Core stabilization therapy trains core muscles to support the spine, neck and shoulder blades. It is a fundamental component of current physiotherapy treatments for back and neck pain.
Compared with other treatments such as manual therapy, core stabilization has been shown to result in longer sustained improvement in patients.
Core muscles lie deep within the torso and are generally attached to the spine, pelvis and shoulder blades. The contraction of these core muscles stabilizes the spine, pelvis and shoulders to create a solid base for arm and leg movements.
Core stabilization involves using many muscles in a coordinated movement. Rather than isolating a specific joint as in most weight-lifting workouts, core-stability exercises focus on working the deep muscles of the entire torso at once.
For example: The abdominal muscle group in the lower trunk area is made up of four muscles – the sit-up muscle (rectus abdominus) and three muscles that wrap around the sides (the internal and external obliques and the transversus abdominus, or corset muscle).
The last of these muscles, the corset muscle, is found at the deepest layer. Research suggests that the corset muscle is one of the most important providers of lower back support. In fact, it has been shown that in almost 90% of all body movements, these core muscles actively support the entire trunk region.
Core stabilization therapy aims to improve the dynamic relationship that exists among the muscles controlling the lower back and the muscles that move the limbs.