Thoracic kyphosis comparisons in adolescent female competitive field hockey players and untrained controls.
ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to compare the thoracic kyphosis angles of adolescent female field hockey players and non-athletes and to examine the relationship between the thoracic kyphosis and training regimes in hockey.
Seventy-four female participants including 37 field hockey players (mean age 19.03 ±1.24 years) and 37 non-athletes (mean age 18.21± 1.22) were recruited in this cross-sectional study. The hockey players met a minimum criterion of 3 years of experience in the Iranian first division female hockey league. The thoracic kyphosis degree was measured between T1-T12 using a non-invasive flexible ruler.
A significant difference in the thoracic kyphosis degree between athletes (M=41. 71°, SD=5.38°) and non-athletes (M=36.72°, SD=6.01°); t (72)=3.76, P=0.001 was revealed. The magnitude of these differences in the means was very large (eta squared=0.016). There was a moderately positive correlation between the athletic history (number of years of hockey participation) and thoracic kyphosis, r=0.36, N.=37, P=0.031. However, the relationship between the cumulative training exposure (yearly training hours) and the degree of thoracic kyphosis was not significant.
Thoracic kyhphosis was significantly increased in adolescent female field hockey players and was found to be associated with the cumulative number of years of hockey participation. These results suggest a possible association between the semi-crouched posture in field hockey and thoracic kyphosis in elite adolescent athletes The results also suggest that number of years of field hockey participation is a determinant in the increased kyphosis.