Core stability is essential for proper load balance within the spine, pelvis, and kinetic chain. The so-called core is the group of trunk muscles that surround the spine and abdominal viscera. Abdominal, gluteal, hip girdle, paraspinal, and other muscles work in concert to provide spinal stability. Core stability and its motor control have been shown to be imperative for initiation of functional limb movements, as needed in athletics. Sports medicine practitioners use core strengthening techniques to improve performance and prevent injury. Core strengthening, often called lumbar stabilization, also has been used as a therapeutic exercise treatment regimen for low back pain conditions. This article summarizes the anatomy of the core, the progression of core strengthening, the available evidence for its theoretical construct, and its efficacy in musculoskeletal conditions.
1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO; 2Sports and Orthopedic Leaders Physical Therapy, Oakland, CA; 3Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA
Address for correspondence: Venu Akuthota, M.D., Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO 80309 (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).