Low back pain is a common condition best treated by Physical Therapists due to their unique ability to effectively provide all evidence based treatments (including spinal manipulation, directional exercise, and strength training) for this patient population. Large systematic reviews of the existing medical literature have repeatedly shown the benefits of strength training to reduce the risk of future low back pain, improve current symptoms, and most importantly get patients back to the activities they enjoy. There is certainly a role for core strengthening exercises early on in a patient’s recovery, but these should gradually be replaced by mutli joint exercises (press, pull, hinge, and squat) designed to target both the core and our body’s larger muscles for movement. A recent research review highlights the importance of this exercise prescription for patients with back pain.
A review on the available evidence supporting the utilization of hip strengthening exercises, in addition to, traditional core strengthening exercises was published in the journal Clinical Rehabilitation (Arcanjo de Jesus. 2020). Authors included 5 trials including over 300 patients with low back pain who utilized hip strengthening in combination with other exercises or as a stand alone treatment. They reported improved pain and function in patients treated with the combination approach compared to those in which hip strengthening was not included. They concluded the addition of hip strengthening exercises to core stabilization exercises improves pain and function in patients with low back pain.