Management of cervical biomechanical dysfunction in schoolboy rugby players using a manual physiotherapy technique
Aims: The primary physiotherapeutic aims of the study were to validate a manual physiotherapy evaluation technique in the assessment of cervical biomechanical dysfunction, and to test the effectiveness of a manual physiotherapy treatment technique in the correction of cervical biomechanical dysfunction. The primary educational aims were to test the effectiveness and safety of a therapeutic exercise programme for the correction of biomechanical dysfunction as well as the effectiveness of a neck rehabilitation programme for improving neck muscle strength. Design: A four group experimental design with three pre-test - post-test groups and a control group was used for the investigation. Sample: The subjects were South African schoolboy rugby players between the ages of 15 and 18 years. Groups I and 2 presented with biomechanical dysfunction of their cervical spines, Group 3 had no biomechanical dysfunction of their cervical spines and the players of Group 4, the control group, presented with or without biomechanical dysfunction of their cervical spines. Each group consisted of 25 players. Method: Group I received manual physiotherapy with x-rays before and after treatment. Groups 2 and 3 performed a therapeutic exercise programme, with before and after x-rays, and Group 4 received no intervention between their sets of x-rays. Following the second set of x-rays all the players from Groups I, 2 and 3 performed the neck rehabilitation programme after which a third set of x-rays were taken. Results: The results validated the manual physiotherapy evaluation technique. The manual therapy treatment technique used in the treatment of Group I showed highly significant improvements in cervical biomechanical function. Results for Group 2 following the therapeutic exercise programme showed moderate practically significant improvements in cervical biomechanical dysfunction. The therapeutic exercise programme for the correction of biomechanical dysfunction was found to be very safe with only small significant changes in x-ray measurements (Group 3). The results of the control group showed a negative trend of small statistical significance. A highly significant improvement in cervical circumference as moderate significant improvement in biomechanical function was found following the neck rehabilitation programme. Conclusion: It could therefore be concluded that the manual physiotherapy evaluation technique for motion segment analysis was indeed valid in determining biomechanical dysfunction of the cervical spine. The manual physiotherapy treatment technique as well as the therapeutic exercise programme for the correction of biomechanical dysfunction was found to be effective in the correction of cervical biomechanical dysfunction. It could further be concluded that the therapeutic exercise programme was safe to be performed by players without biomechanical dysfunction. The neck rehabilitation programme was effective in improving cervical circumference as well as cervical biomechanical function.
- Education