Core stability: separating facts from fiction

There has been an enormous emphasis placed on the perceived importance of “core stability” in the last two decades in the management of several chronic pain disorders, especially chronic low back pain. While there is evidence that the posture, movement and muscle tension of people with chronic low back pain might differ from those without pain, there is no evidence that most people require more “core” muscle tone. In fact, there is emerging evidence that those experiencing the most severe pain and disability would benefit from reducing their muscle tone and regaining freedom of movement. In addition, it is increasingly clear that while exercise is important, several other factors must be considered in managing chronic pain such as beliefs about pain, lifestyle factors, mental health and physical activity.

This is Prof. Peter O’Sullivan being interviewed by James Davis on what he sees is the role of “core stability” and how it contrasts with a broader multidimensional treatment approach – Cognitive Functional Therapy.

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