Core stability and its relationship to lower extremity function and injury.
Core stability may provide several benefits to the musculoskeletal system, from maintaining low back health to preventing knee ligament injury. As a result, the acquisition and maintenance of core stability is of great interest to physical therapists, athletic trainers, and musculoskeletal researchers. Core stability is the ability of the lumbopelvic hip complex to prevent buckling and to return to equilibrium after perturbation. Although static elements (bone and soft tissue) contribute to some degree, core stability is predominantly maintained by the dynamic function of muscular elements. There is a clear relationship between trunk muscle activity and lower extremity movement. Current evidence suggests that decreased core stability may predispose to injury and that appropriate training may reduce injury. Core stability can be tested using isometric, isokinetic, and isoinertial methods. Appropriate intervention may result in decreased rates of back and lower extremity injury.