Exploring the Relationship Between Core Strength and Postural Control: A Pilot Study

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Zach Belmont
Kevin Messerly
Darius Montero
Rachel Gleason

Abstract

By Zach Belmont, Health Sciences; Kevin Messerly, Health Sciences ; Darius Montero, Health Sciences


Advisor: Rachel Gleason


Awards: Presenter Award: Excellence in Research Communication


Presentation ID: 200


Abstract: The relationship between core strength and postural control has numerous implications for health through the lifespan. However, a definitive battery of tests to determine the relationship between core strength and postural control has not previously been established. Therefore, the purpose of this pilot study was to determine which core strength measures correlate with postural control to provide future researchers with effective outcome measures. Core strength was determined by trunk flexion/extension holds and side planks. An evaluation of postural control utilized functional reach, y-balance test, and manual muscle tests for both hip extensors and abductors. The strongest correlations were displayed by plank hold time and backward functional reach (R= -.59) and back extension hold time and forward functional reach (R= -.47). This indicates that isometric core strength may not be predictive of dynamic postural control. However, these findings are limited by a small sample size and low inter-tester reliability. Study participants were all active 4th-year college students. Therefore, this data may not be applicable to other populations who pose a greater fall risk. For future studies, it is recommended that a larger sample size composed of elderly participants is used to analyze an at-risk target population. Furthermore, it is recommended that force plate and EMG tests be used to gain more precise data about muscle activation and balance. The variability of the data gathered alludes to the necessity for future research to determine a concrete relationship between the aforementioned variables.

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Health and Well-Being