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In Patients With Chronic Pain Conditions, Does Dry Needling Reduce Pain?

Paden Kleinhesselink, Ryan Tierney, Jamie Mansell, and Anne Russ

Dry needling’s primary goal is to alleviate pain by inserting solid filament needles into muscles, tendons, and ligaments to provide a stimulus that inhibits nerve endings to decrease pain. This critically appraised topic investigates the effects dry needling has on patients with various chronic pain conditions and its ability to relieve pain. Articles were selected if patients had a chronic pain condition lasting at least 3 months, pain was reported using the Visual Analog Scale, and were randomized control trials or prospective studies. All selected studies for this critically appraised topic showed significant improvement in chronic pain. With these improvements, dry needling has been shown to be an effective treatment in chronic pain conditions.

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NATA News & Notes

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Developing Self-Awareness and Emotional Intelligence in Adolescent Soccer: A Community Outreach Pilot Program

Sabrina Gomez Souffront, Enzo R.N. Everett, and Jason Kostrna

Sport provides opportunities for adolescents to develop psychological skills. To realize this potential, sport facilitators must actively create a culture that develops adolescent athletes. Psychological skills training and biofeedback training have been effective at developing psychological skills in adult athletes. However, little research has focused on the effects of psychological skills training and biofeedback training in adolescent athletes. This study tests the efficacy of a pilot community outreach program to promote psychological skills development in adolescent soccer players from a travel soccer team (n = 21). During the 2-week intervention, researchers taught participants psychophysiological content related to self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and decision making. The psychological skills training sessions included active learning activities, group discussions, and reflection. Throughout the sessions, researchers used biofeedback to demonstrate and train participants in psychophysiological concepts. The 2-week intervention gave participants opportunities each day to monitor and reflect on their psychological performance state. Program evaluation data showed descriptive improvements in the ability to focus, control arousal, reduce stress, and control emotions. Wilcoxon signed-rank tests revealed significant positive changes occurred for decision-making self-efficacy. The intervention and efficacy of this study support applied practitioners’ integration of biofeedback and psychological skills training to improve adolescents’ self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and decision making.

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Predictive Factors for Compulsive Exercise in Adolescent Athletes: A Cross-Sectional Study

Martine Fortier, Christopher Rodrigue, Camille Clermont, Anne-Sophie Gagné, Audrey Brassard, Daniel Lalande, and Jacinthe Dion

Although exercise is generally considered a healthy lifestyle habit, it may be problematic for some people. This has led to growing research on compulsive exercise—an uncontrollable urge for physical activity despite its deleterious effects. A maintenance model of compulsive exercise has been developed for adults exhibiting weight and shape concerns, weight control behaviors, and specific psychological states (including depression and anxiety) as predictive factors. We identified predicting factors for compulsive exercise in adolescent athletes using the same model framework. These athletes completed the compulsive exercise test and several well-validated psychometric measures. Gender-specific multiple regression models identified stronger drive for thinness, perfectionism, and body image investment in sport as significant predictors of compulsive exercise in boys and girls. Among girls, asceticism and bulimia symptoms were also significantly associated with compulsive exercise. These findings support the relevance of the model for clinical intervention and research on compulsive exercise in adolescent athletes.

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Volume 39 (2023): Issue 6 (Dec 2023)

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Volume 17 (2023): Issue 4 (Dec 2023): JCSP Special Issue Burnout in Sport and Performance, Part 2

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The Biomechanics Research and Innovation Challenge: Development, Implementation, Uptake, and Reflections on the Inaugural Program

Celeste E. Coltman, Martina Barzan, Manuela Besomi, Victoria Brackley, Jaquelin A. Bousie, Julie Choisne, Laura E. Diamond, Taylor J.M. Dick, Nicole D’Souza, Samantha Fien, Alycia Fong Yan, Sheridan A. Gho, Alexandra Giraldo-Pedroza, Laura A. Hutchinson, Laura V. Hutchison, Crystal O. Kean, Maddison M. Kirk, Amy Lewis, Jayishini N. Maharaj, Nina Maher, Kerry J. Mann, Suzanne Martin, Karen J. Mickle, Azadeh Nasseri, Isobel H. Oon, Rory Purdie, Shayan L. Quinlan, Ceridwen R. Radcliffe, Suzanne J. Snodgrass, Siddharth Verma, and Michelle Hall

Biomechanics as a discipline is ideally placed to increase awareness and participation of girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. A nationwide Biomechanics and Research Innovation Challenge (BRInC) centered on mentoring and role modeling was developed to engage high school girls (mentees) and early-mid-career women (mentors) in the field of biomechanics through the completion of a 100-day research and/or innovation project. This manuscript describes the development, implementation, and uptake of the inaugural BRInC program and synthesizes the research and innovation projects undertaken, providing a framework for adoption of this program within the global biomechanics community. Eighty-seven high school girls in years 9 and 10 (age range: 14–16 y) were mentored in teams (n = 17) by women in biomechanics (n = 24). Using a design thinking approach, teams generated solutions to biomechanics-based problem(s)/research question(s). Eight key reflections on program strengths, as well as areas for improvement and planned changes for future iterations of the BRInC program, are outlined. These key reflections highlight the innovation, impact, and scalability of the program; the importance of a program framework and effective communication tools; and implementation of strategies to sustain the program as well as the importance of diversity and building a sense of community.

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The Combined Influence of Infant Carrying Method and Motherhood on Gait Mechanics

Kathryn L. Havens, Sarah Goldrod, and Erin M. Mannen

Postpartum mothers are susceptible to lumbopelvic pain which may be exacerbated by loading, like carrying their infant in arms and with baby carriers. Nulliparous women carrying infant mannequins may biomechanically mimic mother–infant dyad, but this has not been studied. The purpose of our study was to investigate biomechanical differences of 10 mothers carrying their infants and 10 nulliparous women carrying infant mannequins under 3 gait conditions: carrying nothing, carrying in arms, and carrying in a baby carrier (babywearing). Spatiotemporal gait parameters, peak ground reaction forces and impulses, and lower extremity and trunk kinematics were collected using motion capture and force plates and compared using a mixed 2 × 3 (parity × condition) analysis of variance (α ≤ .05). The largest differences occurred between carrying conditions: carrying in arms or babywearing increased vertical and anteroposterior ground reaction forces, trunk extension, ankle dorsiflexion, and hip and knee flexion. Kinematic differences were identified between arms and babywearing conditions. Together this suggests alterations in joint loading for both groups. Our study also contributes a novel understanding of postpartum health by demonstrating alterations in step time, anterior forces, and ankle and knee mechanics, suggesting that during gait, mothers carrying their own infants choose different propulsive strategies than nulliparous women carrying mannequins.

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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

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.

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The Seated Trunk Control Test: Investigation of Reliability and Known-Groups Validity Using Individuals Post-Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

Travis R. Pollen, Chelsey Roe, Darren L. Johnson, Sheri P. Silfies, and Brian Noehren

Context: Decreased trunk neuromuscular control is a risk factor for both upper- and lower-extremity injuries, yet there are few reliable and valid clinical tests to identify deficits. Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the reliability and known-groups validity of a novel clinical test, the seated trunk control test (STCT). Design: Cross-sectional reliability and known-groups validity study. Setting: Laboratory. Participants: 89 unique participants: 34 were 3 months postoperative anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) and 55 healthy controls. Methods: For the STCT, participants sat on a balance board with their eyes closed for three 30-second trials while investigators counted balance errors. Intraclass correlations (ICCs) were used to assess interrater reliability (N = 20) and test–retest reliability (N = 40). To assess known-groups validity, independent t tests were used to compare STCT errors at 3 months post-ACLR with healthy matched controls (N = 34/group). Area under a receiver operating characteristic curve identified an optimal cutoff for distinguishing between groups. Results: The STCT had perfect interrater reliability (ICC2,3 = 1.00) and good test–retest reliability (ICC3,3 = .79; 95% confidence interval = .61–.89). The ACLR group made significantly more errors on the STCT (mean [SD] = 15.5 [5.4]) than controls (mean [SD] = 8.2 [4.1]; P < .001, Cohen d = 1.52). The STCT’s ability to distinguish between groups was excellent (area under a ROC curve = 0.86). A cutoff of 12 errors maximized sensitivity (76%) and specificity (85%). Conclusions: The STCT is reliable between raters and across days. It also has excellent ability to distinguish between individuals with a recent ACLR and healthy matched controls, which provides initial evidence to suggest that the STCT may be clinically useful for identifying deficits in trunk neuromuscular control.