Background: The spinal nerves, which start at the lumbar level, are connected to the nerve innervation in the knees. Currently, there is a lack of research on the treatment of knee pain through lumbar mobilization.
Objectives: To investigate the effects of lumbar joint mobilization (LJM) and transcutaneous electronic nerve stimulation (TENS) on proprioception and muscular strength in volleyball players with chronic knee pain.
Design: Two group pre-posttest.
Methods: A total of 26 professional volleyball players with chronic knee pain were allocated to the LJM (n=13) and TENS (n=13) groups. In the LJM group, grade III - IV amplitude was applied 3 times for 1 minute (80 times per minute) at the affected lumbar (L2-3) facet joint in the prone position. In the TENS group, the TENS treatment device was used to directly apply or 15 minutes to the area of chronic knee pain (100 Hz, 150 ㎲). Proprioception was measured by knee flexion and extension angles, and muscle strength was evaluated using an isokinetic test. Measurements were taken before and after interventions.
Results: In the eye opened conditiond, proprioception significantly increased during both knee extension and flexion after LJM, while only knee extension was significantly increased in the TENS group. There was also a significant difference in knee extension between the two groups. In the eye close conditiond, proprioception was significantly improved only during knee extension in the LJM group, and the difference in knee extension between the groups was also significant (P<.05). The maximum torque of the affected knee joint was significantly improved at 60°/sec in both groups (P<.05); however, there was no difference between the two groups. There was no significant difference in the maximum flexion torque within or between the groups.
Conclusion: This study suggests that LJM improved proprioception and muscular strength in volleyball players with chronic knee pain.