Updates on core stabilization exercise and strengthening exercise: A review article

Main Article Content

Su Su Hlaing
Rungthip Puntumetakul
Sawitri Wanpen
Pongsatorn Saiklang


Nowadays, core stabilization exercise (CSE) and strengthening exercise (STE) are widely used in clinical practice to treat lower back pain. CSE focuses on the transversus abdominis (TrA) and lumbar multifidus (LM) muscles, is based on a motor relearning approach, and retrains the function of the local trunk muscles, whereas STE emphasizes the global muscles. Both exercises reduce pain and functional disability, provide neuromuscular control, and enhance the stability of the spine. Although a variety of previous studies have compared the effectiveness of these two forms of exercise, the heterogeneity of treatment procedures and participants produced conflicting results. The aim of this article is to compare and contrast CSE and STE in four different categories: exercise performance, neuromuscular activation and muscle involvement, intensity and duration, and exercise adherence. Most previous research has concluded that there is no significant difference in effectiveness between the two forms of exercise because both utilize a similar approach. Therefore, both exercises can help to reduce lower back pain problems, and we suggest that therapies should be chosen according to which exercise is the most appropriate for the problems presented by each individual patient in terms of the severity and pathology of the lower back pain. Further studies need to explore the effects of CSE and STE in terms of motor control-proprioceptive sense, balance, and muscle thickness-in the early stages of lower back pain.


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Article Details

Review Articles
Author Biographies

Su Su Hlaing, Human Movement Sciences, School of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand

Chief Physiotherapist

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation department

Maubin General Hospital 

Maubin Township, Irrawaddy division, Myanmar.

Rungthip Puntumetakul, Research Center in Back, Neck, Other Joint Pain and Human Performance, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand

Associate Professor, School of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Khon Kaen University, Muang District, Kohn Kaen, Thailand.

Sawitri Wanpen, Research Center in Back, Neck, Other Joint Pain and Human Performance, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand

Assistant Professor, School of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Khon Kaen University, Muang District, Kohn Kaen, Thailand.

Pongsatorn Saiklang, Division of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Srinakharinwiroj University, Nakhonnayok, Thailand

PhD candidate, Human Movement Sciences, School of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand.


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