate to these systems.

This meta-analysis of 5 RCTs comparing core stability exercise and general exercise for chronic LBP included 414 patients. The Cochrane Collaboration recommendations were used to assess the risk of bias in each article. Furthermore, each article had a high risk of other biases. It was also difficult to determine whether the articles accurately described the outcome measures they were supposed to describe. However, no serious complications were reported in any of the five articles that looked into adverse events. However, the number of subjects included was insufficient to determine the safety of core stability exercises.

In a 2023 study on the Effectiveness of Spinal Stabilization Exercises on Movement Performance in Adults with Chronic Low Back Pain2, these researchers had a fresh look at this same very question: Is core stabilization exercise better than general exercise?

This randomized, double-blind clinical trial compared two exercise programmes: spinal stabilization and general exercise.

What did they find?

The findings of this study suggest that spinal stabilization exercises were are more effective than general exercises in improving movement performance in people with chronic lower back pain over an eight-week period.

Dynamic Disc Designs

At Dynamic Disc Designs, we have developed models (like our L2-5 Hypermobility Model) to help relay and communicate WHY spinal stabilization exercises can be helpful in the prescription of low back pain care. Our realistic models enable spine professionals to educate patients on the value of spine stabilizing to allow the pain to wind down. Explore our effective teaching models.