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Magnitude of physiological curvatures of the spine and the incidence of contractures of selected muscle groups in students

Summary

Study aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the incidence of contractures of selected muscle groups with respect to the magnitude of the physiological curvatures of the spine in young men with above-average levels of physical activity.

Material and methods: The study included 96 students at the University of Physical Education in Warsaw aged between 20 and 22 years (21.2 ± 1.05). Ninety-five percent of the students participated in sports training activities. The study was conducted between January and February 2016. The selected traits of the body posture were evaluated with an inclinometer, which was used to measure the inclination angles of sections of the spine relative to the vertical. The ranges of motion in the shoulder complex and the pelvic complex were measured with a goniometer. Values of 175º (for the shoulder complex) and 174° (for the hip joint) were assumed to indicate a decreased range of motion.

Results: The analysis of the individual results concerning mobility disorders in the shoulder complex and the pelvic complex revealed significant abnormalities in the researched group of students. About 90% of the study participants showed contrac­tures of selected muscle groups within the shoulder girdle, primarily in the right upper limb. Similar results were obtained for the incidence of contractures in the flexors of the hip joint. Flexion contractures in the hip joint were observed in around 84% of the participants, primarily in the left lower limb. The correlations between the inclination angles of the sections of the spine relative to the vertical and the ranges of motion in the shoulder complex and the pelvic complex, established using Pearson correlation coefficients, were ambiguous. The angles γ, β1 and α were inversely proportional to the range of raising motions of the upper limbs through flexion, where the correlation coefficients of all angles were statistically significant. Similar tendencies were observed for the correlations between the angles β2, β1 and α and the range of the extension movements at the hip joint, although the correlation coefficients were statistically significant only in the case of the angle β1.

Conclusions: Ranges of movement in the shoulder complex and pelvic complex have an influence on magnitude of physiologi­cal curvatures of the spine and the functioning of body posture.

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The influence of elongation exercises on the anterior-posterior spine curvatures

Summary

Introduction: Elongation exercises are designed to reduce existing pathological or increased physiological curvatures of the spine. The aim of the study was to evaluate the changes occurring in the parameters describing the anterior-posterior spinal curvatures during the performance of symmetric elongation exercises.

Material and methods: The study included 150 children aged 7-10 years: 82 girls and 68 boys. It was performed in June 2012, following prior parental and the subjects’ consent. The study design was approved by the Bioethical Committee of the Medical Faculty of Rzeszow University (number 05/07/2012). In each subject, an examination of the body posture was performed twice - first in a relaxed position and second during an elongation exercise. The Wilcoxon pair sequence test was used for statistical analysis.

Results: The lumbosacral angle was significantly higher during the performance of an elongation exercise (p < 0.001), and so was the thoracolumbar angle (p < 0.001). The angle of the upper thoracic spine (p < 0.01) was significantly reduced. In the case of parameters describing thoracic kyphosis, a significant increase was observed both for the thoracic kyphosis angle (p < 0.01) and the depth of this part of the spine. As for the parameters describing lumbar lordosis, both the lordosis angle and its depth were significantly reduced (p < 0.001 and p < 0.001).

Conclusions: 1. Elongation exercises reduce the depth of lumbar lordosis. 2. During elongation exercises thoracic kyphosis becomes deeper

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The Shape of Anterior-Posterior Curvatures of the Spine in Athletes Practising Selected Sports

The Shape of Anterior-Posterior Curvatures of the Spine in Athletes Practising Selected Sports

Introduction. Practising sport at the professional level brings about considerable spinal loads. As a result of an intensive effort, the adaptation abilities of vertebrae, intervertebral discs, ligaments and muscles decrease, which, in turn, influences the size of physiological curvatures of the spine and at the same time the quality of body posture. The aim of the work was to evaluate the shape of anterior-posterior curvatures of the spine and to define the frequency of occurrence of body posture types in athletes practising selected sports. Material and methods. The research was conducted among 46 athletes from the following sections: athletics, handball, volleyball and taekwondo. Inclination angles of the curvatures of the spine were defined with the use of a posturometer: α angle (upper-thoracic segment), β angle (thoracic-lumbar segment), γ angle (lumbar-sacral segment) as well as the level of thoracic kyphosis (χ) and lumbar lordosis (λ). Every athlete's body posture type was defined. Results. It was revealed that in the shape of anterior-posterior curvatures of the spine in the examined athletes the level of thoracic kyphosis was higher than the level of lumbar lordosis. In all the athletes the biggest values were observed in the inclination of the upper-thoracic segment, whereas the lowest ones (except for taekwondo competitors) in the inclination of the lumbar-sacral segment. The most common types of body posture were kyphotic and balanced types. No type-III kyphosis and type-III lordosis were observed. Athletes practising selected sports generally had a proper body posture. An improper posture, especially a wrong posture, was observed in few athletes. Conclusion. The specificity of movements performed during the training applied in a particular sport may influence the shape of anterior-posterior curvatures of the spine and thus the type of body posture.

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Asymmetry of Spinal Segments Mobility in Canoeists and its Relationship with Racing Speed

intervertebral disc. J Orthop Res, 1984; 2(1):61-66 Lewandowski J. Evolution of physiological curvatures and ranges of human spine segmental mobility at the age of 3-25 years in the image of electrogoniometric method. AWF Poznań; 2006 Mann R, Kearney J. A biomechanical analysis of the Olympic-style flatwater kayak stroke. Med Sci Sports Exerc , 1980; 12:183-188 Omey ML, Micheli LJ, Gerbino PG. Idiopathic Scoliosis and Spondylolysis in the Female Athlete. Clin Orthop Relat R , 2000; 372: 74-84 Rynkiewicz M

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