Conference PaperPDF Available

Analysis of Lordosis and Kyphosis in Swimming

Authors:

Abstract

In the present study sagittal motion of the spine was analysed during complete swimming cycles of two different modes of swimming, breaststroke (BR) and backstroke (BK), in 46 recreational swimmers of three age groups. Video sequences showing the lateral view of the back profile during swimming and standing were digitised and then evaluated using two methods. The results showed that lordodis was less in swimming than in standing, and tended to be less in BK than in BR. Kyphosis was significantly less in BR than in BK or standing. In contrast to a common assumption potentially detrimental effects often ascribed to BR because of a significant increase of lordosis were not confirmed. On the other hand, kyphosis decreased in BR, which could indicate that BR should be recommended for kyphosis pathology.
Analysis
of
Lordosis and Kyphosis in
Swimming
Imke HO FLING, Stephan LINNENBECKER, Bodo UNGERECHTS, Klaus NICOL
Dept.
of
Surgery,
Lapin
Keskussairaa/a,
Rovaniemi, Finland
imkehoefling@hotmail.com
Abstract
In the present study sagittal
motion
of
the spine was analysed during complete swimming cycles
of
two different modes
of
swimming, breaststroke (BR) and backstroke (BK), in
46
recreational
swimmers
of
three age groups.
Video
sequences showing
the
lateral view
of
the back profile
during swimming and standing
were
digitised and then evaluated using two methods. The
results showed
that
lordodis
was
less
in
swimming than
in
standing, and tended to be
less
in
BK
than
in
BR.
Kyphosis was significantly less
in
BR
than
in
BK
or
standing. In contrast to a
common assumption potentially detrimental effects often ascribed to
BR
because
of
a
significant increase
of
lordosis
were
not confirmed.
On
the other hand, kyphosis decreased
in
BR, which could indicate that BR should
be
recommended for kyphosis pathology.
Key
words: Lordosis and kyphosis- breaststroke and backstroke swimming
Introduction
Swimming
is
often recommended
in
the
field
of
preventive
and
rehabilitative medicine,
both
for
training the cardiovascular system and in the treatment
of
orthopaedic problems. For back pain
rehabilitation, backstroke swimming
is
usually recommended, whereas possible detrimental
effects are ascribed
to
breaststroke swimming on the grounds that lumbar lordosis increases
in
breaststroke compared to backstroke
or
a standing position. However, no study dealing with the
motion
of
the spine
in
swimming
is
found
in
the literature
and
theoretical assumptions are
mostly based on the style
of
swimming used
in
competition.
In
addition a merely theoretical
approach
is
problematic because
both
external hydrodynamic forces (such as buoyancy and
resistance) and internal muscular forces vary depending
on
individual anthropometric
conditions. Therefore the
aim
of
the
present study
was
to analyse the lumbar lordosis and
thoracic kyphosis during a complete swimming cycle
of
breaststroke and backstroke swimming
in recreational swimmers
of
different age groups.
Methods
In 46 healthy subjects
of
three
age
groups (A-C) lordosis
and
kyphosis were compared
in
breaststroke (BR) and two different types
of
backstroke swimming
(BK
I:
simultaneous pull;
BK
II:
alternating pull) as
well
as
a standing position (ST). All subjects were recreational
swimmers; competitive swimmers were excluded from the
study.
Group A (13.5 ±
0.52
years)
was a randomised sample
of
10
students
from
a secondary school P.E. class. Group B consisted
of
18
healthy 25-35 year-olds (average age 28.4 ± 2.25 years)
and
in group C
18
elderly people
(69.9 ±
6.11
years) were studied.
In
each group the number of female and male subjects
was
even.
575
Imke
Hofling
Video sequences
of
each stroke were recorded with
an
underwater video camera (Fig. 1)
showing the lateral view
of
the back profile (Fig. 2).
Fig.
2:
Subject
swimming breaststroke
All subjects
swam
breaststroke. The
younger
group (A) also
swam
backstroke
II
(BK II),
the
older group
(C)
backstroke I (BK
I)
and
group
B performed both
types
of
backstroke swimming
(BK I
and
BK
II). The video sequences
were
then digitised
and
evaluated frame-by-frame
using
the SIMI-Motion™-analysis programme. Points are marked
using
the cursor, and then
the
programme calculates their co-ordinates based
on
a calibration, which had been conducted
before each recording to adjust for distances. Further calculations
were
carried out to describe
the degree
of
lordosis and kyphosis
using
two
methods, one
based
on
a radius-model and
the
other
on
an
angle-model.
Under the so-called radius-method lordosis and kyphosis were considered as being part
of
a
circle. The
radius
(rk
I
rL)
of
the circle
was
calculated from three
points
(K 1-K3-K5 I L l-L3-L5)
(Fig.
3).
The values were then adjusted for the length
of
the spine, and the bending
was
calculated as 1/r. The angle-model described lordosis and kyphosis
as
an angle formed by
three
points, marked
at
a constant distance
above
(L2) and below (L4)
the
vertex (L3) (Fig.
4).
Fig. 3: Radius-method Fig. 4: Angle-method
576
t,~
,,,,\
n
\.~
j
¥iK2
:1
,,
(
r~.::
,
L2
3
L4
\
i
\-i
t·)J
Analysis
of lordosis
and
kyphosis
in
swimming
Results
LORDOSIS
4,5.,--------··~--~-·-·--·-,
2,5
0,5
ST
MEAN
MIN
MAX
ST MEAN M
In
M"
Fig.
5:
Radius-method and Fig.
6:
Angle-method. Lordosis
in
standing (ST) compared
to
the
mean, minimum (MIN) and maximum
(MAX)
values
in
swimming (BR,
BK
I and BKII) for
group
B.
The diagrams (Fig. 5 and 6) show the evaluation
of
the lordosis in group B. This was the only
group in which a comparison
of
all
three modes
of
swimming was possible. The results
of
the
radius-method (Fig. 5) showed
no
significant differences
of
the mean values between swimming
in comparison
to
a standing position. The values tended to be
less
in backstroke (BK I and BK
ll)
than in breaststroke (BR) or standing (ST). There were no significant differences between the
two types
of
backstroke swimming (BK I
and
BK
II). The minimum and maximum values were
calculated from
the
three lowest
and
highest values
of
the swimming cycle. The minimum
values were significantly lower
in
swimming than in standing, and were lower
in
backstroke
(BK
I and BK II) than in breaststroke (BR).
No
significant differences were found for the
maximum values, however the values tended to be higher
in
swimming than
in
standing.
When interpreting the results
of
the angle-method (Fig. 6) it must be kept in mind that a smaller
angle indicates
an
increase
in
lordosis.
Thus
the results were consistent with those
of
the radius-
method. The
mean
values show lordosis was less in swimming
than
in
standing, and the
minimum
and
maximum values
of
the swimming cycle were significantly lower and higher
respectively. Lordosis was significantly less in backstroke (BK
I
and
BK
II)
than
in
breaststroke
(BR).
In the other age groups lordosis
was
significantly less or tended to
be
less
in
swimming than
in
standing when
the
mean values were compared, the minimum was significantly lower and the
maximum was
the
same
or
tended to be higher. When breaststroke
and
backstroke
in
group A
were compared,
the
radius-method showed significantly less lordosis
in
backstroke (BK Il) than·
in breaststroke
(BR)
whereas the angle-method did not confirm any differences between the two
modes
of
swimming. In group C lordosis
was
significantly less in backstroke (BK
I)
than
in
breaststroke (BR).
Kyphosis (Fig. 7 and 8) was significantly less for mean, minimum and maximum values
in
breaststroke (BR) than
in
backstroke (BK I and
BK
II) or standing (ST). The radius-method
(Fig.
7)
gave significantly higher
mean
and
maximum values for backstroke than
in
standing
and lower minimum values.
As
was
found with lordosis, there were
no
significant differences
between the two types
of
backstroke (BK I
and
BK
II). The angle-method and the other two age
groups produced similar results.
577
Irnke
Ho
fling
KYPHOSIS
ST
MEAN
Fig.
7:
Radius-method and
Fig.
8:
Angle-method. Kyphosis
in
standing (ST) compared
to
the
mean, minimum (MIN) and maximum
(MAX)
values
in
swimming (BR,
BK
I and BKII) for
group
B.
Discussion
According
to
our
results lordosis decreased during swimming compared to a standing position.
Although
an
increase must
be
assumed
for
one part
of
the swimming cycle, especially in
breaststroke, a significant decrease
was
proved during another
part
in
all three modes
of
swimming. Therefore potentially detrimental effects, which are sometimes ascribed
to
breaststroke swimming due to a significant increase
of
lordosis compared to a standing position
were
not
confirmed by this study. Although lordosis
seemed
to
increase
in
breaststroke
compared
to
backstroke, the results suggest no excessive increase. Higher maximum values
could indicate a higher range
of
motion during breaststroke
as
compared to backstroke. In
contrast
to
a common assumption there
was
no clear evidence from our results that only
backstroke swimming should be recommended in the prevention
and
rehabilitation
of
back
problems
and
it
must
be kept
in
mind that breaststroke
is
the preferred mode
of
swimming for
most
people.
Kyphosis decreased significantly
in
breaststroke compared
to
backstroke swimming or standing.
Comparing backstroke and standing there was
an
increase of kyphosis
in
one part of the
swimming cycle and a decrease
in
another part, but
on
average kyphosis increased
in
backstroke
swimming compared to standing. These results indicate that breaststroke swimming should be
recommended for people with kyphosis pathology (e.g. Morbus Scheuermann) rather than
backstroke.
Swimming backstroke with alternating or simultaneous pull
did
not seem to have any different
effects
on
lordosis
or
kyphosis.
578
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any references for this publication.