Home > Journals > The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness > Past Issues > The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 1999 March;39(1) > The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 1999 March;39(1):61-5



To subscribe
Submit an article
Recommend to your librarian





The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 1999 March;39(1):61-5


language: English

Lumbar pain and fin swimming

Verni E. 1, Prosperi L. 2, Lucaccini C. 3, Fedele L. 4, Beluzzi R. 1, Lubich T. 5

1 II Division of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Bologna, Italy; 2 Division of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Bentivoglio Hospital (BO), Italy; 3 Division of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Lugo Hospital (RA), Italy; 4 Specialisation School on Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Bologna, Italy; 5 Interdivisional Research Center on Sport Medicine, Institute for Sport Medicine CONI, FMSI Bologna, Italy


Background. It was hypo­the­sised ­that fin swim­ming ­have ­unique phys­io­path­o­log­ic fea­tures in par­tic­u­lar con­cern­ing low ­back involve­ment.
Methods. Retrospective ­study. Setting: elite com­pet­i­tive fin swim­mers. Participants: 17 ­males and 14 ­females ­aged ­from 16 to 23 ­years. Intervention: piroxicam, ­sport inter­rup­tion for a ­week, prop­er warm­ing-up and wear­ing sug­ges­tions dur­ing out-of-­water exer­cis­es in the symp­to­mat­ic ­group. Absence of inter­ven­tion in the asymp­to­mat­ic one. Measures: anthropometric meas­ures (­weight, ­height, ­legs ­length dis­crep­an­cy), iso­ki­net­ic meas­ures (­trunk flex­or/exten­sor ­ratio) and con­ven­tion­al radio­log­i­cal inves­ti­ga­tion ­were tak­en for all sub­jects.
Results. Low ­back ­pain was ­present in 14 sub­jects dur­ing off sea­son but ­only 7 ­referred dis­com­fort in com­pet­i­tive sea­son. 78.5% of symp­to­mat­ic sub­jects ­showed radio­log­i­cal abnor­mal­ities ­while imag­ing chang­es ­were ­present in 52.9% of the asymp­to­mat­ic ­group. Flexor/exten­sor ­ratio iso­ki­net­i­cal­ly eval­u­at­ed was ­less ­than one in 6 ath­letes com­plain­ing ­back dis­com­fort. Non ster­oid med­i­ca­tion, phys­io­ther­a­py, train­ing and wear­ing ­cares was sug­gest­ed. Authors ­report a ­pain ­free ­return to com­pe­ti­tion in 57% and a par­tial res­o­lu­tion in 28% of ­those symp­to­mat­ic cas­es who ­were not ­used to train­ing ­cares (in par­tic­u­lar prop­er “out-of -water” warm­ing up) and wear­ing pre­cau­tions (com­plete wip­ing and suit­able ther­mic cloth­ing ­after swim­ming).
Conclusions. In fin swim­ming low ­back ­pain can be relat­ed to the exis­tence of envi­ron­men­tal and intrin­sic fac­tors. In our ­series no sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence in imag­ing chang­es was point­ed out ­among asymp­to­mat­ic or pain­ful ath­letes. Therefore a ­cyclic ­load on the col­umn, in ­absence of train­ing pre­cau­tions can ­make ­spine abnor­mal­ities (in par­tic­u­lar schi­sis, fac­et derange­ment and ­pars ­lesion) symp­to­mat­ic.

top of page