Objective. To develop and ascertain the usefulness of a test performed in water to examine the neuromotor capacities of adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis. Study design. A cross-sectional study involving a control group of normal subjects and a subgroup of patients with clinically defined scoliosis. Location. A public swimming-pool. Population. Pupils from a State Secondary School in Asti (mean age 12 years); 70 subjects had adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (32 boys, 38 girls-12,5° Cobb) and 184 were normal controls (78 girls, 106 boys). Intervention. The test required the pupils to swim on their backs with their eyes closed. Evaluation. The deviation in degrees from the ideal straight line was measured when the swimmer had reached a distance of one metre perpendicularly from the initial lane. Results. The performance of the subjects with scoliosis was, on the whole, worse than that of the normal subjects; this difference in performance reached statistical significance when only female subjects were considered. In the clinically defined subgroup, the deviation from the midline was always towards the concave side of the principal curve. The test did not reveal a correlation with curve location; there were statistically significant differences based on magnitude of the scoliotic curves and gibbosity but there wasn't any direct correlation. Conclusions. Differences of performance between adolescential idiopathic scoliosis patients and a group of controls has been verified. Whether these are due to secondary biomechanical changes (less likely, according both to results and literature) or to damages of the neurological mechanisms of control of the spine is discussed. This is the first time these results have been obtained in relation to tests carried out in water.
|Translated title of the contribution||Neuromotor control in water in adolescential idiopathic scoliosis|
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 1996|
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