Joseph Comerford


Background: Non-specific low back pain affects people of all ages and is a leading contributor to disease burden worldwide. Estimates from the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017–18 National Health estimate about 4.0 million Australians have back problems. The management of NSLBP has proven very challenging, as evidenced by its mounting socioeconomic burden. Core stability treatment procedures aim to improve pain and disability by increasing spinal stability in the lumbar spine. The purpose of this review is to examine the effect enhancing core stability through targeted core stabilisation exercises has on reducing the symptoms of NSLBP in combination with or independent of general exercise programs and/or conservative treatments.


Methods: A structured search of relevant articles was performed using the PubMed, Elsevier, and Cochrane databases. The search provided a total of 608 articles. Twenty-two articles met the inclusion criteria, and 586 articles were excluded.

Results: Core stability provides excellent therapeutic effects in NSLBP patients by reducing pain intensity and functional disability. Evidence suggests that core stability is more effective than rest or no/minimal intervention and, when used in combination with other types of exercise for NSLBP, can have even greater efficacy.

Conclusion: Core stability exercises should be used as part of a comprehensive treatment approach for non-specific low back pain (NSLBP), combined with other modalities such as therapeutic exercise and allied health conservative treatment plans. When used in conjunction with other modalities in a multidisciplinary approach, these treatments have demonstrated significant improvements in both pain levels and functional status, as compared to a placebo.


Student Contributions