Effectiveness of core stabilisation exercises in the management of low back pain

back pain relief gel


Low back pain (LBP) is a common problem faced by a lot of people in today’s era. The prevalence of LBP in adults has been well documented with a life-time prevalence of over 70%, one year period prevalence of over 50% and a point prevalence of over 20%, although some studies have reported it to be as high as 40%.2Different systematic reviews conducted in past decade have raised a significant concern over the role of exercise in management of low back pain. e.g. flexion / extension biased, strengthening of abdominals, McKenzie, stretching or Williams8. Exercises for low back pain have evolved over the period of time with specific emphasis on the maintaining the spinal stability. These types of core stabilization exercises are aimed at improving the neuromuscular control, endurance, strength of muscles central to maintaining dynamic spinal stability. The core muscles, which are the primary muscle group for maintaining spinal stability can be divided into two groups according to their functions and attributes. The first group of muscles is composed of the deep core muscles, which are also called local stabilizing muscles. These muscles primarily include the transversus abdominis, lumbar multifidus, internal oblique muscle and quadratus lumborum. When the core muscles function normally, they can maintain segmental stability, protect the spine, and reduce stress impacting the lumbar vertebrae and intervertebral discs; hence, the core muscles are also called “the natural brace” in humans.10

Compared with typical resistance training, core strength training is easier for CLBP patients to learn, although it is more challenging. Additionally, no special equipment is required, and patients can independently practice core strength training at home, which is essential because home-based exercise programs can yield additional benefits for motivated patients.10


The results of this study illustrate that clinical and therapeutic effects of core stabilization exercise program over the period of six weeks are more effective in terms of reduction in pain, compared to routine physical therapy exercise for similar duration. This study found significant reduction in pain across the two groups at 2nd, 4th and 6th week of treatment with p value less than 0.05.


Core stabilization exercise is more effective than routine physical therapy exercise in terms of greater reduction in pain in patients with non-specific low back pain.


  1. Savigny P, Kuntze S, Watson P, Underwood M, Ritchie G, Cotterell M, et al. Low back pain: early management of persistent non-specific low back pain. London: National Collaborating Centre for Primary Care and Royal College of General Practitioners. 2009:14. [Google Scholar]
  2. Rosario-MEDERI B, do Maranhão SL, de Oncologia M, Garcia JB. Prevalence of low back pain in Latin America: a systematic literature review. Pain Physician. 2014;17:379–391. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
  3. Faas A. Exercises: which ones are worth trying, for which patients, and when? Spine. 1996;21(24):2874–2478. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
  4. Koes BW, Bouter LM, Beckerman H, Van Der Heijden G, Knipschild PG. Physiotherapy exercises and back pain: a blinded review. BMJ. 1991;302(6792):1572–1576. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
  5. Long A, Donelson R, Fung T. Does it matter which exercise?: A randomized control trial of exercise for low back pain. Spine. 2004;29(23):2593–2602. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
  6. Cherkin DC, Deyo RA, Battié M, Street J, Barlow W. A comparison of physical therapy, chiropractic manipulation, and provision of an educational booklet for the treatment of patients with low back pain. New Eng J Med. 1998;339(15):1021–1029. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
  7. Van Tulder MW, Koes BW, Bouter LM. Conservative treatment of acute and chronic nonspecific low back pain: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials of the most common interventions. Spine. 1997;22(18):2128–2156. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
  8. Abenhaim L, Rossignol M, Valat JP, Nordin M, Avouac B, Blotman F, et al. The role of activity in the therapeutic management of back pain: Report of the International Paris Task Force on Back Pain. Spine. 2000;25(4S):1S–33S. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
  9. Richardson C, Jull G. Muscle control–pain control. What exercises would you prescribe? Man Ther. 1995;1(1):2–10. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
  10. Gatti R, Faccendini S, Tettamanti A, et al.: Efficacy of trunk balance exercises for individuals with chronic low back pain: a randomized clinical trial. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, 2011, 41: 542–552. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]