Fabio Zaina, Sabrina Donzelli, Monia Lusini, Claudia Fusco, Salvatore Minnella, Stefano Negrini


September 2016, Volume 25, Issue 9, pp 2938 - 2944 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-016-4452-1

First Online: 26 February 2016

Purpose

Tennis is widely practiced by adolescents in many countries. Many spinal deformity experts consider this activity, together with other asymmetrical sports, as risk factors for scoliosis development even though scientific data are missing. The aim of the present study was to verify the prevalence of spinal deformities and LBP in adolescent competitive tennis players compared to healthy controls.

Methods

We designed a cross-sectional study. A convenience sample of 102 adolescent tennis players (52 girls) was compared to 203 scholars (102 girls) of the same age (12 years). We used a questionnaire to collect data on LBP and we measured the ATR to screen for spinal deformities and the plumb line distances for kyphosis (C7 and C7 + L3) and lordosis (L3).

Results

We found similar spinal deformities in both groups: ATR female: 3.2° ± 1° (tennis) versus 2.8° ± 1° (school), NS; ATR males: 2.8° ± 1° (tennis) versus 2.6° ± 1° (school), p 

Conclusion

The correlation between tennis, an asymmetric sport, and spinal deformities that has been postulated by many experts was not confirmed by our data. There was no correlation between tennis and LBP, even if there were some differences among groups for limitations of the daily activities. Adolescent competitive tennis showed to be a safe sport without an increased risk of spinal deformities and LBP.


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