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Can lumbar proprioception Predict Hamstring Strain in Soccer Players?

Khaled Afifi, Alaa Eldin Abdel-Hakim Balbaa, Emad Samuel Boles Saweeres


Background: Although there is growing knowledge about hamstring muscle injuries in athletes over the last 30 years, acute and recurrent injuries are still common. Due to the high incidence, recurrence rate and time lost from competitions, risk factors for the initial injury have been investigated retrospectively and prospectively. There is small evidence that core stability can minimize the risk of recurrence of hamstring strain injury and that it might be a risk factor for lower limb joints and muscles injures. However, core stability is a continuum from power, strength, endurance and sensory-motor control. It has been a question which is the most important core stability component or exercises in treatment, rehabilitation or prevention of hamstring strain. Lumbar spine proprioception, a component of core stability, has been prospectively studied as a risk factor for knee injuries in female athletes. The results showed a correlation between impaired lumbar spine proprioception and knee injuries. However, it has not been investigated before as a risk factor for hamstring strain. Objective: to investigate lumbar spine proprioception as a risk factors for hamstring muscle strain in soccer players. Study design: prospective cohort study. Methods: lumbar spine proprioception was measured by the absolute value of error in active repositioning to a target angle (30˚ flexion) in soccer players who were prospectively followed up for one year for incidence of hamstring strain. Results: forty two soccer players participated in the study. During the follow up period, 6 players developed hamstring strain injury while 36 players did not develop any injury. the mean age was 22 (±4.97); the mean height was 1.76 (±0.056); mean weight was 72.5 (±12.11); and mean body mass index (BMI) was 23.29 (±2.5). the mean age was 21.63 (±3.01); the mean height was 1.76 (±0.063); the mean weight was 70.23 (±7.98); and the mean BMI was 22.6 (±1.81). Comparisons between the injured and non-injured players did not show any differences in lumbar proprioception. For RE the mean value for the injured group was 3.44˚ (±1.79) while the mean value for the non-injured group was 4.39˚ (±4.28) (P-value = 0.365, 95% CI =-3.115-1.208). Conclusion: The current study showed that – as one component of core stability - lumbar spine proprioception is not a risk factor for hamstring strain injuries.

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