Postural Disorders in Young Athletes
Research background and hypothesis. Athletes across all sports face sports injuries stemming from the overuse
of specific muscle groups for that particular sport. It was hypothesised that athletes from each sport would show
similar muscular-skeletal changes allowing a postural stereotype for each sport to be allocated.
The aim of this study was to determine the peculiarities of postural changes of young athletes in accordance with
postural tone and phasic contraction muscles.
Research methods. The participants of this study were 92 young Latvian athletes aged 14–17 and having different
preparation level, i. e. 20 swimmers, 20 ice-hockey players and 19 basketball players, 17 handball players and 16
cyclists. Tests were completed using methods of visual diagnostics (Васильева, 1996) and muscular functional
testing (Kendall, M. O., Kendall, F. P., 1982).
Research results. The lower cross syndrome is a common feature for athletes of sports requiring complicated
coordination at high rates of workloads on lower extremities. Individual decline from a neutral posture in the sagittal
plane is a characteristic feature for individuals of various kinds of sport due to overload of some muscle groups.
Discussion and conclusions. The presence of a postural stereotype indicates that these muscular-skeletal
changes are beneficial to athletes. How much benefit the athletes gain from these postural changes before injury
occurs, is open to debate. It is purposeful to distinguish muscles according to their tone to postural and contracting
muscles. The postural muscles that form posture have rather high tone, but if these muscles are overloaded, the tone
pathologically increases and the muscle cannot contract nor relax effectively enough to allow the antagonist to work.
Keywords: sport event specifics, postural stereotypes, functional postural changes.
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