Correcting the “l3” spine correction of the spine, which is a major problem for athletes, can help them improve their coordination, strength and balance.
A study published in the February issue of the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that athletes who received the correct spine corrections experienced a significant improvement in their ability to perform on the court.
Researchers in the University of Chicago’s Department of Kinesiology and Exercise Science and the Department of Medicine at Northwestern University said that a correction for the l3 spine was beneficial because it made the muscles more flexible and the vertebrae more stable.
The researchers found that the patients with the correct corrections experienced improvements in all of their core, lateral, back, neck, shoulder and hip functions, including running and jumping.
“The l3 spinal correction is critical for athletes who use their hands and arms to assist their body in the correct rotation and rotation motion,” said researcher and lead author Dr. Daniel Riester, a senior lecturer in the department of Kine, Sport and Exercise at the University at Buffalo.
“In order to perform properly, these muscles need to be in perfect alignment.
In many athletes, the l1, l2 and l3 vertebraes are not in the ideal alignment.”
The researchers said that although athletes can adjust their muscles in the normal range of motion, the correct spinal corrections are needed for athletes to perform in the optimal range.
“Our studies showed that athletes with the incorrect spinal corrections were more prone to injury, and this led to the need for a spinal correction in addition to a functional MRI,” said Dr. Riesters co-author Dr. John C. Wetherall, a professor in the Department in the College of Kinematics & Exercise Science at the College at Buffalo and the director of the Kinematic Disorders Center at Northwestern.
“In order for the proper spinal corrections to be effective, they need to work at a level that allows the muscles to function at their best, and the l2, l3 and l4 vertebra-based spinal corrections did not improve overall functional performance,” Wetheralls co-authored the study.
“As such, it is important that the correct l3-based spine correction is used in athletes who need to perform a range of tasks in the proper range of motions,” he said.
“Corrective measures may be helpful for athletes with a history of spinal injury, especially in conjunction with other rehabilitation services.”
The team also looked at the spinal corrections in a group of athletes who had previously had neck injuries.
They found that while the patients who received correct spinal adjustments did not have a significant decrease in their performance on the bench press, the team noted that this did not appear to be the case for those who had suffered from neck injuries in the past.
“This study shows that correcting the l4 and l2 spinal corrections is beneficial for athletes and the rehabilitation community,” Witherall said.
“As a general rule, correcting the vertebral and muscle positions of the l5, l6 and l7 vertebra is beneficial, but we do not recommend correcting the positions of these joints for athletes without previous neck injury.”
However, if the correct correction is not available, correcting spinal corrections for l5 and l6 can be beneficial, especially for athletes in whom there is limited functional flexibility,” he added.
The study, which involved participants in both sports, was supported by a National Institutes of Health Graduate Research Fellowship.
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