G-15L Free Communication/Poster Biomechanical Performance Assessment
In a population of patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP), spinal stabilization training has been shown to relieve symptoms and improve range of motion of the hips and lumbar spine. However, no study has yet shown that this type of training improves the stability of the spine in either healthy or CLBP patients. Furthermore, while stabilization training is used by athletes across a diversity of sport backgrounds, a correlation between spinal stability and athletic performance has not been quantified.
To determine if spinal stability can be enhanced in a group of college-aged athletes and to quantify a possible relationship between spinal stability and athletic performance.
36 subjects (20 +/- 1.2 yrs) were randomly assigned to either one of two treatment groups and a control group. Over a ten-week period members of treatment group A performed spinal stabilization training exercises 4 days per week while members of treatment group B performed an equivalent volume of traditional abdominal exercises. The control group performed no exercise in addition to their specific sport training. At weeks 0, 5, and 10 spinal stability, vertical jump, agility, and balance were assessed. Comparisons were made using ANOVA for repeated measures.
Improvements in spinal stability were greater for group A when compared with the improvements of either group B or the control (10 +/- 1.25 vs. 3 +/- 1 vs. 2.5 +/- 0.75 mmHg, p < 0.05). Greater improvements were also observed in group A for agility (0.57 vs. 0.23 vs. 0,20 sec., p < 0.05) and balance (18 vs. 12 vs. 11 sec, p < 0.05) tests. However, no difference was noted between groups for the vertical jump assessment.