Background: The most utilized soccer kicking method is the instep kicking technique. Decreased motion in spinal joint segments results in adverse biomechanical changes within in the kinematic chain. These changes may be linked to a negative impact on soccer performance. This study tested the immediate effect of lumbar spine and sacroiliac manipulation alone and in combination on the kicking speed of uninjured soccer players.
Methods: This 2010 prospective, pre-post experimental, single-blinded (subject) required forty asymptomatic soccer players, from regional premier league teams, who were purposively allocated to one of four groups (based on the evaluation of the players by two blinded motion palpators). Segment dysfunction was either localized to the lumbar spine (Group 1), sacroiliac joint (Group 2), the lumbar spine and sacroiliac joint (Group 3) or not present in the sham
laser group (Group 4). All players underwent a standardized warm-up before the pre-measurements. Manipulative intervention followed after which post-measurements were completed. Measurement outcomes included range of motion changes (digital inclinometer); kicking speed (Speed Trac™ Speed Sport Radar) and the subjects’ perception of a change in kicking speed. SPSS version 15.0 was used to analyse the data, with repeated measures ANOVA and a p-value <0.05 (CI 95%).
Results: Lumbar spine manipulation resulted in significant range of motion increases in left and right rotation. Sacroiliac manipulation resulted in no significant changes in the lumbar range of motion. Combination manipulative interventions resulted in significant range of motion increases in lumbar extension, right rotation and right SI joint flexion. There was a significant increase in kicking speed post intervention for all three manipulative intervention groups (when compared to sham). A significant correlation was seen between Likert based-scale subjects’ perception of change in kicking speed post intervention and the objective results obtained.
Conclusions: This pilot study showed that lumbar spine manipulation combined with SI joint manipulation, resulted in an effective intervention for short-term increases in kicking speed/performance. However, the lack of an a priori analysis, a larger sample size and an unblinded outcome measures assessor requires that this study be repeated, addressing these concerns and for these outcomes to be validated.
This abstract is reproduced with permission of the publisher. Click on the above link for free full text.