The effect of different outrigger canoeing paddling techniques on back movement and potential back injury risk in females

Sealey, R., Leicht, A., and Ness, K. (2010) The effect of different outrigger canoeing paddling techniques on back movement and potential back injury risk in females. Supplement to the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 13 (6). 142. p. 76.

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[Extract] Back pain has been reported in rowing and kayaking with pain attributed to repeated back flexion and rotation and a rapid rate of force production during fast stroke rates. Outrigger canoeing similarly involves repeated back flexion and rotation and therefore competitors may be at risk of back pain. The aim of this study was to document back movement that occurs during outrigger canoeing; and the influence of different paddling techniques on this back movement.

Methodology: Sixteen trained female outrigger canoeists completed three, 1000 m outrigger ergometer time trials using different paddling techniques: Australian (61 strokes∙min-1); Hawaiian (≤ 55 strokes∙min-1); Tahitian (≥65 strokes∙min-1). Back flexion (paddling and non-paddling side) and rotation throughout the propulsive phase was measured via three-dimensional analysis of 24 strokes completed on the left-side (6 strokes each at 100m, 400m, 600m and 900m). Back angles were measured clockwise from the upward vertical with positive and negative nomenclature representing extension and flexion range of motion. One-way repeated measures ANOVAs with post-hoc Tukey HSD tests were used to determine significant (p<0.05) differences in back movement across interventions.

Results: All techniques started the propulsive phase of the stroke with similar paddling-side back flexion (23.6-31.4°) that became more upright (back extension) throughout propulsion. As stroke rate increased, total paddling-side flexion-extension movement decreased, with the Tahitian technique range of movement significantly smaller (9.0±8.8°, p<0.05) than the slower Hawaiian (17.3±13.9°) and Australian (14.5±14.1°) techniques. The non-paddling side commenced propulsion at 18.9-23.1° flexion across all techniques. While the Hawaiian and Australian techniques demonstrated slight extension of the non-paddling side throughout propulsion (0.3±8.8° and 1.8±10.8°), the faster Tahitian technique elicited a significantly greater range of motion (-4.3±8.0°, p<0.05) and increased flexion movement. A similar amount of back rotation throughout propulsion occurred for all techniques (21.3±9.3°, 18.3±9.2° and 17.8±7.5° for the Hawaiian, Australian and Tahitian techniques, respectively).

Conclusions: The 19-31° back flexion noted at the start of the outrigger canoeing stroke is similar to rowing but larger than kayaking. The significantly smaller extension movement of the fast Tahitian technique may be offset by the increased flexion movement of the non-paddling side during rapid, force-producing propulsion. Similarly, the non-significant 3.5° greater back rotation evidenced with the Hawaiian technique may increase the risk of back pain in the future. The Australian technique resulted in mid-range flexion-extension and rotation movements and therefore is a technique that may attenuate overall risk of back pain in female outrigger canoeists.

Item ID: 12141
Item Type: Article (Abstract)
ISSN: 1440-2440
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2010 05:22
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110601 Biomechanics @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950102 Organised Sports @ 100%
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