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Phys Ther Sport. 2019 Mar;36:1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2018.12.005. Epub 2018 Dec 12.

Women in motorsport: A case report of driving posture and performance after double mastectomy.

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R+M, Willcox, AZ, USA; School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, Curtin University, Perth, Australia. Electronic address:
R+M, Willcox, AZ, USA; Raptor Motorsports, Willcox, AZ, USA.



Here we report a case study of an experienced amateur female racing driver (age = 59) with self-reported fatigue of the muscles of the shoulder girdle post bilateral mastectomy and breast reconstruction. This case study describes how adjustment of her driving posture affected measures of muscle fatigue (sEMG) and driving performance (lap-time).


Bilateral surface electromyographic activity of sternocleidomastoid, cervical erector spinae, anterior deltoid and pectoralis major, angles of inclination of the cervical and lumbar spine in the sagittal plane and lap-times were measured at: 1) baseline, 2) after an initial adjustment of driving posture, and 3) after a readjustment of driving posture. Mean lap-times improved from 136.81 s (SD = 2.12) at baseline to 134.63 s (SD = 1.8) after readjustment.


Both sternocleidomastoid and left cervical erector spinae fatigued more slowly after readjustment but right cervical erector spinae fatigued more quickly. There was no change in the rates of fatigue of either pectoralis major or anterior deltoid.


The improvement in her performance was associated with a change in the posture and movement pattern of her head rather than her shoulder girdle. It is likely that this improved her ability to visually perceive and steer the racing line.


Electromyography; Female athletes; Performance; Racing seats


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