Effect of gender on trunk and pelvis control during lateral movements with perturbed landing.Eur J Sport Sci. 2016; 16(2):182-9.EJ
In lateral reactive movements, core stability may influence knee and hip joint kinematics and kinetics. Insufficient core stabilisation is discussed as a major risk factor for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. Due to the higher probability of ACL injuries in women, this study concentrates on how gender influences trunk, pelvis and leg kinematics during lateral reactive jumps (LRJs). Perturbations were investigated in 12 men and 12 women performing LRJs under three different landing conditions: a movable landing platform was programmed to slide, resist or counteract upon landing. Potential group effects on three-dimensional trunk, pelvic, hip and knee kinematics were analysed for initial contact (IC) and the time of peak pelvic medial tilt (PPT). Regardless of landing conditions, the joint excursions in the entire lower limb joints were gender-specific. Women exhibited higher trunk left axial rotation at PPT (women: 4.0 ± 7.5°, men: -3.1 ± 8.2°; p = 0.011) and higher hip external rotation at both IC and PPT (p < 0.01). But women demonstrated higher knee abduction compared to men. Men demonstrated more medial pelvic tilt at IC and especially PPT (men: -5.8 ± 4.9°, women: 0.3 ± 6.3°; p = 0.015). Strategies for maintaining trunk, pelvis and lower limb alignment during lateral reactive movements were gender-specific; the trunk and hip rotations displayed by the women were associated with the higher knee abduction amplitudes and therefore might reflect a movement strategy which is associated with higher injury risk. However, training interventions are needed to fully understand how gender-specific core stability strategies are related to performance and knee injury.