Effect of Spinal Manipulation on Kicking Speed in Soccer Players
Friday, January 30, 2015 10:41 PM

The most utilized soccer kicking method is the instep kicking technique.  This kicking technique requires that the power is generated through the co-ordinated effort of the muscles and the motion of all the joints involved – lumbar spine, sacroiliac joint, hip, knee and foot and ankle.

This kicking technique’s biomechanics are seen as a segmented motion pattern sequence which initiates from the at the spine and moves distally down the open biomechanical chain. As, the lumbar spine and sacroiliac joint are both proximal parts of this biomechanical chain, they form the basis for motion which follows the open chain movement pattern, and thus initiate the forward motion during kicking. Players are expected to perform this “routine action” at their maximum potential every time they kick the ball to score. This coordination of this components of this complex maneuver impacts on the kicking speed.  Decreased motion in spinal joint segments results in adverse biomechanical changes within in the kinematic chain. These changes may be linked to a negative impact on soccer performance.

It is through functional impairments with a loss of tensile strength of ligaments, adhesions formation, loss of muscular or ligamentous flexibility and joint range of motion (ROM) decreases, that performance may be decreased. Therefore it is the opinion of the several authors that improved spinal joint mobility and muscle flexibility can be achieved through the use of manipulation.  This study tested the immediate effect of lumbar spine and sacroiliac manipulation alone and in combination on the kicking speed of uninjured soccer players.

This 2010 prospective, pre-post experimental, single-blinded (subject) required forty asymptomatic soccer players, from regional premier league teams, who were purposively allocated to one of four groups (based on the evaluation of the players by two blinded motion palpators). Segment dysfunction was either localized to the lumbar spine (Group 1), sacroiliac joint (Group 2), the lumbar spine and sacroiliac joint (Group 3) or not present in the sham laser group (Group 4). All players underwent a standardized warm-up before the pre-measurements. Manipulative intervention followed after which post-measurements were completed. Measurement outcomes included range of motion changes; kicking speed and the subjects’ perception of a change in kicking speed. 

Lumbar spine manipulation resulted in significant range of motion increases in left and right rotation. Combination manipulative interventions resulted in significant range of motion increases in lumbar extension, right rotation and right SI joint flexion. There was a significant increase in kicking speed post intervention for all three manipulative intervention groups (when compared to sham). A significant correlation was seen between subjects’ perception of change in kicking speed post intervention and the objective results obtained.

This pilot study showed that lumbar spine manipulation combined with SI joint manipulation, resulted in an effective intervention for short-term increases in kicking speed / performance. It has demonstrated that lumbar spine and SI joint manipulation, when combined are an effective intervention for a short-term increase in kicking speed after one intervention. 

Source:  http://chiro.org/wordpress/2015/01/15/immediate-effect-of-spinal-manipulative-protocols-on-kicking-speed-performance-in-soccer-players/