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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2017 May;176(5):265-70

DOI: 10.23736/S0393-3660.16.03347-7


language: English

Osteopathic manipulation of the ankle improves spinal flexibility in elite alpine skiers: a pilot study

Cinzia PARISIO 1, Luca VISMARA 1, 2, Vittorio MICOTTI 3, Veronica CIMOLIN 1, 4, Danilo APRILE 3, Marco CAVIGIOLI 1, Andrea PANZERI 5, Andrea MANZOTTI 2, Manuela GALLI 4, 6, Paolo CAPODAGLIO 1

1 Rehabilitation Unit and Laboratory of Research in Biomechanics and Rehabilitation, Istituto Auxologico Italiano, S Giuseppe Hospital, Piancavallo, Verbania, Italy; 2 SOMA, Istituto Osteopatia Milano, Milan, Italy; 3 Federazione Sport Invernali Italiana (FISI), Milan, Italy; 4 Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy; 5 Centro di Traumatologia dello Sport e Chirurgia Artroscopica, Galeazzi Orthopedic Institute, Milan, Italy; 6 IRCCS “San Raffaele Pisana”, Tosinvest Sanità, Rome, Italy


BACKGROUND: The prolonged restrictions of ankle degrees-of-freedom when wearing ski-boots leads to prolonged mechanical compression of the athlete’s ankle and feet with alteration of the mechano-receptors in the skin of the sole of the foot. Our hypothesis was that prolonged repetitive use of ski boots may impair ankle function and, ultimately, postural control in skiers. This study conducted on elite alpine skiers was designed to verify if an osteopathic treatment aimed at improving ankle function may affect postural control on skiers.
METHODS: Seven elite skiers were assessed using three-dimensional quantitative movement analysis of the spine and postural analysis before and after osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT). OMT consisted of low-amplitude thrusts in the ankle and myofascial release of the interosseous membrane and shank.
RESULTS: The range of motion of the shoulders in the frontal plane, of pelvic obliquity and lumbar curve increased significantly after OMT. No changes appeared in terms of posture.
CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that a single OMT session targeted to the ankle seems to induce beneficial biomechanical effects in terms of spinal flexibility in elite alpine skiers. This may be beneficial for the athlete’s performance capacity and safety.

KEY WORDS: Skiing - Manipulation, osteopathic - Ankle

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