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Treating Dystonia in a Soccer Player Through an Integrated Rehabilitative Approach: A Case Report

Valeria Giorgi, Giovanni Apostolo, and Laura Bertelè

Context: Sport-related dystonia is a rare form of activity-specific dystonia that can severely impair an athlete’s ability to perform. Due to a lack of data on the condition, it is difficult to diagnose and often overlooked, and no gold standard treatment has yet been defined. Case Presentation: We present a rare and challenging case of sport-related dystonia that affected a 24-year-old male professional soccer player. The patient presented with severe rigidity and dystonia of the right lower-extremity, particularly the ankle and foot. The symptoms set on >1 year prior to the presentation to our outpatient clinic. He began to complain of stiffness and difficulty moving his lower limbs, especially his right leg, initially when playing soccer, but then also when walking normally. On presentation, he was unable to run and walked with difficulty, supporting his body weight only on the outside of his right foot. He also reported a motor trick and reverse motor trick involving the oral musculature in order to move his lower limb more freely. Management and Outcomes: An integrated rehabilitation approach based on postural rehabilitation, neuromuscular rehabilitation, and dental intervention was used to successfully treat this condition. The approach included: (1) postural rehabilitation with the Mézières-Bertelè method to reduce muscular stiffness, (2) neuromuscular re-education with Tai Chi exercises and electromyography-guided biofeedback, and (3) dental intervention and swallowing rehabilitation to limit impaired oral habits (due to the relationship between his impaired lower limb movements and motor tricks of the oral musculature). After 7 months of integrated rehabilitation, the patient returned to professional soccer. Conclusions: This case report highlights the potential efficacy of an integrative rehabilitation approach for sports dystonia, particularly in cases where traditional treatments may not be effective. Such an approach could be considered a valuable option in the management of this rare, but debilitating, condition in athletes. Further research is needed to assess the effectiveness of this approach in larger populations.

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Effective Stretching Positions of the Piriformis Muscle Evaluated Using Shear Wave Elastography

Hikari Itsuda, Masahide Yagi, Ko Yanase, Jun Umehara, Hiyu Mukai, and Noriaki Ichihashi

Context: Piriformis syndrome is often associated with muscle spasms and shortening of the piriformis muscle (PM). Physical therapy, including static stretching of the PM, is one of the treatments for this syndrome. However, the effective stretching position of the PM is unclear in vivo. This study aimed to determine the effective stretching positions of the PM using ultrasonic shear wave elastography. Design: Observational study. Methods: Twenty-one healthy young men (22.7 [2.4] y) participated in this study. The shear elastic modulus of the PM was measured at 12 stretching positions using shear wave elastography. Three of the 12 positions were tested with maximum internal rotation at 0°, 20°, or 40° hip adduction in 90° hip flexion. Nine of the 12 positions were tested with maximum external rotation at positions combined with 3 hip-flexion angles (70°, 90°, and 110°) and 3 hip-adduction angles (0°, 20°, and 40°). Results: The shear elastic modulus of the PM was significantly higher in the order of 40°, 20°, and 0° of adduction and higher in external rotation than in internal rotation. The shear elastic modulus of the PM was significantly greater in combined 110° hip flexion and 40° adduction with maximum external rotation than in all other positions. Conclusion: This study revealed that the position in which the PM was most stretched was maximum external rotation with 110° hip flexion and 40° hip adduction.

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Preoperative Rehabilitation Enhances Mental and Physical Well-Being in Anterior Cruciate Ligament-Injured Individuals: A Mixed Methods Study

Antoine Frouin, Nina Desfontaines, Lilian Lacourpaille, Antoine Nordez, and Guillaume Le Sant

Context: Rehabilitation after an anterior cruciate ligament injury is recommended to be started soon after the injury. When surgery is required, research supports the delivery of physiotherapy before anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (prehabilitation) to optimize recovery and positive outcomes. Individuals attending prehabilitation have never been questioned regarding their adherence to prehabilitation, perception of utility in meeting needs, upcoming events, or anticipated recovery goals. Design: Mixed methods cross-sectional study: Methods: 25 individuals before anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (43% of eligible individuals from 12 clinics during the delivery period) were surveyed on their mindset and recovery expectancies. Semistructured interviews conducted in 9 of 25 participants assessed their lived experience of prehabilitation. Results: Participants reported that preventing a reinjury (96% of responses) and feeling confident during daily activities about their knee (92%) were the higher rating expectations at this stage of their treatment course. Three themes were developed from the interviews and analyses. (1) Participants reported that prehabilitation was a period full of challenges with memories of the injury and uncertainties. (2) They viewed prehabilitation as a step to move forward by finding support and self-motivating. (3) They believed that prehabilitation would have positive impacts on the treatment outcomes. Participants were confident that prehabilitation would accelerate the recovery of muscle volume (88%) and strength (84%). Conclusion: Participants had positive experiences of prehabilitation, aligning with the findings on functional outcomes in the existing literature on prehabilitation.

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Kinesiotaping Is Not Better Than a Placebo: Kinesiotaping for Postural Control in Anterior Cruciate Ligament-Reconstructed Patients—A Randomized Controlled Trial

Salman Nazary-Moghadam, Zahra Abbasi, Reyhaneh Sekandari, Amin Razi, Afsaneh Zeinalzadeh, Somayyeh Rostami, and Mohammad Hossein Khabbaz Kababi

Objective: The primary aim of this study was to investigate the immediate and delayed effects of kinesiotape (KT) on postural control and patient-reported outcome measures under challenging conditions in individuals with anterior cruciate ligament reconstructions. Methods: Thirty-two anterior cruciate ligament-reconstructed patients for whom 6 months had passed since their operation were randomly assigned to either the KT (n = 16, aged 21.8 [5.5] y) or the placebo KT (n = 16, aged 24.0 [5.1] y) groups. Initially, both groups stood barefoot on a force platform while performing postural tasks in 4 randomized conditions (eyes open, eyes closed, cognitive task, and foam). Before the experiment, patients would bring the 4 conditions, which were written on folded papers, one by one, and in this way, the order of conditions for the examiners was determined. The patients’ evaluations were conducted immediately and 48 hours after KT application. Postural control measures, with area and displacement of the center of pressure (CoP) in anterior–posterior and medial–lateral directions, and mean total velocity displacement of CoP (MVELO CoP) served as dependent variables. In addition, the International Knee Documentation Committee score was measured pretreatment and 48 hours posttreatment. Results: Significant group-by-time interactions were observed for displacement of COP in medial–lateral direction (P = .002) and MVELO CoP (P = .034). MVELO CoP significantly decreased (mean difference = 0.60, P = .009) immediately after KT application compared with preapplication measures. In the placebo group, a statistically significant decrease in MVELO CoP (mean difference = 0.869, P = .001) was observed at 48 hours post-KT compared with preapplication values. International Knee Documentation Committee scores significantly improved at 48 hours post-KT application in both groups (P < .05). Conclusions: Though observed at different time points, both KT (immediately after the intervention) and placebo KT (48 h after the intervention) were found to improve postural control measures. It appears that the changes in postural control may be more related to proprioceptive enhancement due to KT rather than the specific KT pattern.

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Treating Lateral Epicondylopathy With Dry Needling and Exercise: A Case Series

Brian V. Hortz and Sue Falsone

Context: Lateral epicondylopathy (LE) is a common overuse injury affecting elbow, wrist, and hand function. It is characterized by weakness and pain in the muscles and tendons of the forearm responsible for the extension of your wrist and fingers. Trigger point dry needling is a technique reported to be beneficial in managing pain and dysfunction after LE diagnosis. LE is also commonly treated with conservative treatment, such as joint and soft tissue mobilization, self-care home programs, and anti-inflammatory use. We explored a different dry needling approach consisting of in situ dry needling with electric stimulation combined with targeted therapeutic exercise to treat LE in 3 cases. Case Presentation: Three patients were referred for dry needling once a week for 6 weeks and home-based exercise therapy for LE. They were clinically evaluated using grip strength, a visual analog scale to assess pain, and Patient-Rated Tennis Elbow Evaluation Test scores. These were measured at 4 time points (weeks 0, 2, 4, and 6). Management and Outcomes: The dry needling intervention incorporated 8 locations in the upper-extremity with 2 electric stimulation channels. The patients had reduced pain as measured by a visual analog scale, increased function as measured by the Patient-Rated Tennis Elbow Evaluation Test, and increased grip strength over 6 weeks. Conclusions: This case series illustrates the use of dry needling and a home exercise program to provide a favorable outcome in a patient with LE. Patients had an 80% to 100% reduction in pain and similar improvements in function that were significantly beyond the minimum clinically important difference. This dry needling approach is a safe and effective treatment of LE in the short term.

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Impact of Prolonged Sport Stoppage on Knee Injuries in High School Athletes: An Ecological Study

Hannah Knapic, Ellen Shanley, Charles A. Thigpen, Albert Prats-Uribe, Cynthia D. Fair, and Garrett S. Bullock

Context: In March 2020, public health concerns resulted in school closure throughout the United States. The prolonged sport cessation may affect knee injury risk in high school athletes. The purpose of this study was to describe and compare risk of knee injuries in high school athletes during 2019–2020 and 2020–2021 academic years, and stratify by gender, severity, mechanism of injury, injury type, and knee anatomic region. Design: Historical–prospective cohort study. Methods: This historical–prospective cohort study included 176 schools in 6 states matched by sport participation in control and COVID years from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2021. Injury rates per 1000 athletes per year were calculated with 95% confidence intervals. A negative binomial regression was performed to assess potential differences in knee injuries between academic years. Results: 94,847 and 72,521 high school athletes participated in the 2019–2020 (19–20) and 2020–2021 (20–21) seasons. Knee injury risk was higher in the 20–21 season (19–20: 28.89% [27.82–29.96]; 20–21: 33.82% [32.50–35.14]). Risk increased for male athletes from 2019–2020 to 2020–2021 (19–20: 29.42% [28.01–30.83]; 20–21: 40.32% [38.89–41.75]). Female knee injury risk was similar between years (19–20: 25.78% [24.29–27.27]; 20–21: 26.03% [24.31–27.75]). Knee injuries increased by a ratio of 1.2 ([95% CI, 1.1–1.3], P < .001) during 2020–2021. Conclusions: Knee injury risk and relative risk increased among males in 2020–2021. Results indicate changes in knee injury risk following return from COVID shelter in place among high school athletes and implicate potential negative downstream effects of interrupted sports training and participation on high school injury risk.

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The Efficiency of Respiratory Exercises in Rehabilitation of Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Haiting Zhai, Liqing Zhang, JiXiang Xia, and Cheng Li

Background: Low back pain (LBP) is a common musculoskeletal disorder, and respiratory exercise is considered a nonsurgical management method. Therefore, this systematic review and meta-analysis aims to estimate the results of randomized controlled trials on the effect of respiratory training in reducing LBP and its dose relationship. Methods: The present study was conducted from January 2020 to January 2022, following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines (2020). Relevant studies were searched in multiple databases including PubMed, Web of Science, the Cochrane Library, EBSCO, Scopus, ScienceDirect, Wan Fang and China Knowledge Network, ClinicalTrials.gov, and Google Scholar, using a combination of MeSH/Emtree terms and free-text words. The heterogeneity of the studies was assessed using the I 2 statistic. Results: A total of 14 publications were included in the meta-analysis, with a total sample size of 698 individuals, aged 60–80 years. Respiratory exercise was effective in relieving LBP (standardized mean difference = −0.87, P < .00001) and improving physical disability (standardized mean difference = −0.79, P < .00001). The type of breathing and the total duration of breathing exercises were found to be the source of heterogeneity in this study by subgroup analysis. Subgroup analysis revealed that the most significant effect sizes of breathing resistance exercise to reduce LBP and the most significant effect sizes of breathing relaxation techniques to alleviate physical disability were performed 3 to 5 times per week and period >4 weeks. Respiratory exercise reducing LBP and improving functional disability was most effective when the total duration of the intervention was >500 minutes. Funnel plots showed that the results of the 2 overall studies were reliable without publication bias. Conclusions: Respiratory exercise can effectively reduce LBP and improve physical disability. Therefore, these exercises can be regarded as a part of a LBP management plan. We recommend an exercise program with 30 to 50 minutes, 3 to 5 times per week, and >4 weeks of breathing resistance exercise program as the most effective for treating LBP.

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Preventing Suicide and Promoting Mental Health Among Student-Athletes From Diverse Backgrounds

Karrie L. Hamstra-Wright, John E. Coumbe-Lilley, and Eduardo E. Bustamante

Suicide and contributing mental health conditions in athletes are shared concerns within health care and society at large. This commentary focuses on suicide risk among athletes and the role of sports medicine professionals in preventing suicide and promoting mental health. In this commentary, we draw on the scientific literature and our clinical experiences to pose and answer these questions: Does suicide risk among athletes vary by sociodemographic factors (eg, sex, gender, race/ethnicity, family income, sexual orientation) or if injured? Do sociodemographic differences influence access to and benefits from services among athletes? How do I know my athletes are at risk for suicide? What do I do if one of my athletes shares with me that they have considered suicide? Within our commentary, we review the current literature and clinical practices regarding these questions and close with actionable suggestions and recommendations for future directions.

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Erratum. Influence of Graft Type and Meniscal Involvement on Short-Term Outcomes Following Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

Journal of Sport Rehabilitation

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Response to “Comment on: Differences in Neurocognitive Functions Between Healthy Controls and Anterior Cruciate Ligament-Reconstructed Male Athletes Who Passed or Failed Return to Sport Criteria: A Preliminary Study”

Razieh Mofateh, Maryam Kiani Haft Lang, Neda Orakifar, and Shahin Goharpey