Physical Characteristics of University Rugby Union Players with Low Back Pain Focusing on Lumbopelvic Alignment and Standing Balance

Sho Takaki, Masahiro Takemura, Ryo Ogaki ,Yoshiyuki Imoo, Takuo Furukawa, Tatsuya Shimasaki, Koji Kaneoka and Shumpei Miyakawa

[Received August 16, 2019; Accepted October 8, 2019] 

This aim of this study was to clarify the physical characteristics of university rugby union players with low back pain (LBP). Sixty-two rugby players belonging to a top-level university rugby club participated in this study. Players included 29 backs and 33 forwards. Medical screening results were compared between players with LBP that resulted in time-loss injury during the season (LBP group) and other players (control group). We surveyed each player’s history, body composition, and physical measurements (pelvic tilt angle in the standing position, range of motion, muscle flexibility, and body sway in the standing position). Significant differences were observed, with the LBP group being older and displaying changes such as a smaller pelvic tilt angle and larger body sway. Among the backs, the LBP group exhibited greater height and weight, smaller Thomas test values, greater finger-floor distance, and greater body sway (with eyes closed) than the control group. Among the forwards, the LBP group displayed older age, smaller pelvic tilt angle, smaller difference between the right and left heel buttock distance, and greater body sway than the control group. Thus, differences in physical characteristics of the university rugby players with LBP were related to age, pelvic tilt angle and standing body sway. Differences in physical characteristics were also observed between player positions.

Keywords: low back pain, rugby, pelvic tilt, standingl balance

[Football Science Vol.16, 40-50, 2019]