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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2022 January;62(1):98-109

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.21.12174-7


language: English

The adjunctive benefits of mirror cross education on kinetic chain exercise approach in volleyball athletes with scapular dyskinesis

Eleftherios PARASKEVOPOULOS 1 , Theocharis SIMEONIDIS 2, Charilaos TSOLAKIS 2, 3, Panagiotis KOULOUVARIS 4, Maria PAPANDREOU 1

1 Department of Physiotherapy, University of West Attica, Athens, Greece; 2 Orthopaedic Center of Research and Education PN Soukakos, Attikon Hospital, Athens, Greece; 3 School of Physical Education and Sports Science, National Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens, Greece; 4 Department of Orthopedics, Athens University, Medical School, Athens, Greece

BACKGROUND: Volleyball players as overhead athletes have the highest risk of developing scapular dyskinesis. The kinetic chain exercise-approach has gained a lot of attention because of its claims to provide an improved motor control and scapular kinematics. A form of cross exercise, known as mirror therapy, may enhance the effects of a kinetic-chain-approach on scapular posture, upper and lower limb performance. The aim of this study was to investigate the adjunctive benefits of mirror cross education in a kinetic chain approach, in volleyball athletes with SD.
METHODS: Thirty-nine professional volleyball athletes were randomly assigned to three groups of 13 each, two experimental, the mirror cross education and kinetic chain approach, and one control. Both experimental groups performed a kinetic chain approach program, however, the mirror cross education group performed the exercise program with the addition of two mirrors that allowed athletes to observe their opposite non-dyskinetic scapula. Scapular posture asymmetries in cm, the Y-Balance and the Upper-Quarter Y-Balance after normalizing by limb length the reach distance in each direction, were assessed before and after performing each intervention for 6 weeks.
RESULTS: 3×2 two-way Mixed ANOVAs detected significant interactions on scapular posture (P=0.001) on both experimental groups when compared with the control. The Y-Balance and the Upper Quarter Y-Balance scores at both mirror cross education and kinetic chain approach groups showed significant differences when compared with the control (P<0.05). Overall, variables showed significant superiority of the mirror cross education group.
CONCLUSIONS: The Mirror-Cross-Education demonstrated significant effects in scapular posture and in the functional balance tests of volleyball athletes with scapular dyskinesis.

KEY WORDS: Athletes; Volleyball; Postural balance

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