The immediate effect of a lumbar manipulation on the clinical and performance measures of amateur tennis players suffering from lower back discomfort associated with playing tennis
Lower back pain and lower back injuries have been documented as one of the most common musculoskeletal problems in both amateur and professional tennis players. It has also been documented that the serve, which may be considered one of the most important strokes of the game, is also the most likely stroke to cause back pain. A good tennis serve requires considerable trunk rotation. The serve is the highest stress strain action during tennis. In a two set game the minimum number of serves a player may hit is 24 with a maximum excluding deuces and advantages of 96. The “Topspin serve” in particular requires the player to arch their back and this puts the lumbar spine into hyperextension. These movements thus put considerable pressure on the facet joints and multifidi muscles. It stands to reason that any joint related clinical entity can change biomechanics and affect the serve. In research done on golfers with mechanical lower back pain, it was found that club head velocity as well as pain decreased in symptomatic golfers with mechanical lower back pain after manipulation (Jermyn, 2004). No research has yet been done on manipulation of tennis players with lower back pain. The aim of this investigation was to determine the immediate effect of a lumbar manipulation on the clinical and performance measures of amateur tennis players suffering from lower back discomfort associated with playing tennis.