Affiliations: Irish Institute of Sport, Dublin, Ireland | University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium | Department of Clinical Therapies, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
Note:  Corresponding author: Kieran O'Sullivan, Department of Clinical Therapies, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland. Tel.: +353 61 234119; Fax: +353 61 234251; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Low back pain (LBP) is very common in rowing. A novel wireless method of monitoring lumbo-pelvic kinematics has recently been developed. This study aimed to determine if lumbo-pelvic kinematics; (1) can be measured reliably using this method; (2) change during a rowing session; (3) differ between rowers with and without LBP. METHODS: Two studies were completed; (a) a reliability study, and (b) a cross-sectional study. In both studies, the posture monitor was placed on the subjects' lumbo-pelvic region during testing on a Concept 2, Model D rowing ergometer. For the reliability study, seven rowers performed the first stage of an ergometer “step-test” on three occasions. For the cross-sectional study, 11 senior/elite male rowers (five = non-LBP; six = LBP) performed a standardised “step-test” with seven stages. RESULTS: The posture monitor demonstrated very high reliability (all ICC >0.8), with only small mean differences. A one-way repeated measures ANOVA revealed that there was no significant interaction between group and test stage (p = 0.541). There was no significant main effect for test stage (p = 0.257) or group (p = 0.620). CONCLUSION: This pilot study found no significant differences in lumbo-pelvic kinematics between the groups, or across the test stages. The posture monitor could be a useful tool for monitoring lumbo-pelvic kinematics in the field. Larger studies of prolonged rowing, using more homogenous subgroups of LBP subjects, who report greater levels of LBP, are required.
Keywords: Rowing, low back pain, posture, kinematics