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Unai Latorre Erezuma, Maialen Zelaia Amilibia, Ander Espin Elorza, Camilo Cortés, Jon Irazusta, and Ana Rodriguez-Larrad

This study assessed the effectiveness of a passive back support exoskeleton during a mechanical loading task. Fifteen healthy participants performed a simulated patient transfer task while wearing the Laevo (version 2.5) passive back support exoskeleton. Collected metrics encompassed L5-S1 joint moments, back and abdominal muscle activity, lower body and back kinematics, center of mass displacement, and movement smoothness. A statistical parametric mapping analysis approach was used to overcome limitations from discretization of continuous data. The exoskeleton reduced L5-S1 joint moments during trunk flexion, but wearing the device restricted L5-S1 joint flexion when flexing the trunk as well as hip and knee extension, preventing participants from standing fully upright. Moreover, wearing the device limited center of mass motion in the caudal direction and increased its motion in the anterior direction. Therefore, wearing the exoskeleton partly reduced lower back moments during the lowering phase of the patient transfer task, but there were some undesired effects such as altered joint kinematics and center of mass displacement. Statistical parametric mapping analysis was useful in determining the benefits and hindrances produced by wearing the exoskeleton while performing the simulated patient transfer task and should be utilized in further studies to inform design and appropriate usage.

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Madeline Winans, Kevin M. Biese, Grace Rudek, Madison N. Renner, Julie M. Stamm, and David R. Bell

Attitudes and beliefs of parents about sport specialization may indicate why youth athletes decide to specialize. The purpose of this study was to determine the association between sport specialization level, ice hockey position, and the parent/guardians’ attitudes and beliefs on sport specialization. Our results demonstrate that goalies were the most likely to specialize, and parents of specialized ice hockey players tend to believe that sport specialization helps their child achieve future sporting aspirations. Increased sport specialization may put ice hockey goalies at an increased risk for overuse injuries, and parents’ beliefs about sport specialization may impact their child’s sporting behaviors.

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Iván Chulvi-Medrano, Juan Manuel Cortell-Tormo, Sergio Hernández-Sánchez, Moisés Picón-Martínez, and Nicholas Rolnick

Context: Resistance training with blood flow restriction (BFR) has increased in clinical rehabilitation due to the substantial benefits observed in augmenting muscle mass and strength using low loads. However, there is a great variability of training pressures for clinical populations as well as methods to estimate it. The aim of this study was to estimate the percentage of maximal BFR that could result by applying different methodologies based on arbitrary or individual occlusion levels using a cuff width between 9 and 13 cm. Design: A secondary analysis was performed on the combined databases of 2 previous larger studies using BFR training. Methods: To estimate these percentages, the occlusion values needed to reach complete BFR (100% limb occlusion pressure [LOP]) were estimated by Doppler ultrasound. Seventy-five participants (age 24.32 [4.86] y; weight: 78.51 [14.74] kg; height: 1.77 [0.09] m) were enrolled in the laboratory study for measuring LOP in the thigh, arm, or calf. Results: When arbitrary values of restriction are applied, a supra-occlusive LOP between 120% and 190% LOP may result. Furthermore, the application of 130% resting brachial systolic blood pressure creates a similar occlusive stimulus as 100% LOP. Conclusions: Methods using 100 mm Hg and the resting brachial systolic blood pressure could represent the safest application prescriptions as they resulted in applied pressures between 60% and 80% LOP. One hundred thirty percent of the resting brachial systolic blood pressure could be used to indirectly estimate 100% LOP at cuff widths between 9 and 13 cm. Finally, methodologies that use standard values of 200 and, 300 mm Hg far exceed LOP and may carry additional risk during BFR exercise.

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Jenna Morogiello, Rebekah Roessler, and Maddison Flowers

Campus recreation is an underserved population lacking specific medical standards, access to on-site medical personnel, and a universal injury surveillance system. The purpose of this study was to retrospectively examine injury epidemiology within a campus recreation center across 4 years. A total of 1,680 injuries were analyzed from one U.S. university with the greatest number of injuries occurring in intramural sports, informal recreation, and club sports, respectively. Of all injuries reported, 73% were musculoskeletal in nature and 9% were from concussions. As most injuries fall outside the scope of basic first aid, on-site medical services should be considered for all campus recreation settings.

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Alessandro Piras and Milena Raffi

In many daily and sport situations, people have to simultaneously perceive and process multiple objects and scenes in a short amount of time. A wrong decision may lead to a disadvantage for a team or for a single athlete, and during daily life (i.e., driving, surgery), it could have more dangerous consequences. Considering the results of different studies, the ability to distribute visual attention depends on different levels of expertise and environment-related constraints. This article is a narrative review of the current scientific evidence in the field of eye movements in sports, focusing on the role of microsaccades in sporting task situations. Over the past 10 years, microsaccades have become one of the most increasing areas of research in visual and oculomotor studies and even in the area of sport science. Here, we review the latest findings and discuss the relationships between microsaccades and attention, perception, and action in sports.

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Fırat Tan, Hande Guney-Deniz, Gulcan Harput, Burak Ulusoy, Gürhan Dönmez, John Nyland, and Mahmut N. Doral

Context: The study purpose was to compare the ankle muscle activation and dynamic ankle joint stability of subjects who underwent endoscopy-assisted Achilles tendon repair (ATR; at ≥ 2 y postsurgery) with age, gender, and activity level-matched healthy control group subjects. Design: Prospective, cross-sectional study. All functional tests were performed on the involved ankle of the ATR group, and at the matched side of healthy age, gender, and activity-level control group subjects. Methods: Fifteen men in each group were evaluated for medial and lateral gastrocnemius, soleus, tibialis anterior, and peroneus longus muscle activation during modified star excursion balance test and heel-rise test performance. The weight-bearing lunge test (ankle dorsiflexion) and heel-rise test distance (ankle plantar flexion) also determined weight-bearing, active ankle mobility magnitudes. The Achilles Tendon Total Rupture Score and Foot and Ankle Outcome Score provided patient-reported outcome perceptions specific to Achilles tendon rupture and comprehensive foot and ankle symptoms and function, respectively. Results: Medial (P = .005) and lateral (P = .012) gastrocnemius displayed greater activation amplitudes in the ATR group during the star excursion balance test, and peroneus longus displayed greater activation amplitudes during the heel-rise test (P = .006). The star excursion balance test reach distance was comparable between groups. Active weight-bearing ankle plantar flexion (heel-rise test) and dorsiflexion (weight-bearing lunge test) mobility magnitudes were lower in the ATR group. Conclusions: Subjects who underwent endoscopy-assisted percutaneous ATR had reduced active weight-bearing ankle dorsiflexion and plantar flexion mobility magnitudes and greater gastrocnemius and peroneus longus neuromuscular activation when performing the same tasks as healthy control group subjects. As surgical approaches evolve to less invasive, soft tissue preserving methods with less tissue morbidity and faster healing, rehabilitation approaches may likewise need to evolve. Level of Evidence: Level III.

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Hallie D. Sayre and Tom G. Bowman

A concussed 19-year-old female midfielder on an National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III soccer team reported to the athletic training clinic complaining of a headache that began 4 days previously during a game where she headed several long punts. Despite delayed reporting, the patient returned to full participation without complication 13 days after her injury. The biomechanical data for the impacts she received on the day of injury were much lower than those presented in the literature as causing concussion for male athletes. Therefore, impact magnitude should not be used as an indicator for injury, as smaller, seemingly insignificant impacts can cause concussion.

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Masumeh Hessam, Koroush Fathalipour, Amin Behdarvandan, and Shahin Goharpey

Context: Core stability training has been recommended as a vital element in improving movement’s pattern and athletic performance. The main objective of this study was to investigate the effect of 12-week McGill core stability training on movement patterns, shooting accuracy, and throwing performance. Design: Randomized controlled clinical trial. Setting: University research laboratory. Methods: Forty male basketball players were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. The experimental group completed 12-week McGill core stability training, while the control group completed routine exercise training. Patterns of functional movements was measured through functional movement screen (FMS), shooting accuracy measured by static 3-point shooting (S3P) and dynamic 60-second 3-point shooting test, and throwing performance measured by Functional Throwing Performance Index. Results: Comparison revealed that regardless of received training, after 12 weeks both groups showed significant improvement in all outcome measures. However, experimental group had significantly higher post test scores in FMS (P = .02), S3P (P = .007), and dynamic 60-second 3-point shooting test (P = .01). For Functional Throwing Performance Index, there was no group differences (P = .96). The results of follow-up assessments showed for all measurements including FMS (P = .03), S3P (P = .004), dynamic 60-second 3-point shooting test (P < .001), and Functional Throwing Performance Index (P = .005); experimental group had higher scores than the control group. Conclusions: According to the results, implementing McGill core stability training in basketball routine training would be advisable since significant improvement can be obtained in the measured parameters.

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Courtney N. Copeland, Emily A. Hall, and Gary W. Cohen

Clinical Scenario: With the enforcement of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, sports teams worldwide were required to make drastic adjustments to their training regimen. This prolonged sport suspension resulted in a significant decrease in off-season and preseason training periods. Clinical Question: Are professional athletes who experienced a sport suspension during the COVID-19 pandemic at a higher risk of injury once they return to competition compared with pre-COVID-19 seasons? Summary of Key Findings: The literature was searched for articles examining the effects of COVID-19 sport suspension on athletic injury rates in elite athletes. A total of 240 articles were retrieved, and after exclusion criteria and removal of duplicates, four retrospective cohort studies remained. An increase in injury rates across studies after their sport suspension compared with pre-COVID-19 seasons was found. Clinical Bottom Line: The extended suspension from physical activity increased the risk of injury as players returned to sport training post-COVID-19 restrictions. While these studies demonstrated the effects on elite-level athletes, prolonged sport suspension may impact different patient populations. Strength of Recommendation: Based on the Strength of Recommendation Taxonomy Scale, this critically appraised topic received a B grade for consistent but limited-quality patient-oriented evidence, with a low number of articles included.