Spinal muscle activity in simulated rugby union scrummaging is affected by different engagement conditions

Benjamin Stone, Dario Cazzola, Polly McGuigan, Tim Holsgrove, Richie Gill, Sabina Gheduzzi, Tony Miles, Keith Stokes, Grant Trewartha, Ezio Preatoni

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Abstract

Introduction
Previous kinetic and kinematics studies on machine(1) and live(2) scrummaging in Rugby Union indicated a reduction of the biomechanical load experienced by front row players when a ‘crouch-bind-set’ (CBS) engagement procedure was used instead of a ‘crouch-touch-set’ (CTS) one. These findings led to law amendments that were trialled during the 2013-14 competitive season. The reduction in biomechanical loading on front-row players may reduce stresses on the spinal structures, and ultimately decrease spinal injury incidence. The activation of neck and spinal muscles may have an effect on the stiffness of the cervical area and hence on the distribution of load, but the contribution of these muscles during the engagement phase has still to be thoroughly investigated. This study aimed to compare spinal muscles activation in three different scrummaging conditions.
Materials and Methods
Nine male front-row forwards were asked to perform individual scrum engagements. Three engagement conditions were analysed: CBS (players pre-bind before they engage) and CTS (players engage and bind simultaneously) against a scrum machine; and, “Live”, against one another in a two versus one live condition (passive engagement). Muscle activities of the sternocleidomastoid (SMC), upper trapezius (UT) and (ES) were measured over the pre-engagement, engagement and sustained push phases, with the latter being the only phase studied in the Live condition.
Results
Muscle activity tended to be higher in CBS than CTS, significantly (p < 0.05) for UT and SCM in the engagement phase (Figure 1 (a) and 1 (b)). The activity of ES was significantly higher (p < 0.05) in Live than either CBS or CTS during the sustained push phase (Figure 1 (c)).
Discussion
The increase in spinal muscle activation in CBS compared to CTS may be influenced by the differences in binding techniques between the conditions. Since the increase in UT and SCM activity increases upper truck stiffness, in CBS the higher activity of spinal muscles, combined with a decrease in spinal loading(2), may ultimately reduce spinal injuries when compared to the CTS condition.ES was significantly (p < 0.05) more activated in Live than in either of the machine conditions. In live conditions, front row players scrum against a dynamic and unstable target therefore they need extra activation for stabilising lumbar muscles to maintain optimal lumbar spinal posture, and decrease the risk of injuryConclusionThe increased activity of the UT and SCM in CBS indicates that a pre-bind procedure make the upper spine more prepared to accept external load. This may lead to a reduction in spinal injury rates. Machine scrummaging does not replicate the demands of a live contest. This emphasises the requirement of individuals to practise and learn scrummage techniques in a live situation, rather than against a machine.
References
(1) Preatoni et al. (2014). BJSM [Epub ahead of print] 10.1136/bjsports-2013-092938
(2) Cazzola et al. (2014). BJSM [Epub ahead of print] doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2013-092904
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of Abstract of the 10th Bath Biomechanics Symposium
Subtitle of host publicationCurrent Issues and Future Opportunities in Orthopaedic Research
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2014

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Football
Touch
Superficial Back Muscles
Muscles
Spinal Injuries
Neck Muscles
Motor Vehicles
Posture
Biomechanical Phenomena
Spine
Incidence

Cite this

Stone, B., Cazzola, D., McGuigan, P., Holsgrove, T., Gill, R., Gheduzzi, S., ... Preatoni, E. (2014). Spinal muscle activity in simulated rugby union scrummaging is affected by different engagement conditions. In Book of Abstract of the 10th Bath Biomechanics Symposium: Current Issues and Future Opportunities in Orthopaedic Research

Spinal muscle activity in simulated rugby union scrummaging is affected by different engagement conditions. / Stone, Benjamin; Cazzola, Dario; McGuigan, Polly; Holsgrove, Tim; Gill, Richie; Gheduzzi, Sabina; Miles, Tony; Stokes, Keith; Trewartha, Grant; Preatoni, Ezio.

Book of Abstract of the 10th Bath Biomechanics Symposium: Current Issues and Future Opportunities in Orthopaedic Research. 2014.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Stone, B, Cazzola, D, McGuigan, P, Holsgrove, T, Gill, R, Gheduzzi, S, Miles, T, Stokes, K, Trewartha, G & Preatoni, E 2014, Spinal muscle activity in simulated rugby union scrummaging is affected by different engagement conditions. in Book of Abstract of the 10th Bath Biomechanics Symposium: Current Issues and Future Opportunities in Orthopaedic Research.
Stone B, Cazzola D, McGuigan P, Holsgrove T, Gill R, Gheduzzi S et al. Spinal muscle activity in simulated rugby union scrummaging is affected by different engagement conditions. In Book of Abstract of the 10th Bath Biomechanics Symposium: Current Issues and Future Opportunities in Orthopaedic Research. 2014
Stone, Benjamin ; Cazzola, Dario ; McGuigan, Polly ; Holsgrove, Tim ; Gill, Richie ; Gheduzzi, Sabina ; Miles, Tony ; Stokes, Keith ; Trewartha, Grant ; Preatoni, Ezio. / Spinal muscle activity in simulated rugby union scrummaging is affected by different engagement conditions. Book of Abstract of the 10th Bath Biomechanics Symposium: Current Issues and Future Opportunities in Orthopaedic Research. 2014.
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title = "Spinal muscle activity in simulated rugby union scrummaging is affected by different engagement conditions",
abstract = "IntroductionPrevious kinetic and kinematics studies on machine(1) and live(2) scrummaging in Rugby Union indicated a reduction of the biomechanical load experienced by front row players when a ‘crouch-bind-set’ (CBS) engagement procedure was used instead of a ‘crouch-touch-set’ (CTS) one. These findings led to law amendments that were trialled during the 2013-14 competitive season. The reduction in biomechanical loading on front-row players may reduce stresses on the spinal structures, and ultimately decrease spinal injury incidence. The activation of neck and spinal muscles may have an effect on the stiffness of the cervical area and hence on the distribution of load, but the contribution of these muscles during the engagement phase has still to be thoroughly investigated. This study aimed to compare spinal muscles activation in three different scrummaging conditions.Materials and MethodsNine male front-row forwards were asked to perform individual scrum engagements. Three engagement conditions were analysed: CBS (players pre-bind before they engage) and CTS (players engage and bind simultaneously) against a scrum machine; and, “Live”, against one another in a two versus one live condition (passive engagement). Muscle activities of the sternocleidomastoid (SMC), upper trapezius (UT) and (ES) were measured over the pre-engagement, engagement and sustained push phases, with the latter being the only phase studied in the Live condition.ResultsMuscle activity tended to be higher in CBS than CTS, significantly (p < 0.05) for UT and SCM in the engagement phase (Figure 1 (a) and 1 (b)). The activity of ES was significantly higher (p < 0.05) in Live than either CBS or CTS during the sustained push phase (Figure 1 (c)).DiscussionThe increase in spinal muscle activation in CBS compared to CTS may be influenced by the differences in binding techniques between the conditions. Since the increase in UT and SCM activity increases upper truck stiffness, in CBS the higher activity of spinal muscles, combined with a decrease in spinal loading(2), may ultimately reduce spinal injuries when compared to the CTS condition.ES was significantly (p < 0.05) more activated in Live than in either of the machine conditions. In live conditions, front row players scrum against a dynamic and unstable target therefore they need extra activation for stabilising lumbar muscles to maintain optimal lumbar spinal posture, and decrease the risk of injuryConclusionThe increased activity of the UT and SCM in CBS indicates that a pre-bind procedure make the upper spine more prepared to accept external load. This may lead to a reduction in spinal injury rates. Machine scrummaging does not replicate the demands of a live contest. This emphasises the requirement of individuals to practise and learn scrummage techniques in a live situation, rather than against a machine.References(1) Preatoni et al. (2014). BJSM [Epub ahead of print] 10.1136/bjsports-2013-092938(2) Cazzola et al. (2014). BJSM [Epub ahead of print] doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2013-092904",
author = "Benjamin Stone and Dario Cazzola and Polly McGuigan and Tim Holsgrove and Richie Gill and Sabina Gheduzzi and Tony Miles and Keith Stokes and Grant Trewartha and Ezio Preatoni",
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AU - Stone, Benjamin

AU - Cazzola, Dario

AU - McGuigan, Polly

AU - Holsgrove, Tim

AU - Gill, Richie

AU - Gheduzzi, Sabina

AU - Miles, Tony

AU - Stokes, Keith

AU - Trewartha, Grant

AU - Preatoni, Ezio

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N2 - IntroductionPrevious kinetic and kinematics studies on machine(1) and live(2) scrummaging in Rugby Union indicated a reduction of the biomechanical load experienced by front row players when a ‘crouch-bind-set’ (CBS) engagement procedure was used instead of a ‘crouch-touch-set’ (CTS) one. These findings led to law amendments that were trialled during the 2013-14 competitive season. The reduction in biomechanical loading on front-row players may reduce stresses on the spinal structures, and ultimately decrease spinal injury incidence. The activation of neck and spinal muscles may have an effect on the stiffness of the cervical area and hence on the distribution of load, but the contribution of these muscles during the engagement phase has still to be thoroughly investigated. This study aimed to compare spinal muscles activation in three different scrummaging conditions.Materials and MethodsNine male front-row forwards were asked to perform individual scrum engagements. Three engagement conditions were analysed: CBS (players pre-bind before they engage) and CTS (players engage and bind simultaneously) against a scrum machine; and, “Live”, against one another in a two versus one live condition (passive engagement). Muscle activities of the sternocleidomastoid (SMC), upper trapezius (UT) and (ES) were measured over the pre-engagement, engagement and sustained push phases, with the latter being the only phase studied in the Live condition.ResultsMuscle activity tended to be higher in CBS than CTS, significantly (p < 0.05) for UT and SCM in the engagement phase (Figure 1 (a) and 1 (b)). The activity of ES was significantly higher (p < 0.05) in Live than either CBS or CTS during the sustained push phase (Figure 1 (c)).DiscussionThe increase in spinal muscle activation in CBS compared to CTS may be influenced by the differences in binding techniques between the conditions. Since the increase in UT and SCM activity increases upper truck stiffness, in CBS the higher activity of spinal muscles, combined with a decrease in spinal loading(2), may ultimately reduce spinal injuries when compared to the CTS condition.ES was significantly (p < 0.05) more activated in Live than in either of the machine conditions. In live conditions, front row players scrum against a dynamic and unstable target therefore they need extra activation for stabilising lumbar muscles to maintain optimal lumbar spinal posture, and decrease the risk of injuryConclusionThe increased activity of the UT and SCM in CBS indicates that a pre-bind procedure make the upper spine more prepared to accept external load. This may lead to a reduction in spinal injury rates. Machine scrummaging does not replicate the demands of a live contest. This emphasises the requirement of individuals to practise and learn scrummage techniques in a live situation, rather than against a machine.References(1) Preatoni et al. (2014). BJSM [Epub ahead of print] 10.1136/bjsports-2013-092938(2) Cazzola et al. (2014). BJSM [Epub ahead of print] doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2013-092904

AB - IntroductionPrevious kinetic and kinematics studies on machine(1) and live(2) scrummaging in Rugby Union indicated a reduction of the biomechanical load experienced by front row players when a ‘crouch-bind-set’ (CBS) engagement procedure was used instead of a ‘crouch-touch-set’ (CTS) one. These findings led to law amendments that were trialled during the 2013-14 competitive season. The reduction in biomechanical loading on front-row players may reduce stresses on the spinal structures, and ultimately decrease spinal injury incidence. The activation of neck and spinal muscles may have an effect on the stiffness of the cervical area and hence on the distribution of load, but the contribution of these muscles during the engagement phase has still to be thoroughly investigated. This study aimed to compare spinal muscles activation in three different scrummaging conditions.Materials and MethodsNine male front-row forwards were asked to perform individual scrum engagements. Three engagement conditions were analysed: CBS (players pre-bind before they engage) and CTS (players engage and bind simultaneously) against a scrum machine; and, “Live”, against one another in a two versus one live condition (passive engagement). Muscle activities of the sternocleidomastoid (SMC), upper trapezius (UT) and (ES) were measured over the pre-engagement, engagement and sustained push phases, with the latter being the only phase studied in the Live condition.ResultsMuscle activity tended to be higher in CBS than CTS, significantly (p < 0.05) for UT and SCM in the engagement phase (Figure 1 (a) and 1 (b)). The activity of ES was significantly higher (p < 0.05) in Live than either CBS or CTS during the sustained push phase (Figure 1 (c)).DiscussionThe increase in spinal muscle activation in CBS compared to CTS may be influenced by the differences in binding techniques between the conditions. Since the increase in UT and SCM activity increases upper truck stiffness, in CBS the higher activity of spinal muscles, combined with a decrease in spinal loading(2), may ultimately reduce spinal injuries when compared to the CTS condition.ES was significantly (p < 0.05) more activated in Live than in either of the machine conditions. In live conditions, front row players scrum against a dynamic and unstable target therefore they need extra activation for stabilising lumbar muscles to maintain optimal lumbar spinal posture, and decrease the risk of injuryConclusionThe increased activity of the UT and SCM in CBS indicates that a pre-bind procedure make the upper spine more prepared to accept external load. This may lead to a reduction in spinal injury rates. Machine scrummaging does not replicate the demands of a live contest. This emphasises the requirement of individuals to practise and learn scrummage techniques in a live situation, rather than against a machine.References(1) Preatoni et al. (2014). BJSM [Epub ahead of print] 10.1136/bjsports-2013-092938(2) Cazzola et al. (2014). BJSM [Epub ahead of print] doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2013-092904

M3 - Conference contribution

BT - Book of Abstract of the 10th Bath Biomechanics Symposium

ER -