The Relationship Between Neurocognitive Function and Biomechanics: A Critically Appraised Topic

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Clinical Scenario: Neurocognitive performance may put individuals at a greater risk for lower-extremity musculoskeletal injuries. Research has observed the relationship between lower-extremity musculoskeletal injury and baseline neurocognitive performance; however, the understanding of this relationship is lacking. Exploring this relationship may give further insight into musculoskeletal injury and provide innovative directions for musculoskeletal injury prevention. Clinical Question: Is there a relationship between neurocognitive performance and lower-extremity biomechanics during a jumping or cutting task in healthy adult athletes? Summary of Key Findings: The literature was searched for articles that examined the relationship of a baseline neurocognitive test and a biomechanical analysis following a sports-related task. A total of 3 cross-sectional articles were included. All 3 studies concluded that poorer neurocognitive performance was associated with biomechanical faults that are linked to increased risk or rate of lower-extremity musculoskeletal injury. Clinical Bottom Line: Based on the evidence included, there is a moderate-level evidence to support the relationship between neurocognition and lower-extremity biomechanics in healthy adult athletes. Strength of Recommendation: In accordance with the van Tulder approach, there is a moderate level of evidence due to consistent findings from a combination of high- and limited-quality articles.

The authors are with the Department of Athletic Training and Clinical Nutrition, College of Heath Sciences, Sports Medicine Research Institute, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA.

Hoch (Matt.Hoch@uky.edu) is corresponding author.
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