IJERPH, Vol. 20, Pages 2186: Chronic Effects of Asymmetric and Symmetric Sport Load in Varsity Athletes across a Six Month Sport Season (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
The relation between specific sport practice and possible spine modifications is unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of different sports on the spine in adult varsity athletes across a six month sports season. Forty-four athletes (24.5 ± 3 years) were divided into two groups according to the typology of the sport practiced: the symmetric sports group (S, 22 athletes: track and field running, n = 14; cycling, n = 8), and the asymmetric sports group (A, 22 athletes: tennis, n = 22). The participants’ spines were evaluated with Formetric® 4D rasterstereographic analysis at the beginning (BL), in the middle (INT), and at the end (FIN) of the season. Twenty-five parameters were measured in an average 4D modality. The results showed that the intervention factor (BL vs. FIN) had a significant effect on dimple distance (p < 0.05) and on left lateral deviation (BL vs. FIN and INT vs. FIN, p < 0.01 and p < 0.01, respectively). Statistical differences were found for the sport typology factor for pelvic antero-retroversion and right lateral deviation. For left lateral deviation, no modulation was found for the sport typology. Asymmetric versus symmetric sport loads showed small statistical differences in a non-professional sample of adult athletes. The practice of asymmetric sports should also be encouraged without exceeding the total number of hours per week.