Lumbar spine discomfort in kettlebell sport: biomedical rehabilitation model

PhD G.K. Khomyakov1
PhD, Professor A.A. Akhmatgatin1
A.V. Demchik2
1Irkutsk National Research Technical University, Irkutsk
2Military Medical Academy n.a. S.M. Kirov, St. Petersburg

Keywords: kettlebell lifting sport, rehabilitation course, spine muscle stretching, lumbosacral spine discomfort.

Background. Lumbar discomfort that may potentially complicate into dorsalgia of the lumbosacral spine segment – is not unusual in the modern kettlebell lifting sport, particularly in cases of errors or mismanagements in the training system [10] including the too late hard kettlebell lifting sport trainings when the most sensitive physical progress period is far back [3]. In practical terms, modern training systems are designed on a micro-cycling basis with the individual physical progress phased and focused on specific physical qualities with account of the adenosine triphosphoric acid re-synthesis. Yearly health tests run at Irkutsk National Research Technical University have found growth (up to 41%) in the lumbosacral spine discomfort reported by students in the physical education classes. It should be mentioned that the clear pathogenetic/ differential indications of the lumbosacral spine discomfort and efficient relief methods still need to be found and grounded [2].

The available study reports with concern to the matters of the lower back discomfort (dorsalgia, dorsopathy) amount to not more than 2-3%. These health issues are widely ranked with non-vertebrogenic, secondary, symptomatic or specific pains/ ailments, with the origins and progress of such discomfort virtually never systemically analyzed [2]. This is the reason why we believe that studies of such local and reflected discomfort syndromes with their manifestations and pathogenetic patterns are highly relevant at this juncture, particularly in the situation when the international and Russian research communities are largely inattentive to the issues of rehabilitative support [8] in the trainings of athletes diagnosed with lumbosacral spine discomfort.

Objective of the study was to analyze benefits of a new biomedical rehabilitation model for kettlebell lifting sport athletes diagnosed with lumbosacral spine discomfort.

Methods and structure of the study. We sampled for the new biomedical rehabilitation model testing experiment 17-23 year old male Irkutsk National Research Technical University students (n=26) trained in kettlebell lifting sport groups including 4 athletes (15.4%) tested with severe lumbosacral spine discomforts. The latter (and sample on the whole) were subject to comprehensive rehabilitation service to prevent/ cure the lumbosacral spine discomfort using an Omegawave computerized test system that produced the following functionality test data [7]: stress index (in points) to rate physical adaptability; absolute working capacity PWCabs; relative working capacity PWCrel; anaerobic index; aerobic recovery index; and aerobic-zone heart rate recovery index.

The lumbosacral spine prevention/ cure course included the following five stages. Stage 1 was designed to stretch the spine on a decompression couch [5] by seven 20-min procedures per week.  Stage 2 used vacuum medical cans to relieve lumbosacral spine pains, with the cans fixed on the long dorsal muscles and sacral zone for 20-30 minutes a day, for 7 days on the whole. Stage 3 included rehabilitation massage procedures [1, 4] mostly with the four-finger stroking and lightly rubbing moves for 15 minutes a day, for 7 days on the whole. Stage 4 included transcutaneous electromagnetic muscle stimulation procedure [6] using instrumental magnetotherapeutic MT-1 Magniter system that generates sinusoidal (with the magnetic induction amplitude of 10±2.5 mTl) and pulsating (30±2.5 mTl) currents known to be of high anti-inflammatory effects on the underlying tissues in the lumbosacral spine discomfort zone. The 15-min procedure was started up by 5-min sinusoidal treatments followed by pulsating treatment. This recovery stage took 10 sessions. And Stage 5 may be described as the traditional therapeutic physical education service with a set of special physical exercises [5], each having its rehabilitative spine stretching, blood circulation and metabolism stimulation effects in the lumbosacral spine zone.

The therapeutic physical education service included the following key lumbosacral spine discomfort prevention/ cure exercises:

(1) Gluteus Bridge started up in supine position with bent knees, with the pelvis raised and kept still for a few seconds, followed by a deep exhale and slow go back to the startup position.

(2) Boat exercise starting from a prone position with the arms stretched along the body with the palms up. Lift your head, shoulders and legs slowly to relieve the lumbosacral spine discomfort. (3) Spine flexors stretching exercise in the supine position. Bend your left knee and pull by hands tight to the chest; repeat with your right leg; pull both knees to the chest and keep tight for a few seconds, swaying on your back. It should be emphasized that every therapeutic physical education exercise will be prudently phased and customized to the individual sensations and progress.

Results and discussion. The post-experimental functionality tests found progress in every of the 26 athletes with the growing physical workloads. The athletes were subject to the rehabilitation course at the end of the annual training cycle; and 22 of them reported no or minor lumbosacral spine discomfort with the growing physical fitness – in line with the reported trend [9]. Four subjects tested with severe lumbosacral spine discomfort by the pre-experimental tests also showed functionality progress with the reported lumbosacral spine discomfort relief and growing physical fitness, with the changes rated by nonparametric White T-criterion for objectivity and meaningfulness: see Table 1 hereunder.

More specifically, the post-experimental tests of the 4 severe lumbosacral-spine-diagnosed subjects showed significant (p <0.05) progress in the PWC170abs, PWC170rel, aerobic-zone HR recovery rate; aerobic-zone recovery index; anaerobic index; and the Bayevsky stress index.

Table 1. Post- versus pre-experimental functionality test data of the severe lumbosacral spine -diagnosed subjects (n=4)

 

PWC170abs,

kgm/ min

PWC170rel,

kgm/ min/ kg

Aerobic-zone HR recovery rate, beats/ min

Aerobic-zone recovery rate, points

Anaerobic index, points

Stress index, points

pre

post

pre

post

pre

post

pre

post

pre

post

pre

post

 

1195

1423

15

19

26

35

50

62

135

144

58

42

 

1315

1448

18

20

20

32

48

60

142

148

65

39

 

1269

1425

16

21

28

38

59

60

141

148

74

52

 

1319

1473

17

20

31

37

51

64

139

146

68

46

M

1275

1442

17

20

26

36

52

62

139

147

66

45

T

 

10

 

10

 

10

 

10

 

10

 

10

p

 

<0,05

 

<0,05

 

<0,05

 

<0,05

 

<0,05

 

<0,05

The tests showed benefits of the new biomedical rehabilitation model for the kettlebell lifters diagnosed with lumbosacral spine discomfort as it secures relief of the discomfort under growing physical workloads in the training process.

Conclusion. The biomedical rehabilitation model for kettlebell lifters diagnosed with lumbosacral spine discomfort was tested beneficial in its every element including the spine stretching exercises combined with massage, vacuum therapy, magnetotherapy and therapeutic physical education service to facilitate progress in the step load trainings. The biomedical rehabilitation model may be recommended for implementation at the end of an annual kettlebell lifting sport training cycle. The individuals diagnosed with a severe lumbosacral spine discomfort are recommended the rehabilitation course for a stable relief in the lumbosacral spine zone.

References

  1. Biryukov A.A. Massotherapy. M.: Akademiya publ., 2004. 368 p.
  2. Dinaburg A.D. Diseases of nervous system in degenerative processes in spine. M.: Zdorov'ya publ., 2016. 388 p.
  3. Epifanov V.A. Spinal osteochondrosis. M.: Eksmo publ., 2015. 448 p.
  4. Khomyakov G.K. Pat. No. 137718, Russian Federation, IPC A61H 1/00. Couch for decompression unloading of the spine; Applicant and patent holder ISUT “Irkutsk State University of Railway Engineering” (RU). 2013142463/14 stated 17.09.2013; publ. 27.002.2014, Bull. Number 6.
  5. Rakita D.R., Uryasev O.M., Ushmarov A.K.; Garmash V.Ya.  [ed.] General Physiotherapy. Textbook. RSU publ. Ryazan, 2006.111 p.
  6. Sivokhov V.L., Malinin E.L., Ivanova O.A., Kirillov Yu.K. Innovative technologies in biomedical support of physical education and sports. Irkutsk, Prizma publ., 2016. 210 p.

Corresponding author: ahmatgatinaa@istu.edu

Abstract

Kettlebell jerk is the most traumatic exercise for the spine in kettlebell lifting. It consists of five parts: initial position, preliminary squat, pushing up off the chest, second squat and after fixation - lowering of the kettlebell on the chest.

In modern jerk technique, simultaneously with the knee extension, the strength of the back extensors is actively used, which is similar to the spring stretching and compression by the mechanism of work.

Within the strictly regulated time, while performing the 10-min competitive exercise, athletes repeat the technical movements multiple times. Weakly developed muscles of the lumbar spine, violations of the technique of execution of lead-up exercises and competitive movements often lead to discomfort in the lumbar spine; heavy feeling; inconvenience when fixing the kettlebell overhead. Continuous kettlebell lifting practices without rehabilitation lead to cognitive stresses, thus reinforcing the distorted execution technique, which strengthens the feeling of discomfort when lifting the kettlebell. The objective control methods (MRI and other research methods) did not reveal any pathological changes.

Timely intervention of a coach and sports medicine doctor in order to eliminate discomfort serves as a health-saving technology in the educational process. An integrated approach to rehabilitation includes "stretching" of the spine muscles, elimination of the signs of inflammation in them, application of body conditioning exercises. "Stretching" of the spine muscles is carried out on a decompression bed. Inflammation is reduced by means of physiotherapy with the use of the "Magniter" device, vacuum therapy, massage of painful areas, timely inclusion of therapeutic physical practices. The methodological recommendation on the training process is to reduce the volume and intensity of physical loads by 40-50% for the entire rehabilitation period, with a subsequent increase in the level of physical activity.