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The Midfoot Joint Complex (Foot Arch) Contributes to the Upper Body Position in Bipedal Walking and Coordinates With the Lower Limb Joints

Leonardo D. Barsante, Paula M.M. Arantes, Daniela V. Vaz, Fabricio A. Magalhães, Diego S. Carvalho, Aline C. Cruz, Renan A. Resende, Juliana M. Ocarino, Sérgio T. Fonseca, and Thales R. Souza

This study estimated the contribution of the midfoot joint complex (MJC) kinematics to the pelvis anterior–posterior positions during the stance phase of walking and investigated whether the MJC is functionally coordinated with the lower limb joints to maintain similar pelvic positions across steps. Hip, knee, ankle, and MJC sagittal angles were measured in 11 nondisabled participants during walking. The joints’ contributions to pelvic positions were computed through equations derived from a link-segment model. Functional coordination across steps was identified when the MJC contribution to pelvic position varied and the summed contributions of other joints varied in the opposite direction (strong negative covariations [r ≤ −.7] in stance phase instants). We observed that the MJC plantarflexion (arch raising) during the midstance and late stance leads the pelvis backward, avoiding excessive forward displacement. The MJC was the second joint that contributed most to the pelvis positions (around 18% of all joints’ contributions), after the ankle joint. The MJC and ankle were the joints that were most frequently coordinated with the other joints (≅70% of the stance phase duration). The findings suggest that the MJC is part of the kinematic chain that determines pelvis positions during walking and is functionally coordinated with the lower limb joints.

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Acute and Acclimated Effects of Wearing Compression Garments on Balance Control in Community-Dwelling Older Adults

You-jou Hung, Frederick Couverette, Jeffrey Hamon, and Dustyn Willard

Falls are very serious health concerns among older adults. Providing additional cutaneous and proprioceptive feedback to older adults may enhance their balance control and therefore reduce the incidents of falls. This study aimed to investigate the acute and acclimated effect of wearing waist-to-above-ankle compression garments (CGs) on balance control in community-dwelling older adults. Thirty-one older adults participated in the study. The Timed Up and Go, Berg Balance Scale, and the Fall Risk Test of the Biodex Balance System were used in a random order to examine balance control in three testing sessions 1 week apart. Results indicated wearing CGs had a significant impact on the Timed Up and Go test (p < .001), Berg Balance Scale (p = .001), and the Fall Risk Test (p = .001). For the Timed Up and Go test, participants exhibited significant improvement in both the acute (8.68 vs. 7.91 s) and acclimated effect (7.91 vs. 7.41 s) of wearing CGs. For the Berg Balance Scale, participants showed significant improvement after wearing CGs for 1 week in comparison to the no CGs condition (55.77 vs. 55.39 points). For the Fall Risk Test, participants showed a significant improvement in the acute effect of wearing CGs in comparison to the no CGs condition (1.55° vs. 1.31°). This exploratory study showed that wearing waist-to-above-ankle CGs provided a positive impact on balance control in healthy community-dwelling older adults. It lays the foundation for future studies with a larger sample size to investigate the potential benefits of wearing CGs in individuals with balance control deficits and/or other comorbidities.

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Assessing Postural Control From Birth to Adulthood Among Individuals Born Preterm: A Systematic Review

Soraia Pereira, Augusta Silva, Rubim Santos, and Cláudia Costa Silva

Premature life exposure, meaning an immature central nervous system, presents a significant challenge for the development of postural control and, in turn, overall motor development. Preventing motor delay thus requires identifying, characterizing, and quantifying deficit in postural control as early as possible. In our study, we reviewed the procedures used in past studies to assess postural control among individuals born preterm, specifically the characterization of participants, the instruments and motor tasks involved, the types of data collected and analyzed, and the outcomes. To that end, we performed a literature search on PubMed, Wiley Online Library, Web of Science, and Scopus using Boolean logic and assessed the quality of the studies with a standardized assessment based on the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology guidelines and the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions. Of 35 potential studies, 24 were included; all evaluated infants born preterm, but six did not include a control group of full-term infants. Although the heterogeneity of measurements, variability of instruments, and divergence in motor tasks examined limit definitive conclusions based on quantitative synthesis and the generalization of the results, most studies revealed dysfunctional postural control among individuals born preterm.

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Force–Time Characteristics of Repeated Bouts of Depth Jumps and the Effects of Compression Garments

Freddy Brown, Matt Hill, Derek Renshaw, and Jason Tallis

No studies have reported ground reaction force (GRF) profiles of the repeated depth jump (DJ) protocols commonly used to study exercise-induced muscle damage. Furthermore, while compression garments (CG) may accelerate recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage, any effects on the repeated bout effect are unknown. Therefore, we investigated the GRF profiles of 2 repeated bouts of damage-inducing DJs and the effects of wearing CG for recovery. Nonresistance-trained males randomly received CG (n = 9) or placebo (n = 8) for 72 hours recovery, following 20 × 20 m sprints and 10 × 10 DJs from 0.6 m. Exercise was repeated after 14 days. Using a 3-way (set × bout × group) design, changes in GRF were assessed with analysis of variance and statistical parametric mapping. Jump height, reactive strength, peak, and mean propulsive forces declined between sets (P < .001). Vertical stiffness, contact time, force at zero velocity, and propulsive duration increased (P < .05). According to statistical parametric mapping, braking (17%–25% of the movement) and propulsive forces (58%–81%) declined (P < .05). During the repeated bout, peak propulsive force and duration increased (P < .05), while mean propulsive force (P < .05) and GRF from 59% to 73% declined (P < .001). A repeated bout of DJs differed in propulsive GRF, without changes to the eccentric phase, or effects from CG.

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Influence of Pedal Interface During Pedaling With the Upper Versus Lower Limbs: A Pilot Analysis of Torque Performance and Muscle Synergies

Laurent Vigouroux, Théo Cartier, and Guillaume Rao

Pedaling is a physical exercise practiced with either the upper or the lower limbs. Muscle coordination during these exercises has been previously studied using electromyography and synergy analysis, and three to four synergies have been identified for the lower and upper limbs. The question of synergy adaptabilities has not been investigated during pedaling with the upper limbs, and the impact of various modalities is yet not known. This study investigates the effect of pedal type (either clipped/gripped or flat) on the torque performance and the synergy in both upper and lower limbs. Torques applied by six participants while pedaling at 30% of their maximal power have been recorded for both upper and lower limbs. Electromyographic data of 11 muscles on the upper limbs and 11 muscles on the lower limbs have been recorded and synergies extracted and compared between pedal types. Results showed that the torques were not modified by the pedal types for the lower limbs while a deep adaptation is observable for the upper limbs. Participants indeed used the additional holding possibility by pulling the pedals on top of the pushing action. Synergies were accordingly modified for upper limbs while they remain stable for the lower limbs. In both limbs, the synergies showed a good reproducibility even if larger variabilities were observed for the upper limbs. This pilot study highlights the adaptability of muscle synergies according to the condition of movement execution, especially observed for the upper limbs, and can bring some new insights for the rehabilitation exercises.

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Volume 41 (2024): Issue 2 (Apr 2024)

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The Influence of Blind Tennis on Subjective Inclusion Experiences—An Ableism-Critical Analysis

Felix Oldörp, Martin Giese, and Michelle Grenier

In this paper, we analyze the subjective inclusion experiences of visually impaired (VI) adult tennis players from an ableism-critical perspective. The primary focus of this research is the inclusive potential of blind tennis from the perspective of VI individuals. Episodic interviews were conducted to capture subjective perspectives. A qualitative text analysis revealed that the interviewees were confronted with multiple ability assumptions by sighted people in their everyday lives. Deficit notions on the performance of VI people included sports, work, and general activities. Participation in blind tennis helped the interviewees build a “competent identity” and acquire various skills useful for their everyday lives as participation in blind tennis was a pathway for competence in sports. Further research is needed to identify exclusion experiences from the perspective of disabled people to recognize the potential of different sports in reducing barriers to participation.

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Volume 40 (2024): Issue 2 (Apr 2024)

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Volume 28 (2024): Issue 2 (Apr 2024)

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Dr Charles J. (Chuck) Dillman: A Remembrance

Robert Shapiro, Robert Gregor, and John Challis

In August 2023, the biomechanics community suffered a significant loss with the death of Dr Charles J. Dillman. His work in the area of sport biomechanics was groundbreaking. In this tribute, 10 former students and 9 former colleagues remember “Chuck” and his impact on their lives, careers, and the field of biomechanics.