5 Myths of Core Stability

By Dr Ken Nakamura+

Core stability exercises have been proven by research to prevent and rehabilitate many types of pain. [1] The problem is many chiropractors and physiotherapists have made assumptions about lumbar stabilization exercises, abdominal recruitment exercises and motor control exercises.

#1 Core Stability Myth

5 Myths Of Core Stability | Best Toronto Chiropractor Dr Ken Nakamura

Core Stability muscle damage/changes doesn’t affect low back stability or pain.

Core muscles are needed for spinal stability. Despite damage and changes to the core muscles like in pregnancy and surgery, research has shown that these damages/changes don’t affect low back stability or pain. [1]

The huge amount of research available has not been able to directly relate core stability with low back pain. For more lower back stability exercises look here.

#2 Myth: Timing

Low back pain changes the timing of muscle firing sequence, but research has not shown this to be the cause of lower back pain.

Traditional core exercises don’t reset the timing of muscles in the core for those with lower back pain.

#3 Myth: Strength

No evidence exists that proves core muscle and endurance actually predisposes a person to lower back pain.

Core muscle strength and it’s relation to chronic lower back pain are inconclusive.

#4 Myth: Transverse Abdominus

Many chiropractors and physiotherapists still try to activate only the transverse abdominus as their core stability exercise program.

The problem is core muscles don’t work independently during normal movements and there is no evidence that you can activate this muscle in isolation.

#5 Myth Lower Back Pain

Chronic lower back pain while related to muscles of the lower back has increasingly been proven to be related to psychological and psychosocial factors.

Core muscle stability has little to no preventive effect for falls and injuries of the lower back.


While the research has shown that rehabilitation for acute and chronic lower back pain works for most people psychological and psychosocial factors may play a bigger part then we previously gave it credit for especially for those people with less social problems and previous psychological issues.

I have found first hand that those that are more stressed in general or worried about their bodies take a longer time to convalesce. Most, however, do get better.

Photo Credits

  1. Title Photo: Photo by Darran Shen on Unsplash
  2. Photo by Bayu Anggara on Unsplash


  1. Lederman E, The Myth of Core Stability, Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies 2010; 14: 84-98

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Dr Ken Nakamura

Who is Dr. Ken? I’m a father, spouse, chiropractor, and I love what I do! I created Bodi Empowerment to bring you and everyone-else safe and effective methods for self-treatment by basing my articles on research to everything I can. Still many parts will be based on 18 years of experience, seminars, and collaboration with other health experts; which means you will get opinions as well. Sometimes my articles won’t agree with what is currently accepted, but I am not here to please everyone. I’m here to empower you through the knowledge that I give you. Dr. Ken works at Rebalance Sports Medicine in downtown, Toronto.

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