In my humble opinion, a huge flaw in all the studies on LBP is that a heterogeneous group of patients are accepted as subjects. Once you do a study including ALL patients with non-specific LBP you are going to get crappy results no matter what the treatment is.

If I were to do a study on stabilization, I would only choose patients with signs and symptoms of motor control impairment with obvious hypermobility. I would include primarily young females who are involved in activities such as gymnastics, dancing etc. I would include pregnant women who are intentionally excluded from the studies. I would include patients who have a positive prone instability test. I would include those who have “catching pain” upon forward bending or thigh climb when rising from being bent forward.


I would exclude from studies stiff, 50 year old male construction workers. Don’t get me wrong I would still give them strengthening exercises but not specific “core” training.


I would exclude patients who are already “core focused” and obsessed with holding a rigid posture due to fear. That is my 2 cents worth!

You may read details on the prone instability test in this clinical library


References: Rabin et al Who Benefits from Stabilization? A clinical prediction rule to identify patients with low back pain who are likely to experience short-term success following lumbar stabilization exercises: a randomized controlled validation study. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2014 Jan;44(1):6-B13.

Hicks et al Preliminary development of a clinical prediction rule for determining which patients with low back pain will respond to a stabilization exercise program. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2005 Sep;86(9):1753-62.

Motor Control

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