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International Journal of Morphology

On-line version ISSN 0717-9502


MUYOR, José M; ALACID, Fernando  and  LOPEZ-MINARRO, Pedro A. Sagittal Spinal Morphology in Young Highly-Trained Paddlers. Int. J. Morphol. [online]. 2011, vol.29, n.3, pp.1047-1053. ISSN 0717-9502.

The aim of this study was to determine the sagittal spinal morphology of thoracic and lumbar spine in young kayakers. A total of 66 young sprint kayakers, 36 males and 30 females (mean age: 16,22 ± 0,80) participated in the study. Sagittal spinal curvatures of thoracic and lumbar spine in standing, lying prone and maximal trunk flexion with knees extended (sit-and-reach test) were measured with a Spinal Mouse. Thoracic kyphosis was higher in males than in females in all three analyzed postures, although greater differences were found in the sit-and-reach test. The frequency of thoracic hyperkyphosis was higher in males (42.1%) than in females (21.4%). The angular values when lying prone were more reduced than in standing (p < 0.001). Paddlers with thoracic kyperkyphosis showed a reduced thoracic angle when lying prone (37.85 ± 9.42) than in standing (50.95 ± 5.12). No significant differences between sexes were found in the lumbar curve. A predominance of neutral angular values was found in the lumbar curve (81.6% in males and 75.0% in females). In conclusion, the sagittal spinal morphology showed a trend toward thoracic hyperkyphosis in junior kayakers, specially in males. However, these curves were non-structural deformities. Lumbar spine showed a high percentage of neutral values. Kayak training is associated to improved lumbar intervertebral flexion and increased lumbar hyperkyphotic postures. It is necessary to include postural training to improve the spinal morphology of young paddlers.

Keywords : Posture; Sagittal curvatures; Spine; Sport.

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