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Voluntary Contraction of the Abdominal Muscles During Shoulder Exercises Increases Scapular Muscle Activation: A Critically Appraised Topic

Kubra Caylan Gurses, Ezgi Nur Can, Pinar Kuyulu Haksal, Birgul Dingirdan, and Gulcan Harput

Clinical Scenario: The fascial relationship between scapular muscles and abdominal muscles has been documented from previous studies. However, it is not yet clear whether voluntary abdominal contraction has a beneficial effect on scapular muscle activity during shoulder exercises. Clinical Question: Do scapulothoracic muscle activation levels increase if shoulder exercises are performed with voluntary abdominal activation? Summary of Key Finding: After the literature review, 4 cross-sectional studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in this critically appraised topic. Clinical Bottom Line: There is moderate evidence to support dynamic shoulder exercises with voluntary abdominal contraction can increase trapezius and serratus anterior muscle activation level in asymptomatic shoulders. Strength and Recommendation: Findings from 4 cross-sectional trials indicate that there is moderate evidence supporting that dynamic shoulder exercises performed with voluntary abdominal contraction can increase scapular muscle activity.

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No Association Between Injury-Related Fear and Isokinetic Quadriceps Strength in Individuals With a History of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

Caitlin Brinkman, Elaine Reiche, Francesca Genoese, Johanna Hoch, and Shelby Baez

Context: Injury-related fear and quadriceps strength are independently associated with secondary anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury risk. It is not known whether injury-related fear and quadriceps strength are associated, despite their individual predictive capabilities of secondary ACL injury. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between injury-related fear and quadriceps strength in individuals at least 1 year after ACL reconstruction (ACLR). Design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: Forty participants between the ages of 18 and 35 years at least 1 year post unilateral primary ACLR. Participants completed the Tampa Scale of Kinesiophobia-11 (TSK-11) and a standard isokinetic quadriceps strength assessment using the Biodex Isokinetic Dynamometer. Pearson Product-Moment correlations were used to examine the linear association between the TSK-11 scores and peak torque (in nanometers per kilogram) for each limb and between the TSK-11 scores and limb symmetry indices for each limb. Pearson Product-Moment correlation coefficients (r) were interpreted as very high (.90–1.00), high (.70–.90), moderate (.50–.70), low (.30–.50), and no correlation (.00–.30). Results: The average TSK-11 score was 18.2 (5.3), average ACLR peak quadriceps torque was 1.9 (0.50) N·m/kg, average contralateral peak quadriceps torque was 2.3 (0.48) N·m/kg, and average limb symmetry index was 85.3% (12.6%). There was no statistically significant correlation between the TSK-11 and peak quadriceps torque on the ACLR limb (r = .12, P = .46), the TSK-11 and contralateral limb (r = .29, P = .07), or the TSK-11 and limb symmetry index (r = –.18, P = .27). Conclusions: There was no association between kinesiophobia and peak isokinetic quadriceps strength in individuals at least 1 year post-ACLR. Both factors, independently, have been shown to influence risk of secondary injury in patients after ACLR.

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Effective Stretching Positions of the Piriformis Muscle Evaluated Using Shear Wave Elastography

Hikari Itsuda, Masahide Yagi, Ko Yanase, Jun Umehara, Hiyu Mukai, and Noriaki Ichihashi

Context: Piriformis syndrome is often associated with muscle spasms and shortening of the piriformis muscle (PM). Physical therapy, including static stretching of the PM, is one of the treatments for this syndrome. However, the effective stretching position of the PM is unclear in vivo. This study aimed to determine the effective stretching positions of the PM using ultrasonic shear wave elastography. Design: Observational study. Methods: Twenty-one healthy young men (22.7 [2.4] y) participated in this study. The shear elastic modulus of the PM was measured at 12 stretching positions using shear wave elastography. Three of the 12 positions were tested with maximum internal rotation at 0°, 20°, or 40° hip adduction in 90° hip flexion. Nine of the 12 positions were tested with maximum external rotation at positions combined with 3 hip-flexion angles (70°, 90°, and 110°) and 3 hip-adduction angles (0°, 20°, and 40°). Results: The shear elastic modulus of the PM was significantly higher in the order of 40°, 20°, and 0° of adduction and higher in external rotation than in internal rotation. The shear elastic modulus of the PM was significantly greater in combined 110° hip flexion and 40° adduction with maximum external rotation than in all other positions. Conclusion: This study revealed that the position in which the PM was most stretched was maximum external rotation with 110° hip flexion and 40° hip adduction.

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Preoperative Rehabilitation Enhances Mental and Physical Well-Being in Anterior Cruciate Ligament-Injured Individuals: A Mixed Methods Study

Antoine Frouin, Nina Desfontaines, Lilian Lacourpaille, Antoine Nordez, and Guillaume Le Sant

Context: Rehabilitation after an anterior cruciate ligament injury is recommended to be started soon after the injury. When surgery is required, research supports the delivery of physiotherapy before anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (prehabilitation) to optimize recovery and positive outcomes. Individuals attending prehabilitation have never been questioned regarding their adherence to prehabilitation, perception of utility in meeting needs, upcoming events, or anticipated recovery goals. Design: Mixed methods cross-sectional study: Methods: 25 individuals before anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (43% of eligible individuals from 12 clinics during the delivery period) were surveyed on their mindset and recovery expectancies. Semistructured interviews conducted in 9 of 25 participants assessed their lived experience of prehabilitation. Results: Participants reported that preventing a reinjury (96% of responses) and feeling confident during daily activities about their knee (92%) were the higher rating expectations at this stage of their treatment course. Three themes were developed from the interviews and analyses. (1) Participants reported that prehabilitation was a period full of challenges with memories of the injury and uncertainties. (2) They viewed prehabilitation as a step to move forward by finding support and self-motivating. (3) They believed that prehabilitation would have positive impacts on the treatment outcomes. Participants were confident that prehabilitation would accelerate the recovery of muscle volume (88%) and strength (84%). Conclusion: Participants had positive experiences of prehabilitation, aligning with the findings on functional outcomes in the existing literature on prehabilitation.

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Validity and Reliability of Handheld Dynamometry to Assess Isometric Hamstrings and Quadriceps Strength at Varying Muscle Lengths

Margaux Baron, Gilles Divernois, Benoît Grandjean, and Kenny Guex

Context: The hamstrings are the most commonly injured muscle in sports and are especially injury prone in lengthened positions. Measuring knee muscle strength in such positions could be relevant to establish injury risk. Handheld dynamometry has been shown to be a valid, reliable, and practical tool to measure isometric muscle strength clinically. The aim of this study was to assess the validity and reliability of the assessment of isometric knee muscle strength with a handheld dynamometer (HHD) at various muscle lengths, by modifying the hip and knee angles during testing. Design: Concurrent validity and test–retest reliability. Methods: Thirty young healthy participants were recruited. Hamstring and quadriceps isometric strength was measured with a HHD and with an isokinetic dynamometer, over 2 testing sessions, in a randomized order. Isometric strength was measured on the right lower limb in 6 different positions, with the hip at either 0° or 80° of flexion and the knee at either 30°, 60°, or 90° of flexion. Pearson and Spearman correlations were used to assess the validity, and intraclass correlation coefficients were calculated to establish the test–retest reliability of the HHD. Results: Good to excellent reliability and moderate to high validity were found in all the tested muscle length positions, except for the hamstrings in a seated position with the knee extended at 30°. Conclusions: The use of a HHD is supported in the clinical setting to measure knee muscle strength at varying muscle lengths in healthy adults, but not for the hamstrings in a lengthened position (hip flexed and knee extended). These results will have to be confirmed in sport-specific populations.

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Anterior–Posterior Center of Pressure Is Associated With Knee Extensor Moment During Landing After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

Masato Chijimatsu, Rui Henmi, Hiroko Yokoyama, Yuka Kimura, Yasuyuki Ishibashi, and Eiichi Tsuda

Context: A reduced knee extensor moment (KEM) in the involved limb and asymmetry in the KEM during landing tasks are observed after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). There is limited information about the association of kinetic and kinematic parameters with the KEM during landing after ACLR. This study investigated the association of the anterior–posterior center of pressure (AP-COP) position, vertical ground reaction force (VGRF), and lower limb joint angles with the KEM during landing in female athletes following ACLR. Design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: Twenty-two female athletes who underwent ACLR performed a drop vertical jump at 7.9 (1.7) months after surgery. We evaluated the KEM, AP-COP position, VGRF, and sagittal plane hip, knee, and ankle angles using a 3-dimensional motion analysis system with force plates. Results: The peak KEM in the involved limb was significantly smaller than that in the uninvolved limb during landing (1.43 [0.33] N·m/kg/m vs 1.84 [0.41] Nm/kg/m, P = .001). The VGRF in the involved limb was significantly smaller than that in the uninvolved limb (11.9 [2.3] N/kg vs 14.6 [3.5] N/kg, P = .005). The limb symmetry index of the KEM was predicted by that of the VGRF (P < .001, R 2 = .621, β = 0.800). The KEM was predicted by the AP-COP position in the involved limb (P = .015, R 2 = .227, β = 0.513) and by the VGRF in the uninvolved limb (P = .018, R 2 = .213, β = 0.500). No significant correlation was noted between the KEM and the lower limb joint angles. Conclusions: The AP-COP position and VGRF were associated with the KEM during landing. Evaluating the VGRF and AP-COP position, not the lower limb joint angles, may contribute to understanding the KEM during double-leg landing after ACLR in the clinical setting.

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Kinesiotaping Is Not Better Than a Placebo: Kinesiotaping for Postural Control in Anterior Cruciate Ligament-Reconstructed Patients—A Randomized Controlled Trial

Salman Nazary-Moghadam, Zahra Abbasi, Reyhaneh Sekandari, Amin Razi, Afsaneh Zeinalzadeh, Somayyeh Rostami, and Mohammad Hossein Khabbaz Kababi

Objective: The primary aim of this study was to investigate the immediate and delayed effects of kinesiotape (KT) on postural control and patient-reported outcome measures under challenging conditions in individuals with anterior cruciate ligament reconstructions. Methods: Thirty-two anterior cruciate ligament-reconstructed patients for whom 6 months had passed since their operation were randomly assigned to either the KT (n = 16, aged 21.8 [5.5] y) or the placebo KT (n = 16, aged 24.0 [5.1] y) groups. Initially, both groups stood barefoot on a force platform while performing postural tasks in 4 randomized conditions (eyes open, eyes closed, cognitive task, and foam). Before the experiment, patients would bring the 4 conditions, which were written on folded papers, one by one, and in this way, the order of conditions for the examiners was determined. The patients’ evaluations were conducted immediately and 48 hours after KT application. Postural control measures, with area and displacement of the center of pressure (CoP) in anterior–posterior and medial–lateral directions, and mean total velocity displacement of CoP (MVELO CoP) served as dependent variables. In addition, the International Knee Documentation Committee score was measured pretreatment and 48 hours posttreatment. Results: Significant group-by-time interactions were observed for displacement of COP in medial–lateral direction (P = .002) and MVELO CoP (P = .034). MVELO CoP significantly decreased (mean difference = 0.60, P = .009) immediately after KT application compared with preapplication measures. In the placebo group, a statistically significant decrease in MVELO CoP (mean difference = 0.869, P = .001) was observed at 48 hours post-KT compared with preapplication values. International Knee Documentation Committee scores significantly improved at 48 hours post-KT application in both groups (P < .05). Conclusions: Though observed at different time points, both KT (immediately after the intervention) and placebo KT (48 h after the intervention) were found to improve postural control measures. It appears that the changes in postural control may be more related to proprioceptive enhancement due to KT rather than the specific KT pattern.

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Treating Lateral Epicondylopathy With Dry Needling and Exercise: A Case Series

Brian V. Hortz and Sue Falsone

Context: Lateral epicondylopathy (LE) is a common overuse injury affecting elbow, wrist, and hand function. It is characterized by weakness and pain in the muscles and tendons of the forearm responsible for the extension of your wrist and fingers. Trigger point dry needling is a technique reported to be beneficial in managing pain and dysfunction after LE diagnosis. LE is also commonly treated with conservative treatment, such as joint and soft tissue mobilization, self-care home programs, and anti-inflammatory use. We explored a different dry needling approach consisting of in situ dry needling with electric stimulation combined with targeted therapeutic exercise to treat LE in 3 cases. Case Presentation: Three patients were referred for dry needling once a week for 6 weeks and home-based exercise therapy for LE. They were clinically evaluated using grip strength, a visual analog scale to assess pain, and Patient-Rated Tennis Elbow Evaluation Test scores. These were measured at 4 time points (weeks 0, 2, 4, and 6). Management and Outcomes: The dry needling intervention incorporated 8 locations in the upper-extremity with 2 electric stimulation channels. The patients had reduced pain as measured by a visual analog scale, increased function as measured by the Patient-Rated Tennis Elbow Evaluation Test, and increased grip strength over 6 weeks. Conclusions: This case series illustrates the use of dry needling and a home exercise program to provide a favorable outcome in a patient with LE. Patients had an 80% to 100% reduction in pain and similar improvements in function that were significantly beyond the minimum clinically important difference. This dry needling approach is a safe and effective treatment of LE in the short term.

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Acute Effects of Local High-Frequency Percussive Massage on Deep Fascial and Muscular Stiffness and Joint Range of Motion in Young Adult Men

Zijian Liu, Yicheng Zhong, Toshihiro Maemichi, Qianhui Zhou, Takumi Okunuki, Yanshu Li, Wakamiya Kazuki, and Tsukasa Kumai

Background: Local high-frequency percussive (HFP) massage has recently found widespread application in physical therapy. Although HFP massage reportedly improves range of motion (ROM), the mechanism underlying its action has not yet been proven. This study aimed to clarify whether a 5-minute percussive massage regimen affects muscular or connective tissues, such as the deep fascia and deep intermuscular fascia and the change in joint ROM. Method: The study sample was calculated using G*Power analysis program, and this study enrolled 15 healthy men who underwent 5-minute HFP massage to the medial gastrocnemius muscle. Shear-wave elastography was used to measure tissue stiffness in the deep fascia, muscle, and deep intermuscular fascia through shear-wave velocity as well as the ROM of the volunteers’ ankle joint dorsiflexion before and after the HFP massage. A value of P < .05 was used to declare statistical significance, and post hoc was used to calculate the effect size using G*Power. Results: Shear-wave velocity revealed a significant change in the deep fascia (P = .003; shear-wave velocity: −0.7 m/s) and significant increase in ROM of ankle dorsiflexion (P = .002; increase in ROM: 3.0°) after 5 minutes of HFP massage. However, the muscle and deep intermuscular fascia did not exhibit any significant changes. Conclusions: HFP massage for 5 minutes modified the stiffness of the deep fascia and concurrently improved the ankle joint-dorsiflexion ROM. This method can be used as an intervention to decrease stiffness of the deep fascia and increase the ROM efficiently.

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The Effect of Social Determinants of Health on Clinical Recovery Following Concussion: A Systematic Review

Tamerah N. Hunt, Kylie Roberts, Erica M. Taylor, Carolina P. Quintana, and Melissa K. Kossman

Context: Concussion evaluations include a multifaceted approach; however, individual differences can influence test score interpretations and validity. Social determinants of health (SDoH) differentially affect disease risk and outcomes based upon social and environmental characteristics. Efforts to better define, diagnose, manage, and treat concussion have increased, but minimal efforts have focused on examining SDoH that may affect concussion recovery. Objective: This review examined previous research that examined the effect of SDoH on concussion recovery of athletes. Evidence Acquisition: CINAHL, MEDLINE, PsycInfo, and SPORTDiscus databases were used to search the terms “concussion” AND “recovery,” “youth, adolescent, teen and/or adult,” and “social determinants of health” and variations of these terms. The evidence level for each study was evaluated using the 2011 Oxford Center for Evidence-Based Medicine Guide. Evidence Synthesis: Seven thousand nine hundred and twenty-one articles were identified and screened for inclusion. Five studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in this systematic review. Using the Downs and Black Quality Index, the studies included in this review were deemed high quality. Conclusion: Though limited literature exists, there is preliminary evidence to suggest that SDoH (specifically, economic stability, education access and quality, and social and community context) may have an impact on the clinical recovery from concussion. The dimensions evaluated varied between studies and the results were inconsistent. No single factor consistently affected clinical recovery; however, private insurance and race appear to have an association with the speed of recovery. Unfortunately, the potential intersection of these variables and other preinjury factors limits the ability to make clear recommendations. While most of the studies in this review are retrospective in nature, future efforts should focus on training clinicians to prospectively evaluate the effect of SDoH on concussion recovery and injury outcomes. Funding and registration for this systematic review were not obtained nor required.