IMPACT SHOULDER ANGLES CORRELATE WITH IMPACT WRIST ANGLES IN STANDING BACK HANDSPRINGS IN PREADOLESCENT AND ADOLESCENT FEMALE GYMNASTS.
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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: In gymnastics, the wrist is exposed to many different stresses including increased extension, especially during back handsprings. Currently a wrist extension angle during impact that places the wrist in danger has not been established. The purpose of this study was to: (1) determine the mean impact wrist angle during a standing back handspring in female preadolescent and adolescent gymnasts and (2) determine which factors predict impact wrist angles. METHODS: Fifty female gymnasts from six facilities, ages 8-15 were included in this study. Each gymnast completed a questionnaire about gymnastics participation and history of wrist pain. Active range of motion of the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, and ankle was measured. Each gymnast was asked to perform a standard back handspring, which was videotaped. The wrist and shoulder flexion angles, at maximum impact, were recorded and measured using motion analysis software. Two-sample t-test was used to assess the relationship between impact wrist angle and wrist pain. Multiple linear regression was used to determine the association between related variables and impact wrist angle. RESULTS: The mean back handspring impact wrist angle was 95°. Fifteen subjects (30%) reported wrist pain. Years of participation (p=0.02) and impact shoulder angle (p=0.04) were predictive of impact wrist angles. CONCLUSION: Shoulder angles and years of participation correlate with impact wrist angles during the performance of a standing back handspring. Future studies are necessary to determine if addressing these factors can affect the impact wrist angles. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 3.
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