Ashley L. Santo, Melissa L. Race, and Elizabeth F. Teel
Context: Convergence dysfunction following concussion is common. Near point of convergence (NPC) is a quick and easy assessment that may detect oculomotor dysfunction such as convergence insufficiency (CI), but NPC measurements are rarely reported. Convergence dysfunction is treatable in otherwise healthy patients; the effectiveness of oculomotor therapy following concussion is unclear. Objectives: The purpose of this article was to systematically review the literature and answer the following clinical questions: (1) Is performance on NPC negatively affected in patients diagnosed with a concussion compared with pre-injury levels or healthy controls? (2) In patients diagnosed with concussion, what is the effect of oculomotor/vision therapy on NPC break measurements? Evidence Acquisition: The search was conducted in CINAHL, SPORTDiscus, MEDLINE, and PubMed using terms related to concussion, mild traumatic brain injury, convergence, vision, and rehabilitation. Literature considered for review included original research publications that collected measures of NPC break in concussion patients, with a pretest–posttest comparison or comparison with a healthy control group. A literature review was completed; 242 relevant articles were reviewed, with 18 articles meeting criteria for inclusion in the review. Evidence Synthesis: Articles were categorized according to the clinical question they addressed. The patient or participant sample (number, sex, age, and health status), study design, instrumentation, or intervention used, and main results were extracted from each article. Conclusions: The authors' main findings suggest that there is a moderate level of evidence that patients have impaired NPC up to several months postconcussion, and a low level of evidence that impairments can be successfully treated with oculomotor therapy. These findings should be cautiously evaluated; the studies are limited by weak/moderate quality, small sample sizes, varied methodology, and nonrandomized treatment groups. Future research should explore factors affecting convergence postconcussion and include randomized, controlled studies to determine if performing vision therapy improves visual measures and promotes recovery.
Kailin C. Parker, Rachel R. Shelton, and Rebecca M. Lopez
Clinical Scenario: In the last few years, there have been several studies examining alternative cooling strategies in the treatment of exertional heat stroke (EHS). Morbidity and mortality with EHS are associated with how long the patient’s core body temperature remains above the critical threshold of 40.5°C. Although cold-water immersion (CWI) is the gold standard of treatment when cooling a patient with EHS, more recent alternative cooling techniques have been examined for use in settings where CWI may not be feasible (ie, remote locations). Clinical Question: Do alternative cooling methods have effective core body temperature cooling rates for hyperthermia compared with previously established CWI cooling rates? Summary of Key Findings: The authors searched for studies using alternative cooling methods to cool hyperthermic individuals. To be included, the studies needed a PEDro score ≥6 and a level of evidence ≥2. They found 9 studies related to our focused clinical question; of these, 5 studies met the inclusion criteria. The cooling rates for hand cooling, cold-water shower, and ice-sheet cooling were 0.03°C/min, 0.08°C/min, and 0.06°C/min, respectively, whereas the tarp-assisted cooling with oscillation (TACO) method was the only method that had an acceptable cooling rate (range 0.14–0.17°C/min). Clinical Bottom Line: When treating EHS, if CWI is not available, the tarp-assisted cooling method may be a reasonable alternative. Clinicians should not use cold shower, hand cooling, or ice-sheet cooling if better cooling methods are available. Clinicians should always use CWI when available. Strength of Recommendation: Five level 2 studies with PEDro scores ≥6 suggest the TACO method is the only alternative cooling method that decreases core body temperature at a similar, though slower, rate of CWI. Hand cooling, cold showering, and ice-sheet cooling do not decrease core body temperature at an appropriate rate and should not be used in EHS situations if a modality with a better cooling rate is available.
Nicholas Hattrup, Hannah Gray, Mark Krumholtz, and Tamara C. Valovich McLeod
Clinical Scenario: Recent systematic reviews have shown that extended rest may not be beneficial to patients following concussion. Furthermore, recent evidence has shown that patient with postconcussion syndrome benefit from an active rehabilitation program. There is currently a gap between the ability to draw conclusions to the use of aerobic exercise during the early stages of recovery along with the safety of these programs. Clinical Question: Following a concussion, does early controlled aerobic exercise, compared with either usual care or delayed exercise, improve recovery as defined by symptom duration and severity? Summary of Key Findings: After a thorough literature search, 5 studies relevant to the clinical question were selected. Of the 5 studies, 1 study was a randomized control trial, 2 studies were pilot randomized controlled trials, and 2 studies were retrospective. All 5 studies showed that implementing controlled aerobic exercise did not have an adverse effect on recovery. One study showed early aerobic exercise had a quicker return to school, and another showed a 2-day decrease in symptom duration. Clinical Bottom Line: There is sufficient evidence to suggest that early controlled aerobic exercise is safe following a concussion. Although early aerobic exercise may not always result in a decrease in symptom intensity and duration, it may help to improve the psychological state resulting from the social isolation of missing practices and school along with the cessation of exercise. Although treatments continue to be a major area of research following concussion, management should still consist of an interdisciplinary approach to individualized patient care. Strength of Recommendation: There is grade B evidence to support early controlled aerobic exercise may reduce the duration of symptoms following recovery while having little to no adverse events.
Kimmery Migel and Erik Wikstrom
Clinical Scenario: Approximately 30% of all first-time patients with LAS develop chronic ankle instability (CAI). CAI-associated impairments are thought to contribute to aberrant gait biomechanics, which increase the risk of subsequent ankle sprains and the development of posttraumatic osteoarthritis. Alternative modalities should be considered to improve gait biomechanics as impairment-based rehabilitation does not impact gait. Taping and bracing have been shown to reduce the risk of recurrent ankle sprains; however, their effects on CAI-associated gait biomechanics remain unknown. Clinical Question: Do ankle taping and bracing modify gait biomechanics in those with CAI? Summary of Key Findings: Three case-control studies assessed taping and bracing applications including kinesiotape, athletic tape, a flexible brace, and a semirigid brace. Kinesiotape decreased excessive inversion in early stance, whereas athletic taping decreased excessive inversion and plantar flexion in the swing phase and limited tibial external rotation in terminal stance. The flexible and semirigid brace increased dorsiflexion range of motion, and the semirigid brace limited plantar flexion range of motion at toe-off. Clinical Bottom Line: Taping and bracing acutely alter gait biomechanics in those with CAI. Strength of Recommendation: There is limited quality evidence (grade B) that taping and bracing can immediately alter gait biomechanics in patients with CAI.
Mohammadreza Pourahmadi, Hamid Hesarikia, Ali Ghanjal, and Alireza Shamsoddini
Context: Advent of smartphones has brought a wide range of clinical measurement applications (apps) within the reach of most clinicians. The vast majority of smartphones have numerous built-in sensors such as magnetometers, accelerometers, and gyroscopes that make the phone capable of measuring joint range of motion (ROM) and detecting joint positions. The iHandy Level app is a free app which has a visual display alike with the digital inclinometer in regard to numeric size. Objective: The purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate available evidence in the literature to assess the psychometric properties (ie, reliability and validity) of the iHandy Level app in measuring lumbar spine ROM and lordosis. Methods: PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Ovid, Google Scholar, and ScienceDirect were searched from inception to September 2018 for single-group repeated-measures studies reporting outcomes of lumbar spine ROM or lordosis in adult individuals without symptoms of low back pain (LBP) or patients with LBP. The quality of each included study was assessed using the Quality Appraisal of Reliability Studies checklist. Results: A total of 4 studies with 273 participants were included. Two studies focused on measuring active lumbar spine ROM, and 2 studies evaluated lumbar spine lordosis. Three studies included asymptomatic subjects, and one study recruited patients with LBP. The results showed that the iHandy Level app has sufficient psychometric properties for measuring standing thoraco-lumbo-sacral flexion, extension, lateral flexion, isolated lumbar spine flexion ROM, and lumbar spine lordosis in asymptomatic subjects. One study reported poor concurrent validity with a bubble inclinometer (r = .19–.53), poor intrarater reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient = .19–.39), and poor to good interrater reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient = .24–.72) for the measurement of active lumbar spine ROM using the iHandy Level app in patients with LBP. Conclusions: This review provided a valuable summary of the research to date examining the psychometric properties of the iHandy Level app for measuring lumbar spine ROM and lordosis.
Scott W. Cheatham and Russell Baker
Context: Floss bands are a popular intervention used by sports medicine professionals to enhance myofascial function and mobility. The bands are often wrapped around a region of the body in an overlapping fashion (eg, 50%) and then tensioned by stretching the band to a desired length (eg, 50%). To date, no research has investigated the stretch force of the bands at different elongation lengths. Objective: The purpose of this clinical study was to quantify the Rockfloss® band stretch force at 6 different elongation lengths (ie, 25%–150%) for the 5.08- and 10.16-cm width bands. Design: Controlled laboratory study. Setting: University kinesiology laboratory. Participants: One trained researcher conducted all measurements. Procedures: The stretch force of a floss band was measured at 6 different elongation lengths with a force gauge. Main Outcome Measures: Band tension force at different band elongation lengths. Results: The stretch force values for the 5.08-cm width (2 in) were as follows: 25% = 13.53 (0.25) N, 50% = 24.57 (0.28) N, 75% = 36.18 (0.39) N, 100% = 45.89 (0.62) N, 125% = 54.68 (0.26) N, and 150% = 62.54 (0.40) N. The stretch force values for the 10.16-cm width (4 in) were as follows: 25% = 16.70 (0.35) N, 50% = 31.90 (0.52) N, 75% = 47.45 (0.44) N, 100% = 57.75 (0.24) N, 125% = 69.02 (0.28) N, and 150% = 81.10 (0.67) N. Both bandwidths demonstrated a linear increase in stretch force as the bands became longer. Conclusion: These values may help professionals to understand and document the tension force being applied at different lengths to produce a more beneficial application during treatment. Future research should determine how the different length/tensions effect the local myofascia, arterial, and vascular systems.
Donald F. Kessler
Gemma N. Parry, Lee C. Herrington, and Ian G. Horsley
Context: Muscular power output of the upper limb is a key aspect of athletic and sporting performance. Maximal power describes the ability to immediately produce power with maximal velocity at the point of release, impact, or takeoff, with research highlighting that the greater an athlete’s ability to produce maximal power, the greater the improvement in athletic performance. Despite the importance of upper-limb power for athletic performance, there is presently no gold-standard test for upper-limb force development performance. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the test–retest reliability of force plate–derived measures of the countermovement push-up in active males. Design: Test–retest design. Setting: Controlled laboratory. Participants: Physically active college athletes (age 24  y, height 1.79 [0.08] m, body mass 81.7 [9.9] kg). Intervention: Subjects performed 3 repetitions of maximal effort countermovement push-up trials on Kistler force plates on 2 separate test occasions 7 days apart. Main Outcome Measures: Peak force, mean force, flight time, rate of force development, and impulse were analyzed from the force–time curve. Results: No significant differences between the 2 trial occasions were observed for any of the derived performance measures. Intraclass correlation coefficient and within-subject coefficient of variation calculations indicated performance measures to have moderate to very high reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient = .88–.98), coefficient of variation = 5.5%–14.1%). Smallest detectable difference for peak force (7.5%), mean force (8.6%), and rate of force development (11.2%) were small to moderate. Conclusion: Force platform–derived kinetic parameters of countermovement push-up are reliable measurements of power in college-level athletes.
Natalie Cook and Tamerah N. Hunt
Clinical Scenario: Concussions are severely underreported, with only 47.3% of high school athletes reporting their concussion. The belief was that athletes who were better educated on the signs and symptoms and potential dangers of concussion would be more likely to report. However, literature has shown inconsistent evidence on the efficacy of concussion education, improving reporting behaviors. Factors such as an athlete’s attitude, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control have shown promise in predicting intention to report concussions in athletes. Focused Clinical Question: Do attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control influence adolescent athletes’ intention to report? Summary of Key Findings: Three studies (1 randomized control and 2 cross-sectional surveys) were included. Across the 3 studies, attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control positively influenced athletes’ reporting intention. The studies found that attitude toward concussion reporting and perceived behavioral control were the most influential predictors of reporting intention. Clinical Bottom Line: There is moderate evidence to suggest that positive attitudes, supportive subjective norms, and increased perceived behavioral control influence reporting intention in secondary school athletes. Strength of Recommendation: Grade B evidence exists that positive attitudes, supportive subjective norms, and increased perceived behavioral control positively influence concussion reporting intention in secondary school athletes.