Specialising in musculoskeletal, orthopaedic, spinal and sports rehabilitation

Core stability is a popular term that initially grew organically rather than being developed from structured scientific principles. This is evidenced by the lack of common understanding for the term. A small research base that used inconsistent terms and definitions limited the concept development. Subsequent high quality research into transversus abdominus and multifidus function appears to have been the defining moment of core stability development as a concept worthy of scientific vindication.


To provide further structure to the background principles of core stability this review proposed a definition for the anatomical parameters of core stability based on the available evidence. Through the use of SIGN 50 (2004) guideline development tools consideration was given to the available evidence to determine the background validity of the concept. This review found that adequate evidence existed to support the anatomical, physiological and biomechanical principles behind the concept. Currently significant gaps in understanding exist which may change the methods core stability is assessed or administered as new research findings develop.


This review highlighted that assumed principles do not equate to quality of supporting evidence. The relationship between core stability function, and the variables human performance and injury demonstrated a significant difference between anecdote and evidence. The proposed core stability training protocol further demonstrated that fundamental principles behind the concept have not been determined and the application of the concept is still partly based on anecdote and intuition.


The first known clinical guidelines for core stability were proposed to provide infrastructure for the practical application of the concept based on evidence. This study revealed many areas that warrant further investigation. Continued research in this field is necessary for this concept to evolve into a more effective and efficient system.