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Matt Hausmann, Jacob Ober and Adam S. Lepley

Clinical Scenario: Ankle sprains are the most prevalent athletic-related musculoskeletal injury treated by athletic trainers, often affecting activities of daily living and delaying return to play. Most of these cases present with pain and swelling in the ankle, resulting in decreased range of motion and strength deficits. Due to these impairments, proper treatment is necessary to avoid additional loss of play and prevent future injuries. Recently, there has been an increased use of deep oscillation therapy by clinicians to manage pain and swelling following a variety of injuries, including ankle sprains. However, very little evidence has been produced regarding the clinical effectiveness of deep oscillation therapy, limiting its application in therapeutic rehabilitation of acute lateral ankle sprains. Clinical Question: Is deep oscillation therapy effective in reducing pain and swelling in patients with acute lateral ankle sprains compared with the current standard of care protection, rest, ice, compression, and elevation? Summary of Key Findings: The literature was searched for studies of level 2 evidence or higher that investigated deep oscillation therapy on pain and inflammation in patients with lateral ankle sprains. Three randomized control trials were located and appraised. One of the 3 studies demonstrate a reduction in pain following 6 weeks of deep oscillation therapy compared with the standard of care or placebo interventions. The 2 other studies, 1 utilizing a 5-day treatment and the other a 1 time immediate application, found no differences in deep oscillation therapy compared with the standard of care. Clinical Bottom Line: There is inconclusive evidence to support the therapeutic use of deep oscillation therapy in reducing pain and swelling in patients with acute lateral ankle sprains above and beyond the current standard of care. In addition, the method of treatment application and parameters used may influence the effectiveness of deep oscillation therapy. Strength of Recommendation: Level B.

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Heidi A. Wayment, Ann H. Huffman, Monica Lininger and Patrick C. Doyle

Social network analysis (SNA) is a uniquely situated methodology to examine the social connections between players on a team, and how team structure may be related to self-reported team cohesion and perceived support for reporting concussion symptoms. Team belonging was positively associated with number of friendship ties (degree; r = .23, p < .05), intermediate ties between teammates (betweenness; r = .21, p < .05), and support from both teammates (r = .21, p < .05) and important others (r = .21, p < .05) for reporting concussion symptoms. Additionally, an SNA-derived measure of social influence, eigenvector centrality, was associated with football identity (r = .34, p < .01), and less support from important others (r = –.24, p < .05) regarding symptom reporting. Discussion focuses on why consideration of social influence dynamics may help improve concussion-related education efforts.

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Jonathan M. Williams, Michael Gara and Carol Clark

Context: Balance is important for injury prediction, prevention, and rehabilitation. Clinical measurement of higher level balance function such as hop landing is necessary. Currently, no method exists to quantify balance performance following hopping in the clinic. Objective: To quantify the sacral acceleration profile and test–retest reliability during hop landing. Participants: A total of 17 university undergraduates (age 27.6 [5.7] y, height 1.73 [0.11] m, weight 74.1 [13.9] kg). Main Outcome Measure: A trunk-mounted accelerometer captured the acceleration profile following landing from hopping forward, medially, and laterally. The path length of the acceleration traces were computed to quantify balance following landing. Results: Moderate to excellent reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient .67–.93) for hop landing was established with low to moderate SEM (4%–16%) and minimal detectable change values (13%–44%) for each of the hop directions. Significant differences were determined in balance following hop landing from the different directions. Conclusion: The results suggest that hop landing balance can be quantified by trunk-mounted accelerometry.

Open access

Damien Moore, Tania Pizzari, Jodie McClelland and Adam I. Semciw

Context: Many different rehabilitation exercises have been recommended in the literature to target the gluteus medius (GMed) muscle based mainly on single-electrode, surface electromyography (EMG) measures. With the GMed consisting of 3 structurally and functionally independent segments, there is uncertainty on whether these exercises will target the individual segments effectively. Objective: To measure individual GMed segmental activity during 6 common, lower-limb rehabilitation exercises in healthy young adults, and determine if there are significant differences between the exercises for each segment. Method: With fine-wire EMG electrodes inserted into the anterior, middle, and posterior segments of the GMed muscle, 10 healthy young adults performed 6 common, lower-limb rehabilitation exercises. Main Outcome Measures: Recorded EMG activity was normalized, then reported and compared with median activity for each of the GMed segments across the 6 exercises. Results: For the anterior GMed segment, high activity was recorded for the single-leg squat (48% maximum voluntary isometric contraction [MVIC]), the single-leg bridge (44% MVIC), and the resisted hip abduction–extension exercise (41% MVIC). No exercises recorded high activity for the middle GMed segment, but for the posterior GMed segment very high activity was recorded by the resisted hip abduction–extension exercise (69% MVIC), and high activity was generated by the single-leg squat (48% MVIC) and side-lie hip abduction (43% MVIC). For each of the GMed segments, there were significant differences (P < .05) in the median EMG activity levels between some of the exercises and the side-lie clam with large effect sizes favoring these exercises over the side-lie clam. Conclusions: Open-chain hip abduction and single-limb support exercises appear to be effective options for recruiting the individual GMed segments with selection dependent on individual requirements. However, the side-lie clam does not appear to be effective at recruiting the GMed segments, particularly the anterior and middle segments.

Open access

Victoria Fauntroy, Marcie Fyock, Jena Hansen-Honeycutt, Esther Nolton and Jatin P. Ambegaonkar

Clinical Scenario: Dancers participate in a functionally demanding activity. Athletic participation typically requires the completion of a preparticipation examination, which involves a functional movement screen offering insight into potential injury recognition. The Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) was created to measure the status of movement–pattern-related pain and dysfunction using regionally interdependent movement to aggravate symptoms and exhibit limitations and dysfunctions. Still, a functional assessment has not been identified to recognize potential dysfunctions or limitations in this population. Clinical Question: Does the use of the SFMA improve overall evaluation of dancers by providing more information on a dancer’s overall functional ability and limitations? Summary of Key Findings: The literature search discovered 12 studies and 3 books in which 4 studies were included (2 case reviews, 1 case report, and 1 original research study) based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Three of the studies provided clinical case studies utilizing the SFMA to improve the patient’s dysfunctions, whereas 1 study examined the intrarater and interrater reliability of the SFMA. In 3 studies, participants displayed less movement dysfunction. The authors from 3 of the studies agreed the SFMA was a valuable tool for clinicians to use during evaluations, as it provided a more holistic view of the patient, discovering dysfunctional movement patterns that may better identify the source of injury. Clinical Bottom Line: Low-quality evidence, defined as poorly designed case studies, case series, and cohort studies, exist that supports improvement of overall evaluations when utilizing the SFMA. Although the studies were considered low-quality evidence, each included study displayed an effective use of the SFMA as an overall evaluation that correctly identified dysfunctional movement patterns. Strength of Recommendation: Grade C evidence exists that the SFMA contributes to the functional evaluation used in dancers.

Open access

Bradley J. Conant, Nicole A. German and Shannon L. David

Clinical Scenario: Rates of ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) injuries continue to rise in overhead athletes of all ages. Surgical interventions require minimally 6 months and up to 2 years of rehabilitation. Younger athletes and those with partial tears have seen positive results with conservative treatment approaches. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) continues to be studied with various orthopedic injuries, and its use has the potential to improve return-to-sport rates and reduce recovery time. Focused Clinical Question: Do PRP injections improve conservative treatment outcomes in overhead athletes with partial tears of the UCL compared with conservative treatment alone regarding return to participation? Summary of Search, Best Evidence Appraised, and Key Findings: A literature search was performed to locate all studies investigating outcomes when PRP is included in a conservative treatment program for overhead athletes with partial UCL tears. Three case series qualified and were reviewed. Clinical Bottom Line: Current evidence suggests that including PRP in a conservative treatment program can improve outcomes in overhead athletes with partial UCL tears. Athletes whose treatment included PRP show higher return-to-competition rates and shorter recovery times compared with athletes who used rehabilitation alone. Athletes with grade-1 and proximal-based grade-2 injuries returned to competition at rates comparable with athletes undergoing surgical intervention. For optimal conservative management outcomes, PRP injections should be recommended for treatment of partial UCL tears. Strength of Recommendation: The studies qualifying for inclusion are level 4 evidence based on the 2011 Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine levels of evidence. The studies are well designed and show consistent results, but higher level studies need to demonstrate similar results to improve the body of evidence. The strength of recommendation is C.

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Kevin Laudner and Kyle Thorson

Context: Tightness of the pectoralis minor is a common characteristic that has been associated with aberrant posture and shoulder pathology. Determining conservative treatment techniques for maintaining and lengthening this muscle is critical. Although some gross stretching techniques have been proven effective, there are currently no empirical data regarding the effectiveness of self-myofascial release for treating tightness of this muscle. Objective: To determine the acute effectiveness of a self-myofascial release with movement technique of the pectoralis minor for improving shoulder motion and posture among asymptomatic individuals. Design: Randomized controlled trial. Setting: Orthopedic rehabilitation clinic. Participants: A total of 21 physically active, college-aged individuals without shoulder pain volunteered to participate in this study. Main Outcome Measures: Glenohumeral internal rotation, external rotation, and flexion range of motion (ROM), pectoralis minor length, and forward scapular posture were measured in all participants. The intervention group received one application of a self-soft-tissue mobilization of the pectoralis minor with movement. The placebo group completed the same motions as the intervention group, but with minimal pressure applied to the xiphoid process. Separate analyses of covariance were used to determine differences between groups (P < .05). Results: Separate analyses of covariance showed that the self-mobilization group had significantly more flexion ROM, pectoralis minor length, and less forward scapular posture posttest than the placebo group. However, the difference in forward scapular posture may not be clinically significant. No differences were found between groups for external or internal rotation ROM. Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that an acute self-myofascial release with movement is effective for improving glenohumeral flexion ROM and pectoralis minor length, and may assist with forward scapular posture. Clinicians should consider this self-mobilization in the prevention and rehabilitation of pathologies associated with shortness of the pectoralis minor.

Open access

Connor Burk, Jesse Perry, Sam Lis, Steve Dischiavi and Chris Bleakley

Context: Anatomical and in vivo studies suggest that muscles function synergistically as part of a myofascial chain. A related theory is that certain myofascial techniques have a remote and clinically important effect on range of motion (ROM). Objective: To determine if remote myofascial techniques can effectively increase the range of motion at a distant body segment. Evidence Acquisition: In November 2018, the authors searched 3 electronic databases (CENTRAL, MEDLINE, and PEDro) and hand-searched journals and conference proceedings. Inclusion criteria were randomized controlled trials comparing remote myofascial techniques with passive intervention (rest/sham) or local treatment intervention. The primary outcome of interest was ROM. Quality assessment was performed using the PEDro Scale. Three authors independently evaluated study quality and extracted data. RevMan software was used to pool data using a fixed-effect model. Evidence Synthesis: Eight randomized controlled trials, comprising N = 354 participants were included (mean age range 22–36 y; 50% female). Study quality was low with PEDro scores ranging from 2 to 7 (median scores 4.5/10). None of the studies incorporated adequate allocation concealment and just 2 used blinded assessment of outcomes. In all studies, treatments and outcomes were developed around the same myofascial chain (superficial back line). Five studies included comparisons between remote interventions to sham or inactive controls; pooled results for ROM showed trends in favor of remote interventions (standard mean difference 0.23; 95% confidence intervals; −0.09 to 0.55; 4 studies) at immediate follow-ups. Effects sizes were small, corresponding to mean differences of 9% or 5° in cervical spine ROM, and 1 to 3 cm in sit and reach distance. Four studies compared remote interventions to local treatments, but there were few differences between groups. Conclusions: Remote exercise interventions may increase ROM at distant body segments. However, effect sizes are small and the current evidence base is limited by selection and measurement bias.

Open access

Hiroshi Takasaki, Yu Okubo and Shun Okuyama

Context: Accurate joint position sense (JPS) is necessary for effective motor learning and high performance in activities that require fine motor control. Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) can be a promising intervention. Objective: To examine existing peer-reviewed original studies that have investigated the effect of PNF techniques on the JPS in terms of the methodological quality, PNF techniques, outcomes, and participant characteristics. Evidence Acquisition: A systematic literature search was performed using PubMed, EMBASE, MEDLINE, CINAHL, SocINDEX, Scopus, and Cochrane Library from inception to January 2018. The following inclusion criteria were used: (1) assessment of the JPS; (2) peer-reviewed original studies with a randomized controlled trial or quasi-randomized controlled trial design; (3) participants with musculoskeletal disorders or healthy individuals (ie, neither animal studies nor those involving neurological problems); and (4) no cointervention with PNF, except for warm-up procedures. The methodological quality was assessed using PEDro scale and 5 additional criteria. Effect size (η 2) was calculated where a positive value indicated an increased JPS after PNF as compared with other approaches including the wait-and-see method. Evidence Synthesis: Nine studies were examined for their methodological quality, and only one study scored >6 on the PEDro scale. Positive and large effect size (η 2 > .14) was detected in 2 studies where JPS of the knee with contract-relax and replication techniques was assessed in healthy individuals. However, the methodological quality of these studies was poor (PEDro scores of 3 and ≤5 in the total quality score out of 16, respectively). Conclusions: The current study did not find multiple studies with high methodological quality and similar PNF techniques, outcomes, and characteristics of participants. More high-quality studies are required to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the effect of PNF on the JPS.

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Berkiye Kirmizigil, Jeffry Roy Chauchat, Omer Yalciner, Gozde Iyigun, Ender Angin and Gul Baltaci

Context: Kinesio taping (KT) is a popular taping technique used in the recovery process; however, in the relevant literature, there is no real consensus on its efficacy. Objective: To investigate whether rectus femoris KT application after delayed onset muscle soreness enhances recovery of muscle soreness, edema, and physical performance. Participants: A total of 22 healthy amateur male athletes participated in this study. Design: Randomized, crossover study. Setting: Human performance laboratory of the university. Interventions: Participants performed an exercise protocol inducing delayed onset muscle soreness. They accomplished 2 distinct trials, with or without KT. The washout period between trials was 6 weeks. For the KT condition, KT inhibition technique was used and applied immediately after exercise bilaterally on rectus femoris. Main Outcome Measures: Range of motion, muscle soreness, and edema were measured at baseline, 30 minutes, 24, 48, and 72 hours postexercise. Dynamic balance, sprint, and horizontal jump were evaluated at similar time frame except for 30-minute postexercise. Results: The findings showed that there were no significant differences between the KT group (KTG) and control group for all outcome variables (P > .05). Muscle soreness returned to baseline values 72 hours postexercise only within the KTG (P > .05). Although the horizontal jump performance decreased substantially from baseline to 24 and 48 hours postexercise only within the control group (P < .05), the performance increased significantly from 24 to 72 hours postexercise within the KTG (P < .05). Balance increased significantly from baseline to 48 hours postexercise (P < .05) in both groups. Balance also increased significantly from baseline to 72 hours postexercise only within the KTG (P < .05). The effect size of soreness which is our primary outcome was large in both groups (r > .5). Conclusions: KT is favorable in the recovery of muscle soreness after delayed onset muscle soreness. KT has beneficial effects on horizontal jump performance and dynamic balance.