More than 80% of adult manual wheelchair users with spinal cord injuries will experience shoulder pain. Females and those with decreased shoulder dynamics variability are more likely to experience pain in adulthood. Sex-related differences in shoulder dynamics variability during pediatric manual wheelchair propulsion may influence the lifetime risk of pain. We evaluated the influence of sex on 3-dimensional shoulder complex joint dynamics variability in 25 (12 females and 13 males) pediatric manual wheelchair users with spinal cord injury. Within-subject variability was quantified using the coefficient of variation. Permutation tests evaluated sex-related differences in variability using an adjusted critical alpha of P = .001. No sex-related differences in sternoclavicular or acromioclavicular joint kinematics or glenohumeral joint dynamics variability were observed (all P ≥ .042). Variability in motion, forces, and moments are considered important components of healthy joint function, as reduced variability may increase the likelihood of repetitive strain injury and pain. While further work is needed to generalize our results to other manual wheelchair user populations across the life span, our findings suggest that sex does not influence joint dynamics variability in pediatric manual wheelchair users with spinal cord injury.
Sex-Related Differences in Shoulder Complex Joint Dynamics Variability During Pediatric Manual Wheelchair Propulsion
Joshua M. Leonardis, Alyssa J. Schnorenberg, Lawrence C. Vogel, Gerald F. Harris, and Brooke A. Slavens
The Effects of Optical Flow Perturbations on Standing Balance in People With Multiple Sclerosis
Olivia S. Elie, Jason R. Franz, and Brian P. Selgrade
Multiple sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disease that causes balance deficits, even in early stages. Evidence suggests that people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) rely more on vision to maintain balance, and challenging balance with optical flow perturbations may be a practical screening for balance deficits. Whether these perturbations affect standing balance in PwMS is unknown. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine how optical flow perturbations affect standing balance in PwMS. We hypothesized that perturbations would cause higher variability in PwMS compared with matched controls during standing and that standing balance would be more susceptible to anterior–posterior (A–P) perturbations than medial–lateral (M–L) perturbations. Thirteen PwMS and 13 controls stood under 3 conditions: unperturbed, M–L perturbation, and A–P perturbations. A–P perturbations caused significantly higher A–P trunk sway variability in PwMS than controls, although both groups had similar center-of-pressure variability. Both perturbations increased variability in A–P trunk sway and center of pressure. Trunk variability data supported the hypothesis that PwMS were more susceptible to optical flow perturbations than controls. However, the hypothesis that A–P perturbations would affect balance more than M–L perturbations was partially supported. These results suggest potential for optical flow perturbations to identify balance deficits in PwMS.
Comparison Between Movement Pattern Training and Strengthening on Kinematics and Kinetics in Patients With Chronic Hip-Related Groin Pain
Ramya Palaniappan, Michael D. Harris, Karen Steger-May, Allyn M. Bove, G. Kelley Fitzgerald, John C. Clohisy, and Marcie Harris-Hayes
The purpose of this study was to compare the preliminary effects of movement pattern training (MoveTrain) versus strengthening/flexibility (standard) treatment on hip and pelvic biomechanics in patients with chronic hip-related groin pain. This is a secondary analysis of data collected during a pilot randomized clinical trial. Thirty patients with hip pain, between the ages of 15 and 40 years, were randomized to MoveTrain or standard. Both groups completed 10 treatment sessions over 12 weeks along with a daily home exercise program. Three-dimensional motion analysis was used to collect kinematic and kinetic data of the pelvis and hip during a single-leg squat task at pretreatment and immediately posttreatment. Compared with the standard group, the MoveTrain group demonstrated smaller hip adduction angles (P = .006) and smaller hip external adduction moments (P = .008) at posttreatment. The desired changes to hip joint biomechanics, as found in this study, may require specificity in training that could allow health care professionals to better customize the rehabilitation of patients with hip pain. These findings can also be applied to the design and implementation of future clinical trials to strengthen our understanding of the long-term implications of different rehabilitation techniques for patients with hip pain.
The Contribution of Lower-Body Kinematics to Pitching and Hitting Performance in Baseball: Utilizing the OpenBiomechanics Project
Corey S. Perrett
As markerless motion capture systems become more affordable than ever, it is becoming far easier to collect and analyze kinematic data on baseballers. To ensure this data can be used impactfully, coaches and practitioners should possess a good understanding of specific technique characteristics that are associated with enhanced performance in pitchers and hitters. This study used the open-source data provided by Driveline Baseball’s OpenBiomechanics Project to evaluate the contribution of lower-body kinematics to pitch velocity and bat speed. In addition to correlational analyses to examine the association between discrete kinematic variables and performance, statistical nonparametric mapping was used to compare slow and fast velocity groups across the entirety of pitching and hitting motions from peak knee height to ball release/contact. It was found that rotation of the trail leg and extension of the lead knee were both associated with performance in pitchers and hitters. Consequently, coaches and practitioners should ensure that individuals possess an adequate level of strength and flexibility to facilitate optimal movement of the trail hip and lead knee during pitching and hitting movements. If deficiencies exist, then training programs should be designed to address these issues and eventually bring about an improvement in performance.
Experimentally Induced Pain Results in Reduced Activity of the Rotator Cuff Muscles in Healthy Subjects
Jennifer L. Cooper and Andrew R. Karduna
Shoulder pain is a complex, prevalent problem that is multifactorial in nature. While there are many potential causes, one common suspect is the rotator cuff musculature. The purpose of the present study was to induce pain in the supraspinatus muscle of healthy subjects and observe the resulting changes in muscle activity. Eight muscles on 23 subjects were assessed using electromyography: anterior, middle, and posterior deltoid; pectoralis major; upper trapezius; latissimus dorsi; serratus anterior; supraspinatus; and infraspinatus. It was hypothesized that the rotator cuff muscles would display reduced activity during pain, and that reductions in activity would remain after the pain had dissipated. Both of the rotator cuff muscles measured did indeed display reduced activity in a majority of the dynamic, isometric, and maximal contractions. Many of those reductions remained after the pain had subsided.
Commingling Effects of Anterior Load and Walking Surface on Dynamic Gait Stability in Young Adults
Caroline Simpkins, Jiyun Ahn, Rebekah Buehler, Rebecca Ban, Meredith Wells, and Feng Yang
Treadmill walking has been used as a surrogate for overground walking to examine how load carriage affects gait. The validity of using treadmill walking to investigate load carriage’s effects on stability has not been established. Thirty young adults were randomized into 3 front-loaded groups (group 1: 0%, 2: 10%, or 3: 20% of bodyweight). Participants carried their load during overground and treadmill walking. Dynamic gait stability (primary outcome) was determined for 2 gait events (touchdown and liftoff). Secondary variables included step length, gait speed, and trunk angle. Groups 1 and 2 demonstrated similar stability between walking surfaces. Group 3 was less stable during treadmill walking than overground (P ≤ .005). Besides trunk angle, all secondary outcomes were similar between groups (P > .272) but different between surfaces (P ≤ .001). The trunk angle at both events showed significant group- and surface-related differences (P ≤ .046). Results suggested that walking with an anterior load of up to 10% bodyweight causes comparable stability between surfaces. A 20% bodyweight front load could render participants less stable on the treadmill than overground. This indicates that anteriorly loaded treadmill walking may not be interchangeable with overground walking concerning stability for anterior loads of 20% bodyweight.
Delivering Load-Modifying Gait Retraining Interventions via Telehealth in People With Medial Knee Osteoarthritis: A Pilot Randomized Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial
Nicole D’Souza, Laura Hutchison, Jane Grayson, Claire Hiller, Sarah Kobayashi, and Milena Simic
We aimed to investigate the effects of delivering 3 gait retraining interventions (toe-in, toe-out, and placebo gait) on proxy measures of medial knee load (early- and late-stance peak knee adduction moment [KAM], KAM impulse, and varus thrust) in people with knee osteoarthritis, using a hybrid model of face-to-face and telehealth-delivered sessions over 5 months. This was an originally planned 3-arm randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. However, during the 2021 COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown in Sydney, Australia, the study became a pilot randomized controlled trial with the remainder of interventions delivered via telehealth. Nine individuals with symptomatic medial knee osteoarthritis were allocated to receive either a toe-in, toe-out, or posture re-education (placebo) gait retraining intervention. Primary outcomes of early- and late-stance peak KAM, KAM impulse, and varus thrust were assessed at baseline and follow-up. Eight participants returned for their follow-up gait assessment. Participants in both active intervention groups (toe-in and toe-out) achieved foot progression angle changes at follow-up. Overall, knee biomechanics in the placebo group did not change at follow-up. It is possible to achieve biomechanical changes in individuals with medial knee osteoarthritis when delivering gait retraining interventions via a hybrid model of face-to-face and telehealth.
A New Way to Restrict Free Leg Movement During Unilateral Vertical Jump Test
Christian Schmidt, Mike Perroulaz, Yago Perez, Jérémie Rosset, Gabriel Wüthrich, Davide Malatesta, and Pierre Samozino
The purpose of this investigation was (1) to test the effect of movement restriction of the free leg during unilateral vertical jump on performance and power output comparing 2 different jump techniques: flexed (Classic technique) and straight (FC Luzern technique) free leg, and (2) to test the correlation between performance and power output obtained using these 2 techniques. Twenty elite soccer players performed squat (SJ) and countermovement (CMJ) jumps on each leg. The jump height and peak power output were compared between the 2 techniques for both legs. The jump height and peak power were significantly higher for the classic test for SJ and CMJ (P < .001) with no side effects or interactions. The angular range of motion of the free leg was higher for the Classic test than for the FC Lucerne test (P < .001), with no difference in the angular range of motion of the trunk. A moderate correlation was found between the 2 techniques on peak power (SJ: r = .626; CMJ: r = .649) and jump height (SJ: r = .742; CMJ: r = .891). Consequently, FC Lucerne technique, limiting the contribution of the free leg, is more appropriate to assess lower limb strength capacities during unilateral jump test.
People With Low Back Pain Exhibit Higher Trunk Muscle Activity and Impaired Postural Control During Static and Dynamic Functional Tasks: A Cross-Sectional Study
Sara Salamat, Saeed Talebian, Nader Maroufi, Gitta Kalbassi, Davood Salamat, and Kieran O’Sullivan
The study compared superficial trunk muscle activity and postural control among an active extension subgroup of people with nonspecific chronic low back pain (AE-NSCLBP) with painfree controls during functional tasks. Thirty-two people (17 people with low back pain [LBP] and 15 painfree controls) participated in this study. Muscle activity of 5 trunk muscles and postural control were investigated during both standing tasks (eyes open/closed; single/double-leg balance) and dynamic functional tasks (spinal forward flexion and return, and a sit to stand transfer). Results showed that during single-leg standing, people with AE-NSCLBP exhibit higher muscle activity than painfree controls for 3 trunk muscles, especially with their eyes closed. There were no significant differences in muscle activity between eye conditions during double-leg standing and sit to stand transfer, forward flexion, and return from flexion. The AE-NSCLBP subgroup also demonstrated significantly impaired postural control (lower time to boundary) in 4 of 8 conditions, especially during single-leg standing and with their eyes closed. These findings show people with LBP typically demonstrated greater trunk muscle activity and poorer postural control while maintaining standing posture. This pattern was most evident when the postural challenge was higher, such as single-leg standing or with eyes closed. While this study design cannot infer causality, these findings have implications for LBP rehabilitation, particularly regarding approaches which seek to alter muscle activation among people with LBP.
Do Sex and Age Influence Scapular and Thoracohumeral Kinematics During a Functional Task Protocol?
Alexander Waslen, Kenzie B. Friesen, and Angelica E. Lang
There is mixed evidence on the role that biological sex plays in shoulder biomechanics despite known differences in musculoskeletal disorder prevalence between males and females. Additionally, advancing age may contribute to shoulder kinematic changes. The purpose of this study was to determine if sex and age influenced scapular and thoracohumeral kinematics during a range of functional tasks. Sixty healthy participants aged 19–63 years (30 males; 30 females) completed a functional task protocol while their upper limb motion was recorded. Scapular and humeral angles were calculated and compared with multiple linear regressions to assess the interaction effects of sex and age. Shoulder kinematics were not different between sex and age groups for many of the functional tasks. However, females had lower humeral external rotation in the overhead lift task (15°, P < .001), and less scapular anterior tilt angles in the forward transfer task (6°, P < .001) than males. Age was positively associated with humeral elevation (R 2 = .330, P < .001) and scapular rotation (R 2 = .299, P < .001) in the Wash Axilla task. There exist some kinematic differences between sex and with advancing age for select functional tasks, which should be considered for musculoskeletal disorder development.