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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2012 October;52(5):545-50

Copyright © 2012 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Thoracic kyphosis comparisons in adolescent female competitive field hockey players and untrained controls

Rajabi R. 1, Mobarakabadi L. 1, Alizadhen H. M. 1, Hendrick P. 2

1 Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Department Health and Sport Medicine Group, University of Tehran, Iran; 2 Centre for Physiotherapy, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand


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AIM: 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.
METHODS: 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.
RESULTS: 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.
CONCLUSION: 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.

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rrajabi@ut.ac.ir