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Determine he effects of long term playing socer on the degeneration of lumbar spine

Altunsöz, Ömür Serdal
The main purpose of this study was to determine whether playing soccer at high intensity training for a long period causes degeneration of the lumbar spine or not. This degeneration may occur without any symptoms or low back pain. Results of the present study were discussed in the framework of lumbar disc degeneration, trunk strength, lumbar and hip bone mineral density, trunk flexibility, activity MET scores for active and veteran soccer groups. There have been four subject groups in this study (15 active soccer players, 15 sedentary participants, 14 veteran soccer players, 13 sedentary participants). The BMD was measured in anterior-posterior view with a second-generation dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) device. Isokinetic trunk strength data were recorded with the Biodex System Dynamometer (Biobex Medical Inc, Shirly, NY) at the 60º/sec and 120º/sec. Plain lateral radiographs were taken. The presence of degenerative changes of each lumbar vertebra was determined by using the Kellgren and Lowrence Score. A modified Schober test was used to measure lumbar flexion. Findings of the study demonstrated that veteran soccer players displayed greater lumbar disc degeneration than other groups. Moreover, v active soccer group had more BMD than other groups, but the veteran group’s BMD results were not different while comparing the control participants. Isokinetic test findings of the current study, trunk extension strength at 60/sec was significantly higher in active 1st group players than 2nd group participants, but there were no significant differences between the 1st group and 2nd group in terms of trunk flexion strength and agonist/antagonist ratio at 60/sec . In conclusion, Findings of the study support the main hypothesis that playing soccer at high intensity training at a long period of time may cause lumbar spine degeneration. Degeneration may occur without low back symptoms. Moreover, results supported the idea that Soccer can be accepted an impact loading sport that are to keep or accelerate bone mineral density. At last, having abnormal trunk extension strength while playing actively may cause lumbar disc degeneration on the spine at later years. A similar study should be carried out with a larger number of subjects, and longitudinal studies should be designed to examine the factors that effect the degeneration on the lumbar spine.