Clinical Scenario: Chronic ankle instability (CAI) is a complex musculoskeletal condition that results in sensorimotor and mechanical alterations. Manual therapies, such as ankle joint mobilizations, are known to improve clinician-oriented outcomes like dorsiflexion range of motion, but their impact on patient-reported outcomes remains less clear. Focused Clinical Question: Do anterior-to-posterior ankle joint mobilizations improve patient-reported outcomes in patients with chronic ankle instability? Summary of Key Findings: Three studies (2 randomized controlled trials and 1 prospective cohort) quantified the effect of at least 2 weeks of anterior-to-posterior ankle joint mobilizations on improving patient-reported outcomes immediately after the intervention and at a follow-up assessment. All 3 studies demonstrated significant improvements in at least 1 patient-reported outcome immediately after the intervention and at the follow-up assessment. Clinical Bottom Line: At least 2 weeks of ankle joint mobilization improves patient-reported outcomes in patients with chronic ankle instability, and these benefits are retained for at least a week following the termination of the intervention. Strength of Recommendation: Strength of recommendation is grade A due to consistent good-quality patient-oriented evidence.
Erik A. Wikstrom, Sajad Bagherian, Nicole B. Cordero, and Kyeongtak Song
Carl G. Mattacola
Kellie C. Huxel Bliven and Kelsey J. Picha
Jessica R. Fairbairn and Kellie C. Huxel Bliven
Clinical Scenario: Until recently, injury epidemiology data on elite Paralympic athletes were limited. Current data suggest high rates of shoulder injury in wheelchair athletes. Differences in shoulder injury rates between sports have not been reported in this population. Clinical Question: Is the incidence of shoulder injury in elite wheelchair athletes different between sports? Summary of Key Findings: Shoulder injury rates are high in elite wheelchair athletes, particularly in sports such as field events and fencing that require a stable base (eg, trunk, core control) from which to perform. Wheelchair racing requires repetitive motions that contribute to shoulder injuries, but rates are lower than field sports and fencing. Wheelchair curling and sledge hockey have low shoulder injury risk. Clinical Bottom Line: Shoulder injury rates vary based on sport in elite wheelchair athletes. In addition to incorporating shoulder complex specific rehabilitation for overuse shoulder injuries, clinicians should focus on core and trunk stabilization in elite wheelchair athletes competing in sports, such as field events and fencing. Strength of Recommendation: Grade C evidence exists that reports shoulder injury rates among elite wheelchair athletes differ based on sport participation.
Flávia Cavalcante Monteiro Melo, Kátia Kamila Félix de Lima, Ana Paula Knackfuss Freitas Silveira, Kesley Pablo Morais de Azevedo, Isis Kelly dos Santos, Humberto Jefferson de Medeiros, José Carlos Leitão, and Maria Irany Knackfuss
Context: Physical training improves the strength of upper limbs, contributing directly to the performance of activities of daily life, confirming one more time that the strengthened muscle is imperative for a rapid rehabilitation. Objective: To investigate the scientific implications of the impact of physical training on the strength of the upper limbs of people with paraplegias. Evidence Acquisition: The search strategy with truncations and Boolean operator was defined as: (spinal cord inju* OR traumatic myelopat* OR paraplegi*) AND (physical exercise OR strength training OR resisted training) AND (upper limb* OR arm OR armrest), for all of the databases. There were included experimental and quasi-experimental studies, published in the English language and with the complete text available, with at least 1 physical exercise that worked with the strength of the upper limbs. Two independent evaluators extracted from each article data on study characteristics (publishing year, country of origin, and study design), of the subjects (gender and age), and of the disability (level of lesion and cause). Evidence Synthesis: Seven articles were included in the systematic revision. The procedure used the most for measuring the maximum strength was the 1-repetition maximum test, followed by the isokinetic dynamometer and Quantitative Muscle Testing System. Furthermore, the most commonly associated variables in the included studies were pain in the shoulder, cardiorespiratory capacity, and functionality, respectively. The results showed that all of the variables improved because of the training. Conclusions: The training improved the strength, the functionality, and reduced the pain in the shoulder of the people with paraplegia.
Bradley C. Jackson, Robert T. Medina, Stephanie H. Clines, Julie M. Cavallario, and Matthew C. Hoch
Clinical Scenario: History of acute ankle sprains can result in chronic ankle instability (CAI). Arthrokinematic changes resulting from CAI may restrict range of motion and contribute to postural control deficits. Mulligan or fibular reposition taping (FRT) has been suggested as a means to realign fibular positional faults and may be an effective way to improve postural control and balance in patients with CAI. Clinical Question: Is there evidence to suggest that FRT will improve postural control for patients with CAI in the affected limb compared with no taping? Summary of Key Findings: Three of the 4 included studies found no significant difference in postural control in patients receiving FRT compared with sham or no tape. Clinical Bottom Line: There is moderate evidence refuting the use of FRT to improve postural control in patients with CAI. Strength of Recommendation: There is grade B evidence to support that FRT does not improve postural control in people with CAI.
Katrina G. Ritter, Matthew J. Hussey, and Tamara C. Valovich McLeod
Clinical Scenario: Patients who experience prolonged concussion symptoms can be diagnosed with postconcussion syndrome (PCS) when those symptoms persist longer than 4 weeks. Aerobic exercise protocols have been shown to be effective in improving physical and mental aspects of health. Emerging research suggests that aerobic exercise may be useful as a treatment for PCS, where exercise allows patients to feel less isolated and more active during the recovery process. Clinical Question: Is aerobic exercise more beneficial in reducing symptoms than current standard care in patients with prolonged symptoms or PCS lasting longer than 4 weeks? Summary of Key Findings: After a thorough literature search, 4 studies relevant to the clinical question were selected. Of the 4 studies, 1 study was a randomized control trial and 3 studies were case series. All 4 studies investigated aerobic exercise protocol as treatment for PCS. Three studies demonstrated a greater rate of symptom improvement from baseline assessment to follow-up after a controlled subsymptomatic aerobic exercise program. One study showed a decrease in symptoms in the aerobic exercise group compared with the full-body stretching group. Clinical Bottom Line: There is moderate evidence to support subsymptomatic aerobic exercise as a treatment of PCS; therefore, it should be considered as a clinical option for reducing PCS and prolonged concussion symptoms. A previously validated protocol, such as the Buffalo Concussion Treadmill test, Balke protocol, or rating of perceived exertion, as mentioned in this critically appraised topic, should be used to measure baseline values and treatment progression. Strength of Recommendation: Level C evidence exists that the aerobic exercise protocol is more effective than the current standard of care in treating PCS.
Brice T. Cleland and Sheila Schindler-Ivens
Background: Prior work indicates that pedaling-related brain activation is lower in people with stroke than in controls. We asked whether this observation could be explained by between-group differences in volitional motor commands and pedaling performance. Methods: Individuals with and without stroke performed passive and volitional pedaling while brain activation was recorded with functional magnetic resonance imaging. The passive condition eliminated motor commands to pedal and minimized between-group differences in pedaling performance. Volume, intensity, and laterality of brain activation were compared across conditions and groups. Results: There were no significant effects of condition and no Group × Condition interactions for any measure of brain activation. Only 53% of subjects could minimize muscle activity for passive pedaling. Conclusions: Altered motor commands and pedaling performance are unlikely to account for reduced pedaling-related brain activation poststroke. Instead, this phenomenon may be due to functional or structural brain changes. Passive pedaling can be difficult to achieve and may require inhibition of excitatory descending drive.
Landon Lempke, Abbis Jaffri, and Nicholas Erdman
Clinical Scenario: Currently, rest following concussion serves as the keystone of concussion treatment, but substantial evidence to support it is lacking. Recent literature suggests that early physical activity may be beneficial in reducing concussion symptoms which may influence clinical recovery time. Clinical Question: Does early physical activity decrease postconcussion symptoms compared to physical rest following concussion? Summary of Key Findings: A total of 5 articles were included that examined symptom duration changes at multiple time points. All 5 studies utilized follow-up time points compared to initial examination, but there was variance in the specific time points reported. Two studies employed control groups and compared strict or recommended rest to early activity or limited rest. Three studies were observational studies that directly compared baseline measurements to follow-up assessments. Clinical Bottom Line: Current evidence suggests that early physical activity in the acute phase following a concussion may decrease the time needed for symptom resolution compared to immediate rest. Strength of Recommendation: Using Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine 2011 level 3 evidence and higher, the results suggest that early physical activity during the acute phase of a concussion may decrease symptom duration; however, a lack of high-quality studies and inconsistent interventions are limitations to this recommendation.
Mohammad Reza Pourahmadi, Ismail Ebrahimi Takamjani, Shapour Jaberzadeh, Javad Sarrafzadeh, Mohammad Ali Sanjari, Rasool Bagheri, and Morteza Taghipour
Context: Clinical evaluation of the spine is commonplace in musculoskeletal therapies, such as physiotherapy, physical medicine/rehabilitation, osteopathic, and chiropractic clinics. Sit-to-stand (STS) is one of the most mechanically demanding daily activities and crucial to independence. Difficulty or inability to perform STS is common in individuals with a variety of motor disabilities, such as low back pain (LBP). Objective: The purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate available evidence in literature to determine 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional kinematics of the spine during STS in patients with LBP and healthy young adult participants using motion analysis systems (electromagnetic and marker based). Methods: Electronic databases (PubMed/MEDLINE [National Library of Medicine], Scopus, ScienceDirect, and Google Scholar) were searched between January 2002 and February 2017. Additionally, the reference lists of the articles that met the inclusion criteria were also searched. Prospective studies published in peer-reviewed journals, with full text available in English, investigating the kinematics of the spine during STS in healthy subjects (mean age between 18 and 50 y) or in patients with LBP using motion analysis systems, were included. Sixteen studies fulfilled the eligibility criteria. All information relating to methodology and kinematic modeling of the spine segments along with the outcome measures was extracted from the studies identified for synthesis. Results: The results indicated that the kinematics of the spine are greatly changed in patients with LBP. In order to develop a better understanding of spine kinematics, studies recommended that the trunk should be analyzed as a multisegment. It has been shown that there is no difference between the kinematics of patients with LBP and healthy population when the spine is analyzed as a single segment. Furthermore, between-gender differences are present during STS movement. Conclusion: This review provided a valuable summary of the research to date examining the kinematics of the spine during STS.