Core stability and lower extremity injury risk in athletes
This systematic review found evidence of an association between impaired core stability measures and increased risk of lower extremity injuries in athletes.
Decreased core strength, endurance, and neuromuscular control were identified as risk factors for these injuries, although the evidence regarding core endurance is still conflicting.
While the authors note that results recommend including core evaluation in lower extremity screening in athletes, they warn that further high-quality research is still needed.
The role of core stability in lower extremity function has been gathering attention over recent years. Abdominal and lumbopelvic muscle function plays a role in lower extremity kinetic chain, neuromuscular control, and works as a stable base for movement execution. Despite this, the role of core stability measures in lower extremity injury risk is still unclear.
9 studies were included in this review. All studies had a B level of evidence. Study quality was assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa scale, which resulted in evidence quality ranging from moderate to high.
Core strength, proprioception and neuromuscular control were found to be a risk factor in the development of lower extremity injuries. Evidence was conflicting for core endurance as only abdominal muscle endurance was lower in injured athletes.
The authors propose impairments in core performance increase lower extremity injury risk through changes in alignment during weightbearing, decreased repositioning speeds, and loss of kinetic chain efficacy.
> From: De Blaiser et al., Phys Ther Sport 30 (2018-03-11 10:46:26) 48-56 (Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to Elsevier Ltd. Click here for the online summary.