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Open access

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.

Open access

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.

Open access

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.

Open access

Erica M. Willadsen, Andrea B. Zahn and Chris J. Durall

Clinical Scenario: A variety of training approaches have been adopted in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) prevention programs, including neuromuscular control training, core stability training, balance training, and plyometric exercise. This review was conducted to determine if current evidence supports one of these training approaches over the others for reducing noncontact ACL injuries in adolescent female athletes. Focused Clinical Question: What is the most effective training approach for preventing noncontact ACL injuries in adolescent and/or high school–aged female athletes? Summary of Key Findings: A literature search generated 2 level 1b randomized control trials and 1 level 2b cohort study. Plyometric training resulted in decreased knee valgus during landing in 3 studies and increased knee flexion at landing in 2 studies. Balance training or neuromuscular training led to decreased knee valgus and increased knee-flexion angles with landing in 2 studies. Core stability training had conflicting effects on knee valgus and knee-flexion angles at landing, with 1 study reporting no effect and another reporting an undesirable decrease in knee joint flexion angle at landing. Clinical Bottom Line: Based on this review, plyometric training, balance training, and neuromuscular training approaches appear sensible to include in ACL prevention programs for female athletes to help decrease knee valgus and knee flexion during landing. Core stability training may be somewhat beneficial for decreasing knee valgus angles at landing, although may have nominal or even deleterious effects on knee-flexion angle at landing, and thus should be implemented with caution. Strength of Recommendation: Our recommendations were derived from the results of 2 level 1b randomized control trials and 1 level 2b cohort study.

Full access

Jenny H. Conviser, Amanda Schlitzer Tierney and Riley Nickols

It is estimated that 1.6 million people in the United States are currently diagnosed with an eating disorder. Eating disorders (EDs) have high rates of morbidity and mortality and remain the most severe mental illness. Unfortunately, rates of EDs and disordered eating behaviors (DEBs) among athletes appear to be increasing. In this study, authors summarize ED-related risks that pose compromises in psychological and social functioning, medical health, and overall quality of life. The importance of early detection and formal evaluation in preserving the athlete’s health, well-being and sustaining successful sport participation, and performance are highlighted. Athlete-specific factors, which challenge the ease and accuracy of ED detection and assessment, are noted. The recommended components of effective ED assessment are identified, including use of self-report measures and clinical interviews conducted by ED certified and licensed professionals. The importance of being well informed in tenets of ED awareness, prevention and supporting early detection, and referral for formal ED assessment are noted. Conclusions reflect the vital roles that both the multidisciplinary sport personnel and the sport environment/culture play in reducing the serious health risks of DEBs and EDs. Each is needed to protect an athlete’s well-being while fostering safe and successful sport participation.

Full access

Laura K. Fewell, Riley Nickols, Amanda Schlitzer Tierney and Cheri A. Levinson

The current study tested if athlete patients differed from non-athlete patients in measures of eating disorder (ED) and related pathology. Athlete (n = 91 in Study 1; n = 39 in Study 2) and non-athlete (n = 76 in Study 1; n = 26 in Study 2) patients completed self-report measures, and body mass index (BMI) was calculated. Athlete patients had significantly lower ED symptomatology and depression than non-athlete patients (ps < .05). ED impairment, worry, psychosocial functioning, BMI, obsessive-compulsiveness, and compulsive exercise did not significantly differ between groups (ps > .08). Greater ED symptomatology was associated with higher psychosocial functioning among athlete patients and higher obsessive-compulsive symptoms and compulsive exercise among non-athlete patients. This is a novel study comparing ED symptomatology and related measures of mental health in athlete and non-athlete patients engaged in residential or partial hospitalization ED treatment. Future research should further investigate how participation in high-level sport impacts the presentation, treatment, and outcome of individuals with EDs.

Full access

Jenny H. Conviser, Amanda Schlitzer Tierney and Riley Nickols

Eating disorders (EDs) and disordered-eating behaviors (DEBs), pose a high risk of morbidity and mortality, threatening physical health, emotional health, and overall quality of life. Unfortunately, among athletes, prevalence rates continue to increase. This document summarizes the challenges of establishing and navigating the multidisciplinary care needed to effectively treat EDs and DEBs among athletes. The benefits of timely and frequent communication within the multidisciplinary treatment team (MDTT) are emphasized and discussed. Authors advise who should be selected as members of the MDTT and suggest that all personnel, including athletic coaches, athletic trainers, physical therapists, and certified fitness professionals be ED-informed and ED-sensitive. Vital components of care are noted including use of a variety of evidence-based psychotherapeutic modalities, interventions which target emotional regulation, and prioritize values based compassionate care. Authors caution that performance decrements and medical/physiological changes are not always easily observable in individuals with EDs and DEBs and therefore, attuned, consistent, and ongoing monitoring is needed. Consensus regarding previously established parameters for return to play and careful titration of physical activity throughout the ED recovery process are suggested as important for preserving health, preventing re-injury, or relapse and facilitating successful return to sport participation.

Full access

Laura K. Fewell, Riley Nickols, Amanda Schlitzer Tierney and Cheri A. Levinson

Understanding the unique needs of athletes who undergo eating disorder (ED) treatment is sorely needed. This study explores changes of strength and power in athlete (n = 21) and non-athlete (n = 36) patients from intake to discharge. Maximal oxygen consumption, vertical jump, push-ups, hand grip strength, and body mass index (in anorexia nervosa; AN) were measured among treatment center patients. The number of push-ups and hand grip strength were significantly improved upon discharge in the full sample (ps < .005) and in AN only (ps < .001). Body mass index was also significantly higher in AN (p < .001). Maximal oxygen consumption and vertical jump did not significantly improve between admission and discharge in either group (ps > .40). This study is the first to investigate measures of strength in athletes engaged in intensive eating disorder treatment and indicates the need to address the psychological mindset around physical activity using exercise education as part of a comprehensive program. Recommendations for incorporating exercise into an intensive ED treatment center are also provided.

Open access

Aaron Nelson, Nathan Koslakiewicz and Thomas Gus Almonroeder

Context: Athletes who have undergone an anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction often demonstrate more pronounced interlimb knee kinetic symmetry in comparison with uninjured athletes, even after they have completed rehabilitation. Part of the reason for the persistent asymmetry may be that sports medicine professionals are typically not able to assess knee joint kinetics within the clinic setting. Developing measures to assess knee joint kinetic symmetry could help to augment current rehabilitation practices. Objective: The purpose of this study was to explore the extent to which interlimb vertical ground reaction force (GRF) symmetry can predict knee kinetic symmetry during a drop landing task. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Motion analysis laboratory. Participants: A total of 21 uninjured subjects (9 males and 12 females). Protocol: Three-dimensional kinematic data were collected using a multicamera system while subjects performed double-leg drop landings. GRF data were collected synchronously using 2 adjacent force plates. Main Outcome Measures: Knee joint moments and power were calculated for both limbs during the landing trials. An interlimb symmetry index (dominant/nondominant limb) was calculated for both the peak knee joint moment and power variables, as well as for the peak vertical GRFs. Linear regression analyses were performed to determine if the degree of symmetry in the peak vertical GRFs predicted the degree of symmetry for the kinetic variables. Results: The symmetry index for the vertical GRFs was a significant predictor of the symmetry indices for the knee joint moments (r = .81; P < .001) and power (r = .88; P < .001). Conclusion: Interlimb symmetry in the peak vertical GRFs can be used to predict knee joint kinetic symmetry during a double-leg drop landing task.

Open access

Megan P. Brady and Windee Weiss

Clinical Scenario : The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury is a common knee injury within varying athletic levels. Clinical diagnostic tests and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are two methods of evaluating ACL injuries. Clinical Question : Are clinical diagnostic tests as accurate as MRI when diagnosing ACL tears? Summary of Key Findings: Three cross-sectional design studies were included. One study found that clinical diagnostic tests were superior to MRI when diagnosing an ACL tear. Another study found that clinical diagnostic tests were equal to MRI when measuring sensitivity, but scored higher in specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and diagnostic accuracy. The last study found that clinical diagnostic tests scored higher than MRI on specificity and positive predictive value, were equal when measuring accuracy, and scored lower when measuring sensitivity and negative predictive value. Clinical Bottom Line: The evidence supports the use of clinical diagnostic tests when diagnosing an ACL tear. Strength of Recommendation: Level 2–3.