Early motor skill interventions have been shown to improve the motor skill proficiency of children with autism spectrum disorder; however, little is known about the secondary effects associated with these types of interventions (e.g., influence on behavior, social skills, family dynamics). The purpose of this qualitative study was to (a) investigate parents’ perceptions of the child-level benefits associated with a fundamental motor skill intervention for their 4-year-olds with autism spectrum disorder and (b) explore how child-level benefits influenced the family unit. Eight parents (N = 8) were interviewed (semistructured) about their experiences with the intervention for their child(ren); the study was grounded in phenomenology. Five main child-level benefits emerged, including improvements with (a) motor skills, (b) social skills, (c) listening skills, (d) turn-taking skills, and (e) transition skills. The child-level benefits then extended to family members in a number of ways (e.g., more positive sibling interactions). These findings highlight several important secondary effects that should be investigated in future research.
Leanne K. Elliott, Jonathan A. Weiss, and Meghann Lloyd
Valerie A. Troutman and Michele J. Grimm
An Interactive Digital Experience as an Alternative Laboratory (IDEAL) was developed and implemented in a flipped biomechanics classroom. The IDEAL challenge problem was created to more closely simulate a real-world scenario than typical homework or challenge problems. It added a more involved story, specific characters, simple interaction, and student-led inquiry into a challenge problem. Students analyzed musculoskeletal biomechanics data to conduct a forensic biomechanics investigation of an individual who suffered a fracture. Students ultimately approached the IDEAL problem with a greater appreciation and enjoyment than previous open-ended challenge problems—those that were assigned in a traditional problem-statement manner—throughout the semester. Students who were more fully engaged in the IDEAL challenge problem, as evidenced by the fact that they requested all of the evidence on their own, also performed better on the final report grade. This signals improved learning with respect to biomechanical analysis when the students were creatively participating in the storyline surrounding the forensic investigation.
Silvia G.R. Neri, Juscelia Cristina Pereira, Ana Cristina de David, and Ricardo M. Lima
The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of body fat distribution on postural balance and lower-limb muscle quality in women aged 60 years and over. Two hundred and twenty-two volunteers took part in this cross-sectional analysis. Participants underwent body fat distribution assessment using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and were classified as nonobese, gynoid obese, or android obese. Postural balance was assessed during quiet standing, with and without vision restriction, using a force platform. Specific torque was defined as the ratio of knee extensors peak torque (evaluated by an isokinetic dynamometer) to the lean mass of the same limb (evaluated by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry). Compared with nonobese participants, both obese groups exhibited higher range of postural sway along the anteroposterior and mediolateral axes (P < .05). However, there were no differences between participants with gynoid and android obesity. The android obese group exhibited greater speed of postural sway in the condition without vision restriction than both nonobese (P = .040) and gynoid obese (P = .004) groups. Regarding muscle quality, only participants with gynoid obesity (P = .004) presented lower specific torque than their nonobese peers. These results may be clinically useful when designing falls prevention exercises targeting the obese population.
Manuel J. Escalona, Daniel Bourbonnais, Michel Goyette, Damien Le Flem, Cyril Duclos, and Dany H. Gagnon
The effects of walking speeds on lower-extremity muscle synergies (MSs) were investigated among 20 adults who walked 20 m at SLOW (0.6 ± 0.2 m/s), natural (NAT; 1.4 ± 0.1 m/s), and FAST (1.9 ± 0.1 m/s) speeds. Surface electromyography of eight lower-extremity muscles was recorded before extracting MSs using a nonnegative matrix factorization algorithm. Increasing walking speed tended to merge MSs associated with weight acceptance and limb deceleration, whereas reducing walking speed does not change the number and composition of MSs. Varying gait speed, particularly decreasing speed, may represent a gait training strategy needing additional attention given its effects on MSs.
Daniella M. DiGuglielmo, Mireille E. Kelley, Mark A. Espeland, Zachary A. Gregory, Tanner D. Payne, Derek A. Jones, Tanner M. Filben, Alexander K. Powers, Joel D. Stitzel, and Jillian E. Urban
To reduce head impact exposure (HIE) in youth football, further understanding of the context in which head impacts occur and the associated biomechanics is needed. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of contact characteristics on HIE during player versus player contact scenarios in youth football. Head impact data and time-synchronized video were collected from 4 youth football games over 2 seasons in which opposing teams were instrumented with the Head Impact Telemetry (HIT) System. Coded contact characteristics included the player’s role in the contact, player speed and body position, contact height, type, and direction, and head contact surface. Head accelerations were compared among the contact characteristics using mixed-effects models. Among 72 instrumented athletes, 446 contact scenarios (n = 557 impacts) with visible opposing instrumented players were identified. When at least one player had a recorded impact, players who were struck tended to have higher rotational acceleration than players in striking positions. When both players had a recorded impact, lighter players and taller players experienced higher mean head accelerations compared with heavier players and shorter players. Understanding the factors influencing HIE during contact events in football may help inform methods to reduce head injury risk.
Meena Makhija, Jasobanta Sethi, Chitra Kataria, Harpreet Singh, Paula M. Ludewig, and Vandana Phadke
Two-dimensional fluoroscopic imaging allows measurement of small magnitude humeral head translations that are prone to errors due to optical distortion, out-of-plane imaging, repeated manual identification of landmarks, and magnification. This article presents results from in vivo and in vitro fluoroscopy-based experiments that measure the errors and variability in estimating the humeral head translated position in true scapular plane and axillary views. The errors were expressed as bias and accuracy. The variability with repeated digitization was calculated using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and the standard error of measurement. Optical distortion caused underestimation of linear distances. The accuracy was 0.11 and 0.43 mm for in vitro and in vivo experiments, respectively, for optical distortion. The intrarater reliability was excellent for both views (ICC = .94 and .93), and interrater reliability was excellent (ICC = .95) for true scapular view but moderate (ICC = .74) for axillary views. The standard error of measurement ranged from 0.27 to 0.58 mm. The accuracy for the humeral head position in 10° out of true scapular plane images ranged from 0.80 to 0.87 mm. The current study quantifies the magnitude of error. The results suggest that suitable measures could be incorporated to minimize errors and variability for the measurement of glenohumeral parameters.
Katherine A.J. Daniels, Eleanor Drake, Enda King, and Siobhán Strike
Cutting maneuvers can be executed at a range of angles and speeds, and these whole-body task descriptors are closely associated with lower-limb mechanical loading. Asymmetries in angle and speed when changing direction off the operated and nonoperated limbs after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction may therefore influence the interpretation of interlimb differences in joint-level biomechanical parameters. The authors hypothesized that athletes would reduce center-of-mass heading angle deflection and body rotation during the change-of-direction stance phase when cutting from the operated limb, and would compensate for this by orienting their center-of-mass trajectory more toward the new intended direction of travel prior to touchdown. A total of 144 male athletes 8 to 10 months after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction performed a maximum-effort sidestep cutting maneuver while kinematic, kinetic, and ground reaction force data were recorded. Peak ground reaction force and knee joint moments were lower when cutting from the operated limb. Center-of-mass heading angle deflection during stance phase was reduced for cuts performed from the operated limb and was negatively correlated with heading angle at touchdown. Between-limb differences in body orientation and horizontal velocity at touchdown were also observed. These systematic asymmetries in cut execution may require consideration when interpreting joint-level interlimb asymmetries after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction and are suggestive of the use of anticipatory control to co-optimize task achievement and mechanical loading.
Courtney M. Butowicz, Julian C. Acasio, and Brad D. Hendershot
Altered trunk movements during gait in persons with lower-limb amputation are often associated with an increased risk for secondary health conditions; however, the postural control strategies underlying such alterations remain unclear. In this secondary analysis, the authors employed nonlinear measures of triplanar trunk accelerations via short-term Lyapunov exponents to investigate trunk local stability as well as spatiotemporal gait parameters to describe gait mechanics. The authors also evaluated the influence of a concurrent task on trunk local stability and gait mechanics to explore if competition for neuromuscular processing resources can assist in identifying unique strategies to control kinematic variability. Sixteen males with amputation—8 transtibial and 8 transfemoral—and 8 uninjured males (controls) walked on a treadmill at their self-selected speed (mean = 1.2 m/s ±10%) in 5 experimental conditions (8 min each): 4 while performing a concurrent task (2 walking and 2 seated) and 1 with no concurrent task. Individuals with amputation demonstrated significantly smaller Lyapunov exponents than controls in all 3 planes of motion, regardless of concurrent task or level of amputation (P < .0001). Individuals with transfemoral amputation walked with wider strides compared with individuals with transtibial amputation and controls (P < .0001). Individuals with amputation demonstrated more trunk kinematic variability in the presence of wider strides compared with individuals without amputation, and it appears that performing a concurrent cognitive task while walking did not change trunk or gait mechanics.
Yumeng Li, Jupil Ko, Marika A. Walker, Cathleen N. Brown, and Kathy J. Simpson
The purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of chronic ankle instability (CAI) on lower-extremity joint coordination and stiffness during landing. A total of 21 female participants with CAI and 21 pair-matched healthy controls participated in the study. Lower-extremity joint kinematics were collected using a 7-camera motion capture system, and ground reaction forces were collected using 2 force plates during drop landings. Coupling angles were computed based on the vector coding method to assess joint coordination. Coupling angles were compared between the CAI and control groups using circular Watson–Williams tests. Joint stiffness was compared between the groups using independent t tests. Participants with CAI exhibited strategies involving altered joint coordination including a knee flexion dominant pattern during 30% and 70% of their landing phase and a more in-phase motion pattern between the knee and hip joints during 30% and 40% and 90% and 100% of the landing phase. In addition, increased ankle inversion and knee flexion stiffness were observed in the CAI group. These altered joint coordination and stiffness could be considered as a protective strategy utilized to effectively absorb energy, stabilize the body and ankle, and prevent excessive ankle inversion. However, this strategy could result in greater mechanical demands on the knee joint.