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"Medicina Sportiva" No.14 - 2008 The 15-th Sports Medicine Balkan Congress


Tsermakian T, Nousios G, Mitsakis I, Lyrtzis C, Evagelinou C.
Department of Physical Education and Sports Science, Serres, A.U.Th., Greece

INTRODUCTION. Idiopathic scoliosis constitutes 80% of all cases of scoliosis. The idiopathic scoliosis may affect the balance control. The aim of this study was to explore the functional effects of structural spinal deformations like idiopathic scoliosis on the balance strategies used during locomotion.
MATERIALS-METHODS. 15 athletes, 12 women and 3 men, (mean age 15 years and 3 months) with curvature between 10 and 30 degrees and 14 control subjects, 12 women and 2 men (mean age 15 years 1 month) were tested during various locomotor tasks including walking on the ground, walking on a line and walking on a beam. Balance control was examined in terms of rotation about the vertical axis (yaw) and on a frontal plane (roll). Kinematics of foot, pelvis, trunk, shoulder, and head rotations were measured with an automatic optical TV image processor in order to calculate angular dispersions and segmental stabilizations.
RESULTS. Decreasing the walking speed is the main adaptive strategy used in response to balance problems in control subjects as well as athletes with AIS. However, athletes with AIS performed walking tasks more slowly than normal subjects. Moreover, the pelvic stabilization is preserved, despite the structural changes affecting the spine. The biomechanical defect resulting from idiopathic scoliosis mainly affects the yaw head stabilization during locomotion.
CONCLUSIONS. Athletes with AIS show substantial similarities with control subjects in adaptive strategies relative to balance control based on segmental stabilization. In contrast, the loss of the yaw head stabilization strategies, mainly based on the use of vestibular information, probably reflects the presence of vestibular deficits in the patients with AIS.
KEY WORDS: balance strategies, adolescents, athletes, idiopathic scoliosis.

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