The Effectiveness of the Mézières Method in Elite Rhythmic Gymnastics Athletes With Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context: One of the main reasons why athletes with a high physical condition suffer from low back pain disease is because they often participate in sports that involve disc compression movements during flexion, lifting loads, or torsion movement. Objectives: This study aims to examine the effectiveness of the postural treatment of the Mézières method on elite rhythmic gymnastics athletes with low back pain. Design: Double-blind, randomized, controlled trial. Setting: The sports hall of “Puente Tocinos,” Murcia, Spain. Participants: Ninety gymnastics athletes were randomized into 2 parallel groups (intervention: n = 39; control: n = 51), of whom 98.9% were women (women = 89; man = 1). Intervention: The Mézières method postural therapy was implemented. It lasted about 60 minutes in repeated sessions of 2 to 3 meetings per week by counting in overall 60 sessions during a 24-week period. Main Outcome Measures: Visual analog scale of pain, sit and reach flexibility test, Runtastic (pedometer performance android application), Roland–Morris Questionnaire for the physical disability, and the Health Status Questionnaire were used. Results: The univariate analysis of variance and independent sample t test revealed a significant improvement in the intervention group concerning the visual analog scale pain assessment scale (P < .05, ηp2=.625), and, also, the between-groups effect size was high during the 24 sessions of treatment (d > 0.8) compared with the control one. The same situation persists even for Roland–Morris Questionnaire (P < .05, ηp2=.802), physical score (P < .05, ηp2=.613), mental score (P < .05, ηp2=.736), sit and reach flexibility test (P < .05, ηp2=.666), and Runtastic performance (P < .05, ηp2=.790), where the between-groups effect size was high during the 24 sessions of treatment (d > 0.8). Conclusion: The Mézières method treatment performed on athletes with low back pain has caused positive effects on all the outcomes analyzed compared with the ones of control group.

Lena, J. Todri and Gallego are with the Health Science PhD Program, Universidad Católica de Murcia (UCAM), Murcia, Spain. A. Todri is with the Statistics and Engineering Specialist Area, Faculty of Economics, Universiteti “Aleksander Xhuvani,” Elbasan, Albania. Gil is with Hospital University Virgen de Arrixaca (HUVA), El Palmar, Murcia, Spain. Lena is also with the “Movimiento Corporal y Desarrollo Humano” Research Group, UCAM, Spain.

Lena (orges.lena90@gmail.com) is corresponding author.
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