Background Unfavorable biomechanical situations, usually related to the performance of a profession and competitive sports practice, promote formation of overloads. This problem may be particularly perceptible among sportsmen that practice strength and stamina sports. The present study deals with rowing.
Objective The purpose of this study is to evaluate the degree of changes of elasticity in the vertebral bodies of the lumbosacral spine in competitive rowers.
Design The lesions of the intervertebral discs of the lumbosacral spine and the modification of bone structure aiming towards higher density, which were discovered in the tested rowers, resulted in the undertaking of further research in the area of contingent changes in their elasticity.
Setting This research used a previously created original method, which due to the existence of relation between the structure of the bone tissue and its mechanical properties as well as radio-density, uses the possibilities of a computer tomograph.
Participants The research was conducted over 20 athletes from the national team aged 21 to 33, practicing competitive rowing with symmetrical sculling oars.
Main outcome measurements Overload lesions in the athletes (rowers) have a direct relation to the formation of morphological changes (degenerative changes) in the area of tissue structures of the lumbar spine;.
Results Within the group of the tested rowers, in the cancellous part of the vertebral bodies of the lumbar spine (especially in vertebrae L3 to L5), an increase in the longitudinal elasticity modulus occurs, which aims towards values corresponding to those of a compact bone.
Conclusions Biomechanical analysis of spine loads and new techniques and methods for the testing of the condition of spine tissue structure let us prove that competitive rowing practice, in its present form, leads to permanent overload lesions of the lumbar spine.
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