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Daniel J. Davis and John H. Challis

Time-differentiating kinematic signals from optical motion capture amplifies the inherent noise content of those signals. Commonly, biomechanists address this problem by applying a Butterworth filter with the same cutoff frequency to all noisy displacement signals prior to differentiation. Nonstationary signals, those with time-varying frequency content, are widespread in biomechanics (eg, those containing an impact) and may necessitate a different filtering approach. A recently introduced signal filtering approach wherein signals are divided into sections based on their energy content and then Butterworth filtered with section-specific cutoff frequencies improved second derivative estimates in a nonstationary kinematic signal. Utilizing this signal-section filtering approach for estimating running vertical ground reaction forces saw more of the signal’s high-frequency content surrounding heel strike maintained without allowing inappropriate amounts of noise contamination in the remainder of the signal. Thus, this signal-section filtering approach resulted in superior estimates of vertical ground reaction forces compared with approaches that either used the same filter cutoff frequency across the entirety of each signal or across the entirety of all signals. Filtering kinematic signals using this signal-section filtering approach is useful in processing data from tasks containing an impact when accurate signal second derivative estimation is of interest.

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Olivia Bartlett and James L. Farnsworth II

Clinical Scenario: Kinesiophobia is a common psychological phenomenon that occurs following injury involving fear of movement. These psychological factors contribute to the variability among patients’ perceived disability scores following injury. In addition, the psychophysiological, behavioral, and cognitive factors of kinesiophobia have been shown to be predictive of a patient’s self-reported disability and pain. Previous kinesiophobia research has mostly focused on lower-extremity injuries. There are fewer studies that investigate upper-extremity injuries despite the influence that upper-extremity injuries can have on an individual’s activities of daily living and, therefore, disability scores. The lack of research calls for a critical evaluation and appraisal of available evidence regarding kinesiophobia and its contribution to perceived disability for the upper-extremity. Focused Clinical Question: How does kinesiophobia in patients with upper-extremity injuries influence perceptions of disability and quality of life measurements? Summary of Key Findings: Two cross-sectional studies and one cohort study were included. The first study found a positive relationship between kinesiophobia and a high degree of perceived disability. Another study found that kinesiophobia and catastrophic thinking scores were the most important predictors of perceived upper-extremity disability. The third study found that kinesiophobia contributes to self-reported disability in the shoulder. Clinical Bottom Line: There is moderate evidence that supports the relationship between kinesiophobia and perceived disability, and the relationship between elevated perceptions of disability and increased kinesiophobia scores in patients with an upper-extremity injury. Clinicians should evaluate and monitor kinesiophobia in patients following injury, a condition that can enhance perceptions of disability. An elevated perception of disability can create a cycle of fear that leads to hypervigilance and fear-avoidance behavior. Strength of Recommendation: Consistent findings from reviewed studies suggest there is grade B evidence to support that kinesiophobia is related to an increased perceived disability following upper-extremity injuries.

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Jeffrey B. Driban and Patrick O. McKeon

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Brendan L. Pinto, Daniel Viggiani, and Jack P. Callaghan

The lumbar extensor spinae (LES) has an oblique orientation with respect to the compressive axis of the lumbar spine, allowing it to counteract anterior shear forces. This mechanical advantage is lost as spine flexion angle increases. The LES orientation can also alter over time as obliquity decreases with age and is associated with decreased strength and low back pain. However, it is unknown if LES orientation is impacted by recent exposures causing adaptations over shorter timescales. Hence, the effects of a 10-minute sustained spine flexion exposure on LES orientation, thickness, and activity were investigated. Three different submaximally flexed spine postures were observed before and after the exposure. At baseline, orientation (P < .001) and thickness (P = .004) decreased with increasingly flexed postures. After the exposure, obliquity further decreased at low (pairwise comparison P < .001) and moderately (pairwise comparison P = .008) flexed postures. Low back creep occurred, but LES thickness did not change, indicating that decreases in orientation were not solely due to changes in muscle length at a given posture. Activation did not change to counteract decreases in obliquity. These changes encompass a reduced ability to offset anterior shear forces, thus increasing the potential risk of anterior shear-related injury or pain after low back creep-generating exposures.

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Jack P. Callaghan

Open access

Samuel C. Fischer, Darren Q. Calley, and John H. Hollman

Clinical Scenario : Low back pain is a common condition for the general population with 29% of adults having low back pain within the last 3 months. A deadlift is described as a free weight exercise in which a barbell is lifted from the floor in a continuous motion by extending the knees and hips. For those without low back pain, the deadlift was found to have the highest muscle activation of paraspinal musculature compared with other exercises. There are a limited number of studies that investigate the usefulness of incorporating deadlifts as part of a rehabilitation program for low back pain. Clinical Question: For those who live with low back pain, is an exercise routine that includes a deadlift a viable treatment option to improve pain and/or function? Summary of Key Findings: The literature search yielded 3 total studies meeting the inclusion and exclusion criteria: 1 randomized control trial, 1 secondary analysis of a randomized control trial, and 1 cohort study. Exercise programs that include deadlifts can yield improvements in both pain and function for those living with low back pain but were not found to be more beneficial than low load motor control exercises. Those with lower pain levels and higher baseline lumbar extension strength may be most appropriate to participate in an exercise program that includes deadlifts. Further research is needed to compare exercise programs that include deadlifts to other interventions for those living with low back pain. Clinical Bottom Line: There is minimal evidence that exercise programs that included deadlifts are a clinically effective option for the treatment of low back pain for both pain scores and functional outcome measures. Strength of Recommendation: Level B evidence exists that exercise programs that include deadlifts are a clinically effective option for the treatment of low back pain for both pain scores and functional outcome measures.

Open access

Scott Benson Street, Matthew Rawlins, and Jason Miller

Clinical Scenario: Ankle fractures are a frequent occurrence, and they carry the potential for syndesmosis injury. The syndesmosis is important to the structural integrity of the ankle joint by maintaining the proximity of the tibia, fibula, and talus. Presently, the gold standard for treating an ankle syndesmosis injury is to insert a metallic screw through the fibula and into the tibia. This technique requires a second intervention to remove the hardware, but also carries an inherent risk of breaking the screw during rehabilitation. Another fixation technique, the Tightrope, has gained popularity in treating ankle syndesmosis injuries. The TightRope involves inserting Fiberwire® through the tibia and fibula, which allows for stabilization of the ankle mortise and normal range of motion. Clinical Question: In patients suffering from ankle syndesmosis injuries, is the Tightrope ankle syndesmosis fixation system more effective than conventional screw fixation at improving return to work, pain, and patient-reported outcome measures? Summary of Key Findings: Five studies were selected to be critically appraised. The PEDro checklist was used to score 2 randomized control trials, and the Downs & Black checklist was used to score the cohort study on methodology and consistency. Two systematic reviews were also appraised. All 5 articles demonstrated support for using the TightRope fixation. Clinical Bottom Line: There is moderate evidence to support the use of the TightRope syndesmosis fixation system, as it provides both clinician- and patient-reported outcomes that are similar to those using the conventional metallic screw, with a shortened time to recover and return to activity. Strength of Recommendation: Grade A evidence exists in support of using the TightRope fixation system in place of the metallic screw following ankle syndesmosis injury.

Open access

Dhinu J. Jayaseelan, Cesar Fernandez-de-las-Penas, Taylor Blattenberger, and Dean Bonneau

Clinical Scenario: Plantar heel pain is a common condition frequently associated with persistent symptoms and functional limitations affecting both the athletic and nonathletic populations. Common interventions target impairments at the foot and ankle and local drivers of symptoms. If symptoms are predominantly perpetuated by alterations in central pain processing, addressing peripheral impairments alone may not be sufficient. Clinical Question: Do individuals with chronic plantar heel pain demonstrate signs potentially associated with altered central pain processing? Summary of Key Findings: After searching 6 electronic databases (PubMed, CINAHL, Scopus, SportDiscus, Cochrane, and PEDro) and filtering titles based on predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria, 4 case-control studies were included. All studies scored highly on the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale for quality assessment. Using pressure pain thresholds, each study found decreased pressure pain hypersensitivity locally and at a remote site compared to control groups, suggesting the presence, to some extent, of altered nociceptive pain processing. Clinical Bottom Line: In the studies reviewed, reported results suggest a possible presence of centrally mediated symptoms in persons with plantar heel pain. However, despite findings from these studies, limitations in appropriate matching based on body mass index and measures used suggest additional investigation is warranted. Strength of Recommendation: According to the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, there is evidence level C to suggest chronic plantar heel pain is associated with alterations in central pain processing.

Open access

Karin Weman Josefsson

Sweden has adopted a somewhat different approach to handle the corona pandemic, which has been widely debated both on national and international levels. The Swedish model involves more individual responsibility and reliance on voluntary civic liability than law enforcement, while common measures in other countries are based on more controlling strategies, such as restrictive lockdowns, quarantines, closed borders, and mandatory behavior constraints. This commentary aims to give a brief overview of the foundations of the Swedish model as well as a discussion on how and why it has been adopted in the Swedish society based on Swedish legislations, culture, and traditions. Finally, perspectives on how the Swedish model could be connected to the tenets of self-determination theory will be discussed.