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David G. Behm, Nehara Herat, Gerard M.J. Power, Joseph A. Brosky, Phil Page, and Shahab Alizadeh

Context: Both health professionals and consumers use menthol-based topical analgesics extensively for the temporary relief of pain from musculoskeletal ailments or injury. However, there are no reports of differences in the pain pressure threshold (PPT) or the relative effectiveness of topical analgesics to reduce pain in the upper and lower body muscles and tendons. The objective of this study was to investigate whether differences existed in PPT and relative pain attenuation associated with a menthol-based topical analgesic over a variety of upper and lower body muscles and tendons. Design: Randomized allocation, controlled, intervention study. Methods: Sixteen participants (10 females and 6 males) were tested on their dominant or nondominant side. The order of specific muscle/tendon testing was also randomized, which included upper body (middle deltoid, biceps brachii, and lateral epicondylar tendon) and lower body locations (quadriceps, hamstrings, gastrocnemius, lumbosacral erector spinae muscles, and patellar and Achilles tendons). The PPT was monitored before and 15 minutes following the application of a menthol-based topical analgesic. Results: A menthol-based topical analgesic increased PPT (decreased pain sensitivity) overall (P = .05; 11.6% [2.4%]; d = 1.05) and PPT was higher (P < .0001; 31.5%–44.2%; d = 1.03–1.8) for lower versus upper body locations. Conclusions: Health professionals and the public can be assured of similar reductions in pain sensitivity independent of the location of application of a menthol-based topical analgesic.

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Tsz Lun (Alan) Chu, Bailey Sommerfeld, and Tao Zhang

Building on recent research examining athlete burnout trajectories, this study implemented the developmental model of sport participation to compare emotional and physical exhaustion, reduced sense of accomplishment, and sport devaluation between age groups (specializing [aged 13–15 years] vs. investment [aged 16–18 years]) and gender (boys vs. girls) among U.S. high school athletes. Participants were 367 high school athletes (M = 15.53; 212 males; 186 specializing) across various individual and team sports who completed a survey assessing their demographic information, sport backgrounds, and burnout perceptions. A 2 × 2 multivariate analysis of covariance, controlling for training hours, showed greater emotional and physical exhaustion and sport devaluation in the investment than the specializing group, but no developmental differences in reduced sense of accomplishment. Contrary to our hypothesis, no gender or interaction effects were found. Findings inform interventions and future research that address the role of developmental stages and gender in athlete burnout.

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Aaron S. Fox, Reed Ferber, and Jason Bonacci

Altered gait variability occurs in those with patellofemoral pain and may be relevant to pain progression. We examined gait kinematic and coordination variability between individuals with acute and chronic patellofemoral pain and healthy controls. Eighty-three patellofemoral pain runners (37 men and 46 women) and 142 healthy controls (52 men and 90 women) ran on a treadmill while 3-dimensional lower limb kinematic data were collected. Patellofemoral pain runners were split into acute (n = 22) and chronic (n = 61) subgroups based on pain duration (< and ≥3 mo, respectively). Approximate entropy assessed continuous hip, knee, and ankle kinematic variability. Vector coding calculated coordination variability for select joint couplings. Variability measures were compared between groups using 1-way analysis of variance and post hoc comparisons with Cohen d effect sizes. The chronic patellofemoral pain subgroup displayed higher frontal plane knee kinematic variability compared with controls (P = .0004, d = 0.550). No statistically significant effects for any coordination variability couplings were identified. Minimal differences in gait variability were detected between those with acute and chronic patellofemoral pain and healthy controls.

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Dean R. Watson, Andrew P. Hill, and Daniel J. Madigan

Attitudes toward help-seeking will contribute to whether athletes ask for support for performance and mental health issues when needed. While research outside of sport has found perfectionism is related to negative attitudes toward help-seeking, no studies have examined the relationship in sport. The authors provided the first test of whether perfectionism predicted attitudes toward both sport psychology support and mental health support. One hundred and sixty-six collegiate athletes completed measures of perfectionism and attitudes toward sport psychology support and mental health support. Multiple regression analyses revealed that perfectionistic concerns positively predicted closedness and stigma toward sport psychology support and mental health support, and negatively predicted help-seeking toward mental health support. However, perfectionistic strivings negatively predicted stigma toward sport psychology support and mental health support, and positively predicted confidence in sport psychology support and help-seeking toward mental health support. Athletes higher in perfectionistic concerns are less likely to seek support when required.

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Georgia A. Bird, Mary L. Quinton, and Jennifer Cumming

This study investigated the relationship between reappraisal and suppression with depression and mental well-being among university athletes. It was hypothesized reappraisal would associate with lower depression and greater mental well-being, whereas suppression would associate with greater depression and reduced mental well-being. Employing a cross-sectional design, 427 participants (Mage = 20.18, SD = 1.52; 188 males and 239 females) completed questionnaires assessing mental health and strategy use. Hierarchical multiple regressions revealed reappraisal was positively associated, and suppression negatively associated with mental well-being, ΔR2 = 4.8%, ΔF(2, 422) = 17.01, p ≤ .001; suppression, β = −0.08, p = .028; reappraisal, β = 0.21, p ≤ .001, but neither were associated with depression, ΔR2 = 0.4%, ΔF(2, 422) = 1.33, p = .267; suppression, β = 0.06, p = .114; reappraisal, β = 0.03, p = .525. Results highlight reappraisal as correlated with mental well-being in student-athletes, and therefore, reappraisal could be beneficial for managing stress in sport. Reappraisal may implicate how well-being is promoted through sport, but future experimental research is needed to confirm causal relationships.

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Erhan Seçer and Derya Özer Kaya

Context: Dynamic stretching (DS) is typically suggested during warm-up protocols. Also, foam rolling (FR), which is applied with a foam cylinder, has increased popularity in recent years. However, the combined effects of DS and FR in improving flexibility, dynamic balance, and agility performance are unclear in current literature. Therefore, this study aim to evaluate and compare the acute effects of DS as well as DS followed by FR (DS + FR) on flexibility, dynamic balance, and agility in male soccer players. Design: This study was a crossover study with a within-subject design. Methods: Thirty volunteer male soccer players (mean age 18.80 [0.66] y) were included in the study. Each participant performed the 2 sessions (DS and DS + FR) on separate occasions in a randomized order, with an interval of 72 hours. All sessions were performed in the indoor gym at the sports club. Flexibility was assessed by sit-and-reach test, dynamic balance was assessed by Y balance test, and agility was assessed by t test. Results: Compared with the pretest results, significant improvement in flexibility was observed in both groups (change = 0.55, percentage change = 2.05, effect size [ES] = 0.15, P = .041; change = 0.64, percentage change = 2.36, ES = 0.20, P = .025; respectively). Balance scores did not significantly improve in either group (change = 0.40, percentage change = 0.45, ES = 0.09, P = .342; change = 0.93, percentage change = 1.02, ES = 0.23, P = .103; respectively). Agility performance significantly improved in both groups (change = −0.12, percentage change = −1.18, ES = 0.19, P = .021; change = −0.21, percentage change = −2.18, ES = 0.38, P = .005; respectively). Conclusions: Both DS and DS + FR improved flexibility and agility and did not affect balance. DS + FR was not superior to DS at improving flexibility and agility as compared only with DS. Both methods are effective warm-up protocols to augment factors related to injury risk and performance. It seems that further studies that investigate the combined effects of FR and DS are needed.

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Jeff M. Barrett, Colin D. McKinnon, Clark R. Dickerson, and Jack P. Callaghan

Relatively few biomechanical models exist aimed at quantifying the mechanical risk factors associated with neck pain. In addition, there is a need to validate spinal-rhythm techniques for inverse dynamics spine models. Therefore, the present investigation was 3-fold: (1) the development of a cervical spine model in OpenSim, (2) a test of a novel spinal-rhythm technique based on minimizing the potential energy in the passive tissues, and (3) comparison of an electromyographically driven approach to estimating compression and shear to other cervical spine models. The authors developed ligament force–deflection and intervertebral joint moment–angle curves from published data. The 218 Hill-type muscle elements, representing 58 muscles, were included and their passive forces validated against in vivo data. Our novel spinal-rhythm technique, based on minimizing the potential energy in the passive tissues, disproportionately assigned motion to the upper cervical spine that was not physiological. Finally, using kinematics and electromyography collected from 8 healthy male volunteers, the authors calculated the compression at C7–T1 as a function of the head–trunk Euler angles. Differences from other models varied from 25.5 to 368.1 N. These differences in forces may result in differences in model geometry, passive components, number of degrees of freedom, or objective functions.

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Bryony Buck, Scott Beveridge, Gerard Breaden Madden, and Hans-Christian Jabusch

Background: High-speed drumming requires precise control over the timing, velocity, and magnitude of striking movements. Aim: To examine effects of tempo and expertise on unaccented repetitive drumming performance using 3D motion capture. Methods: Expert and amateur drummers performed unimanual, unaccented, repetitive drum strikes, using their dominant right hand, at five different tempi. Performance was examined with regard to timing variability, striking velocity variability, the ability to match the prescribed tempo, and additional variables. Results: Permutated multivariate analysis of variance (PERMANOVA) revealed significant main effects of tempo (p < .001) and expertise (p <.001) on timing variability and striking velocity variability; low timing variability and low striking velocity variability were associated with low/medium tempo as well as with increased expertise. Individually, improved precision appeared across an optimum tempo range. Precision was poorest at maximum tempo (400 hits per minute) for precision variables. Conclusions: Expert drummers demonstrated greater precision and consistency than amateurs. Findings indicate an optimum tempo range that extends with increased expertise.

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Kristen M. Stearns-Reider, Rachel K. Straub, and Christopher M. Powers

Peak knee valgus has been shown to predict anterior cruciate ligament injury. The purpose of the current study was to compare peak rate of torque development (RTD) to peak isometric torque as a predictor of peak knee valgus during landing. Twenty-three healthy females participated. Hip abductor muscle performance was quantified using 2 types of isometric contractions: sustained and rapid. Peak isometric torque was calculated from the sustained isometric contraction. Peak RTD was calculated from the rapid isometric contraction (0–50 and 0–200 ms after force initiation). Kinematic data were collected during the deceleration phase of a double-leg drop jump task. Linear regression was used to assess the ability of hip abductor muscle performance variables to predict peak knee valgus. Increased peak RTD during the 0 to 50 milliseconds window after force initiation was found to significantly predict lower peak knee valgus (P = .011, R 2 = .32). In contrast, neither peak RTD from 0 to 200 milliseconds after force initiation window (P = .45, R 2 = .03) nor peak isometric torque (P = .49, R 2 = .03) predicted peak knee valgus. The inability of the hip abductors to rapidly generate muscular force may be more indicative of “at-risk” movement behavior in females than measures of maximum strength.

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Takao Mise, Yosuke Mitomi, Saki Mouri, Hiroki Takayama, Yoshitomo Inoue, Mamoru Inoue, Hiroshi Akuzawa, and Koji Kaneoka

Context: The range of shoulder rotation is associated with shoulder pain in young male and female swimmers. However, the association between shoulder pain and shoulder complex mobility of the scapulothoracic and acromioclavicular joints has not yet been examined. Moreover, shoulder pain occurs more frequently in females than in males, but only a few studies have examined the relationship between shoulder pain and sex as a risk factor. This study aims to determine the association between shoulder complex mobility and shoulder pain in young male and female swimmers. Design: Prospective cohort design. Methods: The participants were competitive swimmers (n = 76; 37 males and 39 females) with a mean age of 14 years in Japan. The shoulder rotation width, which was the index of shoulder complex mobility, shoulder internal and external rotation range, and middle finger distance of the back-scratch test were measured. An examiner regularly visited the swimming clubs to evaluate the development of shoulder pain and swimming distance. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the physical characteristics related to the overall development of shoulder pain in both female and male swimmers. The cutoff value was calculated using receiver operating characteristic curves. Results: Sixteen participants, composed of 8 males and 8 females, developed shoulder pain. The overall swimming distance of the male (odds ratio [OR]: 1.0007, P = .01) and female (OR: 1.0018, P = .02) swimmers and the shoulder rotation width of the male (OR: 1.0952, P = .04) and female (OR: 0.888, P = .03) swimmers were identified as risk factors for shoulder pain. The cutoff value for swimming distance was 6000 m. Shoulder rotation width was more than 88 cm in males and <54 cm in females. Conclusions: Hypomobility and hypermobility of the shoulder complex were identified as risk factors for shoulder pain in male and female swimmers, respectively.