There is an excellent research article by Eyal Lederman called the Myth Of Core Stability, which examines the dangers of reductionist “core stability programs” in treating lower back pain, and advocates holistic and balanced exercise such as yoga for prevention and treatment.
Psychological factors such as catastrophising and somatisation are often observed in patients suffering from chronic lower back pain. The research suggests that reductionist core stability/physiotherapy exercises can colluded with these factors, encouraging excessive focusing on back pain and re-enforcing the patient’s notion that there is something seriously wrong with their back. Current evidence indicates that therapists should be shifting the patient’s focus away from their back. (I.e. the focus becomes the positive yoga practice, rather than the back pain.)
Furthermore, standard physio or simplistic core stability training may shift the therapeutic focus away from the real issues that maintain the patient in their chronic state. Unfortunately, reductionist approaches often offer a simplistic solution to a condition that may involve complex biopsychosocial factors. The issues that underline the patient’s condition may be neglected, with the patient remaining uninformed about the real causes of their condition. Under such circumstances, physiotherapy alone, or standard core stability training may actually promote chronicity.
Yoga is an excellent, evidence based way of encouraging holistic, balanced exercise and moving patients away from only doing specific back exercise.
1. Lederman, E. (2010). The myth of core stability. Journal of bodywork and movement therapies, 14(1), 84-98. ]