Enhance Your Spinal Assessment With The MAT

assessment Feb 16, 2018

Our spine is made up of 3 sections (Cervical, Thoracic and Lumbar vertebrae) with the sacrum and coccyx forming part of the tailbone. Each area is individualised in the way it moves, for example, the Lumbars prefer to flex and Extend, whereas the Thoracics prefer to rotate.

Each segment throughout all 3 areas rotates/flexes/extends and laterally flexes a few degrees, but as a total, there is a great deal of range of motion available through the spine. Along with these movements occurring at the spine, we also have rotational movements below and above the spine that directly affect the range of motion available, an example of this is the hips.

“Range-of-motion deficits in the lead hip rotation and lumbar spine extension correlated with a history of low back pain in golfers” (Vad. V,  Bhat. A,  Basrai. D, Gebeh. A, Aspergren. D and  Andrews. J,  2004). Along with golfers having lower back pain we also see athletes involved in throwing sports needing to use rotation through their thoracics (mid-back). “Trunk rotation not only a medium to transfer energy from lower extremities to upper extremities but also can be utilized as one of the elements in generating force to increase the throwing velocity”

(Razak. R, Mea. K, Hussain. R, Kassim. N and Othman. N, 2018).

Spinal assessment is important in a clinical setting because having restrictions through our trunk or extremities means that another region above or below may take up the slack which in some cases isn’t beneficial. Spinal assessment is done in a weight-bearing position (standing) so that we can see how which section of the body moves/doesn’t move when it should.

From the research we know that:

“The importance of trunk rotation strength in throwing velocity have been supported by Stodden, Campbell, and Moyer (2008) where this study stated that increase in throwing ball velocity associated with improvement of pelvis and trunk rotation velocity” (Razak. R, 2018).
“33% of golfers had previously experienced low back pain. A statistically significant correlation (P < .05) was observed between a history of low back pain with decreased lead hip internal rotation” (Vad. V, 2004).

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