Context: Current tools for sideline assessment of balance following a concussion may not be sufficiently sensitive to identify impairments, which may place athletes at risk for future injury. Quantitative field-expedient balance assessments are becoming increasingly accessible in sports medicine and may improve sensitivity to enable clinicians to more readily detect these subtle deficits. Objective: To determine the validity of the postural sway assessment on the Biodex BioSway™ compared with the gold standard NeuroCom Smart Equitest System. Design: Cross-sectional cohort study. Setting: Clinical research laboratory. Participants: Forty-nine healthy adults (29 females: 24.34 [2.45] y, height 163.65 [7.57] cm, mass 63.64 [7.94] kg; 20 males: 26.00 [3.70] y, height 180.11 [7.16] cm, mass 82.97 [12.78] kg). Intervention(s): The participants completed the modified clinical test of sensory interaction in balance on the Biodex BioSway™ with 2 additional conditions (head shake and firm surface; head shake and foam surface) and the Sensory Organization Test and Head Shake Sensory Organization Test on the NeuroCom Smart Equitest. Main Outcome Measures: Interclass correlation coefficient and Bland–Altman limits of agreement for Sway Index, equilibrium ratio, and area of 95% confidence ellipse. Results: Fair–good reliability (interclass correlation coefficient = .48–.65) was demonstrated for the stance conditions with eyes open on a firm surface. The Head Shake Sensory Interaction and Balance Test condition on a firm surface resulted in fair reliability (interclass correlation coefficient = .50–.59). The authors observed large ranges for limits of agreement across outcome measures, indicating that the systems should not be used interchangeably. Conclusions: The authors observed fair reliability between BioSway™ and NeuroCom, with better agreement between systems with the assessment of postural sway on firm/static surfaces. However, the agreement of these systems may improve by incorporating methods that mitigate the floor effect in an athletic population (eg, including a head shake condition). BioSway™ may provide a surrogate field-expedient measurement tool.
Daniel G. Miner, Brent A. Harper, and Stephen M. Glass
Ghada Jouira, Selim Srihi, Fatma Ben Waer, Haithem Rebai, and Sonia Sahli
Context: Athletes with intellectual disability (ID) have a high risk of injury while participating in various sports. Warm-up (WU) is the most preventive measure to reduce injuries in sports. Objective: To investigate the effects of dynamic stretching WU (DS-WU) and plyometric WU (PL-WU) on dynamic balance in athletes with ID. Design: Crossover study. Setting: Research laboratory. Participants: A total of 12 athletes with ID (age 24.5 [3.22] y, height 165.7 [8.4] cm, weight 61.5 [7.1] kg, intelligence quotient 61.1 [3.5]). Main Outcome Measures: Dynamic balance was assessed using the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) at pre-WU, post-WU, and 15 minutes post-WU for both the DS-WU and the PL-WU. A 2-way analysis of variance (3 sessions × 2 WU methods) with repeated-measures was used in this study. Results: Following the DS-WU, participants demonstrated significant improvements in the SEBT composite score post-WU (89.12% [5.54%] vs 87.04% [5.35%]; P < .01) and at 15 minutes post-WU (89.55% [5.28%] vs 87.04%, P < .01) compared with pre-WU. However, no significant difference between these two post-WU scores (post-WU and 15 min post-WU) was found. For the PL-WU, participants demonstrated a significant decrease in the SEBT composite score at post-WU (85.95% [5.49%] vs 87.02% [5.73%]; P < .05); however, these scores increased significantly at 15 minutes post-WU (88.60% [5.42%] vs 87.02% [5.49%]; P < .05) compared with that at pre-WU. The SEBT composite scores are significantly higher in the DS-WU than in the PL-WU at both post-WU sessions (P < .05). Conclusion: Both DS-WU and PL-WU could improve dynamic balance and may be recommended as WUs in athletes with ID; however, particular caution should be exercised immediately after the PL-WU.
Kyle Matsel, Claire Davies, and Tim Uhl
Clinical Scenario: Shoulder pain is a very common symptom encountered in outpatient physical therapy practice. In addition to therapeutic exercise and manual therapy interventions, trigger point dry needling (TDN) has emerged as a possible treatment option for reducing shoulder pain and improving function. Dry needling consists of inserting a thin stainless-steel filament into a myofascial trigger point with the intention of eliciting a local twitch response of the muscle. It is theorized that this twitch response results in reduced muscle tension and can aid in reduced pain and disability. To this point, multiple studies have found TDN to be effective at reducing pain and improving function in the short-term, but the long-term outcomes remain unknown. Clinical Question: Does the addition of TDN to an exercise program result in better long-term pain intensity and disability reduction in patients with shoulder pain? Summary of Findings: Improvement in long-term pain and function can be expected regardless of the addition of TDN to an evidence-based exercise program for patients with shoulder pain. Clinical Bottom Line: Either TDN or an evidence-based therapeutic exercise program elicits improved long-term pain and disability reduction in patients with shoulder pain, which suggests that clinicians can confidently use either approach with their patients. Strength of Recommendation: Strong evidence (level 2 evidence with PEDro scores >8/10) suggesting that TDN does not outperform therapeutic exercise regarding long-term pain reduction.
Barbara Baker, Eric Koch, Kevin Vicari, and Kyle Walenta
Introduction: Sports-related concussions (SRCs) have received attention due to their prevalence in youth. An SRC results from a strong force causing neurological impairment. Recent research has recommended rehabilitation within the first week post-SRC after 24 to 48 hours of rest. The postacute phase is defined as 48 hours to 7 days post-SRC. It is imperative to evaluate the most effective mode and intensity of physical activity to reduce symptoms and improve outcomes. Methods: CINAHL, PubMed, SPORTDiscus, and Web of Science databases were used to search the terms “brain concussion” AND “exercise” and variations of these terms. The evidence level for each study was evaluated using the 2011 Oxford Center for Evidence-Based Medicine Guide. The methodological rigor of each study was evaluated using a scale adapted from Medlicott and Harris. Results: Two thousand sixty-eight records were identified. Six studies were included in this systematic review. Three studies were classified as moderately strong. The remaining 3 studies were considered weak. Five of the studies used either a cycle ergometer or a treadmill. The sixth study used walking, cycling, and swimming, as well as sports drills. All of these modes of exercise were determined to be safe. All studies utilized low- and moderate-intensity interventions, which were found to be nondetrimental and showed improved recovery time and symptom resolution. Five of the studies also incorporated components of high-intensity exercise that was also found to be nondetrimental, and they showed a positive influence on recovery time and symptom resolution. However, all activity in each of the reviewed studies started at a low level and progressed up to a higher level only as each individual client’s symptoms permitted. Discussion: Overall, this review found that various modes of activity at light-, moderate-, and high-intensity levels are efficacious and can be safely used during the postacute phase of SRC. Conclusion: Though the volume of literature at this time is limited, therapists should consider prescribing closely monitored individualized exercise programs utilizing progressive intensities when treating patients during the postacute phase of SRC.
Matthew D. Watson, George J. Davies, and Bryan L. Riemann
Context: A recent report demonstrated moderate to strong relationships between seated single-arm shot-put (SSASP) test performance and isokinetic pushing forces at varying velocities, directly supporting the SSASP test as a reflection of multijoint upper-extremity strength. Yet, no previous work appears to have assessed whether the SSASP test is more reflective of shoulder flexion or elbow extension strength. Objective: To examine the relationship between isokinetic shoulder flexion and elbow extension strength and SSASP test performance and to compare limb symmetry indices (LSI) between the 2 tests. Design: Correlational design. Setting: Biomechanics laboratory. Patients (or Other Participants): A total of 30 healthy and physically active young adults. Intervention(s): Participants completed the SSASP test and concentric isokinetic (60°/s and 180°/s) shoulder flexion and elbow extension using their dominant and nondominant arms. Main Outcome Measures: SSASP test performance and isokinetic shoulder flexion and elbow extension peak torques as well as LSI between the 2 tests. Results: Strong relationships were observed between SSASP ranges and isokinetic peak torques at each velocity for both shoulder and elbow (r ≥ .804, P < .001). While the Bland–Altman results on the LSI only demonstrated a significant bias for the shoulder (60°/s, P = .009), limits of agreement results demonstrated extremely wide intervals (32.5%–52.1%). Conclusions: The SSASP test is a multijoint upper-extremity functional performance test that is reflective of equal shoulder flexion and elbow extension contributions; however, there was large variability regarding the agreement between the SSASP LSI and isokinetic shoulder and elbow strength LSI.
Bethany L. Anderson, Rod A. Harter, and James L. Farnsworth II
Clinical Scenario: Dynamic stretching and foam rolling are commonly used by athletes to reduce injury and enhance recovery, thereby improving athletic performance. In contrast to dynamic stretching, little research has been conducted on the acute effects of foam rolling as part of the preexercise warm-up routine. Previously, when researchers implemented foam rolling with static stretching as a warm-up, some found that foam rolling slightly improved flexibility and performance outcomes. More recent research has shown that dynamic stretching is favorable to static stretching when used as a warm-up strategy. Therefore, adding foam rolling to dynamic stretching is hypothesized to create more significant improvements in flexibility and performance compared with adding foam rolling to static stretching. Focused Clinical Question: In active individuals, does foam rolling in addition to dynamic stretching lead to enhanced performance compared with dynamic stretching alone? Summary of Key Findings: Four randomized controlled trials were included. Two studies concluded that the addition of foam rolling to dynamic stretching increased vertical jump height more than dynamic stretching alone, while 2 studies found no difference between these treatment groups. Two studies concluded that the addition of foam rolling increased agility performance compared with dynamic stretching alone, while one study found no difference between treatment groups and one study did not measure agility. All 4 studies reviewed concluded that foam rolling did not improve flexibility more than dynamic stretching alone. Clinical Bottom Line: Foam rolling in conjunction with dynamic stretching may further improve an athlete’s agility and power output; however, little improvement has been observed with foam rolling in regard to athlete flexibility when compared with completing dynamic stretching programs alone. Strength of Recommendation: Inconsistent findings from 4 randomized controlled trials suggest there is Grade C evidence to support the inclusion of foam rolling in a dynamic warm-up.
Paige Guild, Monica R. Lininger, and Meghan Warren
Clinical Scenario: Female college student-athletes (SA) often experience time loss from musculoskeletal injuries to the lower extremities. This can lead to lengthy rehabilitation, expensive medical bills, and declines in health-related quality of life. Identifying at-risk athletes prior to the start of an athletic season may allow coaches or athletic trainers to prescribe an injury prevention program. Clinical Question: In female college SA, are preseason single leg hop (SLH) scores associated with identifying those at risk for lower-extremity musculoskeletal injuries? Summary of Key Findings: Five prospective cohort studies in female SA scored athletes on the SLH prior to the start of the athletic sport season. One of 5 studies found an association of SLH with injury risk. An additional 2 studies found that the SLH as part of a battery of functional performance tests was associated with injury risk in some anatomic locations (eg, thigh/knee), but not overall injury risk. Clinical Bottom Line: Methodological limitations of the reviewed studies limits a final conclusion, and there is insufficient evidence to determine if the SLH should be used as a sole functional performance test to identify at-risk female SA; it may be useful as part of a battery of functional performance tests for female college SA. Strength of Recommendation: All studies were prospective cohort studies (level 3).
Ke’La Porter, Carolina Quintana, and Matthew Hoch
Clinical Scenario: Neurocognitive performance may put individuals at a greater risk for lower-extremity musculoskeletal injuries. Research has observed the relationship between lower-extremity musculoskeletal injury and baseline neurocognitive performance; however, the understanding of this relationship is lacking. Exploring this relationship may give further insight into musculoskeletal injury and provide innovative directions for musculoskeletal injury prevention. Clinical Question: Is there a relationship between neurocognitive performance and lower-extremity biomechanics during a jumping or cutting task in healthy adult athletes? Summary of Key Findings: The literature was searched for articles that examined the relationship of a baseline neurocognitive test and a biomechanical analysis following a sports-related task. A total of 3 cross-sectional articles were included. All 3 studies concluded that poorer neurocognitive performance was associated with biomechanical faults that are linked to increased risk or rate of lower-extremity musculoskeletal injury. Clinical Bottom Line: Based on the evidence included, there is a moderate-level evidence to support the relationship between neurocognition and lower-extremity biomechanics in healthy adult athletes. Strength of Recommendation: In accordance with the van Tulder approach, there is a moderate level of evidence due to consistent findings from a combination of high- and limited-quality articles.
Kellie C. Huxel Bliven
Amanda L. Ager, Dorien Borms, Magali Bernaert, Vicky Brusselle, Mazarine Claessens, Jean-Sébastien Roy, and Ann Cools
Context: Proprioception deficits contribute to persistent and recurring physical disability, particularly with shoulder disorders. Proprioceptive training is thus prescribed in clinical practice. It is unclear whether nonsurgical rehabilitation can optimize shoulder proprioception. Objectives: To summarize the available evidence of conservative rehabilitation (ie, nonsurgical) on proprioception among individuals with shoulder disorders. Evidence Acquisition: PubMed, Web of Science, and EBSCO were systematically searched, from inception until November 24, 2019. Selected articles were systematically assessed, and the methodological quality was established using the Dutch Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool and the Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines were utilized for this review. The conservative treatments were categorized as follows: (1) conventional therapy, (2) proprioceptive training, (3) elastic kinesiology tape, and (4) other passive therapies. Evidence Synthesis: Twelve articles were included, yielding 58 healthy control shoulders and 362 shoulders affected by impingement syndrome, glenohumeral dislocations, nonspecific shoulder pain, rotator cuff dysfunction, or subluxation poststroke. The level of agreement between the evaluators was excellent (84.9%), and the studies were evaluated to be of fair to excellent quality (risk of bias: 28.5%–100%). This review suggests, with moderate evidence, that proprioceptive training (upper-body wobble board or flexible foil training) can improve proprioception in the midterm. No decisive evidence exists to suggest that conventional therapy is of added value to enhance shoulder proprioception. Conflicting evidence was found for the improvement of proprioception with the application of elastic kinesiology tape, while moderate evidence suggests that passive modalities, such as microcurrent electrical stimulation and bracing, are not effective for proprioceptive rehabilitation of the shoulder. Conclusions: Proprioceptive training demonstrates the strongest evidence for the effective rehabilitation of individuals with a shoulder proprioceptive deficit. Elastic kinesiology tape does not appear to affect the sense of shoulder proprioception. This review suggests a possible specificity of training effect with shoulder proprioception.