TAEKWONDO ATHLETES HAVE BETTER POSTURAL CONTROL THAN HANDBALL AND AMERICAN FOOTBALL ATHLETES
ABSTRACT Introduction: Postural control is an important prerequisite for an athlete’s performance in sport. In addition, the postural control system contributes to injury prevention. Deficits in this system can lead to body instability and overload of musculoskeletal structures generating dysfunction and pain. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate postural control in three different sports modalities: taekwondo, handball, and American football. Methods: All athletes performed a one-legged stance/balance test on a force platform in the right and left lower limbs. Three tests of thirty seconds each were performed with eyes open. The mean of the three tests was used to measure the parameters of postural control, pressure center and velocity of anteroposterior and mediolateral displacements. Results: Significant differences were observed among the three groups in all analyzed parameters (P=<0.04). Post-hoc analysis revealed that taekwondo athletes had better postural control (P=<0.035) of lower limbs compared to the other two modalities. There were no significant differences between handball and American football. Conclusion: Taekwondo athletes have better postural control during the one-legged stance/balance test than handball and American football athletes.