Greater Lumbar Extension During Dolphin Kick and Psoas Major Tightness in Swimmers With Low Back Pain

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context: In competitive swimming, many swimmers experience low back pain (LBP). Lumbar hyperextension may cause LBP, and tight hip-flexor muscle may cause lumbar extension during swimming. Objective: The purpose of this study was to clarify the features of the elastic moduli of the muscles and the lumbar extension when swimmers with LBP perform a dolphin kick (DK). Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Single center. Other Participants: Eleven male college swimmers were enrolled as the LBP group (who have LBP when swimming and during a lumbar extension), and 21 male college swimmers were recruited as the control group (no LBP). Interventions: The elastic moduli of the psoas major, iliacus, teres major, latissimus dorsi, pectoralis major, and pectoralis minor were measured through ultrasonic shear wave elastography. The lumbar and hip extension angles during a DK were measured using a video camera. The passive hip extension and shoulder-flexion range of motion (ROM) were measured using a goniometer. Main Outcome Measures: Muscle elastic moduli and lumbar extension angles during DK. Results: The characteristics, muscle elastic moduli, DK motion, and ROM were compared between the 2 groups. LBP group demonstrated significantly higher elastic modulus of the psoas major and lower modulus of pectoralis minor compared with the control group. Also, LBP group showed greater lumbar extension during a DK and less hip extension ROM than the control group. Conclusions: The higher elastic modulus of the psoas major and greater lumbar extension during a DK may be related to the LBP in swimmers.

Kitamura is with Rehabilitation Unit, Kyoto University Hospital, Kyoto, Japan. Tateuchi and Ichihashi are with the Department of Physical Therapy, Human Health Science, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.

Kitamura (kitamura.gakuto.6s@kyoto-u.ac.jp) is corresponding author.
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