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Denys Batista Campos, Isabella Christina Ferreira, Matheus Almeida Souza, Macquiden Amorim Jr, Leonardo Intelangelo, Gabriela Silveira-Nunes, and Alexandre Carvalho Barbosa

Objective: To examine the selective influences of distinct acceleration profiles on the neuromuscular efficiency, force, and power during concentric and eccentric phases of isoinertial squatting exercise. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Biomechanics laboratory of the university. Participants: A total of 38 active adults were divided according to their acceleration profiles: higher (n = 17; >2.5 m/s2) and lower acceleration group (n = 21; <2.5 m/s2). Intervention: All subjects performed squats until failure attached to an isoinertial conic pulley device monitored by surface electromyography of rectus femoris, vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, biceps femoris, and semitendinosus. Main Outcome Measures: An incremental optical encoder was used to assess maximal and mean power and force during concentric and eccentric phases. The neuromuscular efficiency was calculated using the mean force and the electromyographic linear envelope. Results: Between-group differences were observed for the maximal and mean force (P range = .001–.005), power (P = .001), and neuromuscular efficiency (P range = .001–.03) with higher significant values for the higher acceleration group in both concentric and eccentric phases. Conclusion: Distinct acceleration profiles affect the neuromuscular efficiency, force, and power during concentric and eccentric phases of isoinertial squatting exercise. To ensure immediate higher levels of power and force output without depriving the neuromuscular system, acceleration profiles higher than 2.5 m/s2 are preferable. The acceleration profiles could be an alternative to evolve the isoinertial exercise.

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Kyung-eun Lee, Seung-min Baik, Chung-hwi Yi, Oh-yun Kwon, and Heon-seock Cynn

Context: Side bridge exercises strengthen the hip, trunk, and abdominal muscles and challenge the trunk muscles without the high lumbar compression associated with trunk extension or curls. Previous research using electromyography (EMG) reports that performance of the side bridge exercise highly activates the gluteus medius (Gmed). However, to the best of our knowledge, no previous research has investigated EMG amplitude in the hip and trunk muscles during side bridge exercise in subjects with Gmed weakness. Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the EMG activity of the hip and trunk muscles during 3 variations of the side bridge exercise (side bridge, side bridge with knee flexion, and side bridge with knee flexion and hip abduction of the top leg) in subjects with Gmed weakness. Design: Repeated-measures experimental design. Setting: Research laboratory. Patients: Thirty subjects (15 females and 15 males) with Gmed weakness participated in this study. Intervention: Each subject performed 3 variations of the side bridge exercise in random order. Main Outcome Measures: Surface EMG was used to measure the muscle activities of the rectus abdominis, external oblique, longissimus thoracis, multifidus, Gmed, gluteus maximus, and tensor fasciae latae (TFL), and Gmed/TFL muscle activity ratio during 3 variations of the side bridge exercise. Results: There were significant differences in Gmed (F 2,56 = 110.054, P < .001), gluteus maximus (F 2,56 = 36.416, P < .001), and TFL (F 2,56 = 108.342, P < .001) muscles among the 3 side bridge exercises. There were significant differences in the Gmed/TFL muscle ratio (F 2,56 = 20.738, P < .001). Conclusion: Among 3 side bridge exercises, the side bridge with knee flexion may be effective for the individuals with Gmed weakness among 3 side bridge exercises to strengthen the gluteal muscles, considering the difficulty of the exercise and relative contribution of Gmed and TFL.

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Bruno Augusto Lima Coelho, Helena Larissa das Neves Rodrigues, Gabriel Peixoto Leão Almeida, and Sílvia Maria Amado João

Context: Restriction in ankle dorsiflexion range of motion (ROM) has been previously associated with excessive dynamic knee valgus. This, in turn, has been correlated with knee pain in women with patellofemoral pain. Objectives: To investigate the immediate effect of 3 ankle mobilization techniques on dorsiflexion ROM, dynamic knee valgus, knee pain, and patient perceptions of improvement in women with patellofemoral pain and ankle dorsiflexion restriction. Design: Randomized controlled trial with 3 arms. Setting: Biomechanics laboratory. Participants: A total of 117 women with patellofemoral pain who display ankle dorsiflexion restriction were divided into 3 groups: ankle mobilization with anterior tibia glide (n = 39), ankle mobilization with posterior tibia glide (n = 39), and ankle mobilization with anterior and posterior tibia glide (n = 39). Intervention(s): The participants received a single session of ankle mobilization with movement technique. Main Outcome Measures: Dorsiflexion ROM (weight-bearing lunge test), dynamic knee valgus (frontal plane projection angle), knee pain (numeric pain rating scale), and patient perceptions of improvement (global perceived effect scale). The outcome measures were collected at the baseline, immediate postintervention (immediate reassessment), and 48 hours postintervention (48 h reassessment). Results: There were no significant differences between the 3 treatment groups regarding dorsiflexion ROM and patient perceptions of improvement. Compared with mobilization with anterior and posterior tibia glide, mobilization with anterior tibia glide promoted greater increase in dynamic knee valgus (P = .02) and greater knee pain reduction (P = .02) at immediate reassessment. Also compared with mobilization with anterior and posterior tibia glide, mobilization with posterior tibia glide promoted greater knee pain reduction (P < .01) at immediate reassessment. Conclusion: In our sample, the direction of the tibia glide in ankle mobilization accounted for significant changes only in dynamic knee valgus and knee pain in the immediate reassessment.

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Arthur Alves Dos Santos, James Sorce, Alexandra Schonning, and Grant Bevill

This study evaluated the performance of 6 commercially available hard hat designs—differentiated by shell design, number of suspension points, and suspension tightening system—in regard to their ability to attenuate accelerations during vertical impacts to the head. Tests were conducted with impactor materials of steel, wood, and lead shot (resembling commonly seen materials in a construction site), weighing 1.8 and 3.6 kg and dropped from 1.83 m onto a Hybrid III head/neck assembly. All hard hats appreciably reduced head acceleration to the unprotected condition. However, neither the addition of extra suspension points nor variations in suspension tightening mechanism appreciably influenced performance. Therefore, these results indicate that additional features available in current hard hat designs do not improve protective capacity as related to head acceleration metrics.

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Karlee Burns, Ryan Tierney, and Jane McDevitt

Clinical Question: In individuals with posttraumatic headache following concussion, what impact does medication have? Clinical Bottom Line: Prescription medications may be beneficial for those suffering posttraumatic headache following concussion by decreasing headache symptoms and improving cognitive function, though long-term outcomes were similar between those taking and not taking medications.

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Paul A. Cacolice and Corinne M. Ebbs

Clinical Question: What is the effect of CT intervention on the stress and arousal levels of undergraduate students? Clinical Bottom Line: There is Level A–B evidence showing that the use of therapy dogs decreases stress and elevates arousal in female undergraduate students, with little evidence available for other populations.

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Nick Dobson

Clinical Scenario: Resistance training (RT) programs promote skeletal muscle hypertrophy through the progressive physiological stress applied to an individual. Currently, the vast majority of studies regarding the hypertrophic response to RT have focused on either sedentary or untrained individuals. This critically appraised topic focuses on the hypertrophic response to high- and low-load RT in resistance-trained men. Clinical Question: In experienced male weightlifters, does high-load RT lead to greater increases in muscle mass than low-load RT? Summary of Key Findings: Six studies met the inclusion criteria, while 4 studies were included in the analysis. Each of the 4 studies showed that low-load RT elicited hypertrophic gains similar to high-load RT when sets were taken to failure. Three of the studies were not volume equated, indicating a dose–response relationship between training volume-load and skeletal muscle hypertrophy. One of the studies was volume equated, indicating that skeletal muscle hypertrophy could be achieved at levels comparable to those observed in high-load protocols as a result of high levels of metabolic stress and the concomitant recruitment of high-threshold motor units that can occur during fatiguing contractions. Clinical Bottom Line: Evidence suggests that low-load training produces hypertrophic gains similar to those observed in high-load RT protocols when sets are taken to failure in resistance-trained men. Strength of Recommendation: There is moderate to strong evidence to suggest that low-load RT elicits hypertrophic gains similar to those observed in high-load RT protocols when sets are taken to failure in resistance-trained men.

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Jeffrey J. Martin, Erin E. Snapp, E. Whitney G. Moore, Lauren J. Lieberman, Ellen Armstrong, and Staci Mannella

Youth with visual impairments (VIs) often experience unique barriers to physical activity compared with their sighted peers. A psychometrically sound scale for assessing barriers to physical activity for youth with VI is needed to facilitate research. The purpose of this study was to confirm the ability of the previously identified three-factor structure of the Physical Activity Barriers Questionnaire for youth with Visual Impairments (PABQ-VI) to produce scores considered to be valid and reliable that perform equally well across age, VI severity, and gender. Our results supported the three-factor structure and that the PABQ-VI produces scores considered valid and reliable. Mean, variance, and correlation differences were found in personal, social, and environmental barriers for age and VI severity, but not gender. Researchers can use the PABQ-VI to test and evaluate ways to reduce barriers for this population.

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Elif Turgut, Gozde Yagci, and Volga Bayrakci Tunay

Context: Knowledge on how to utilize a kinetic chain approach in foot and ankle rehabilitation is important. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the immediate effects of hip-focused neuromuscular exercise on foot pronation and single-leg neuromuscular control. Design: Cross-over study. Setting: University laboratory. Participants: This cross-over study included 44 asymptomatic volunteers with foot pronation. Interventions: All participants performed (1) a hip-focused neuromuscular exercise and (2) a sham exercise in randomized order. Main Outcome Measures: Foot pronation was assessed by the navicular drop test, and lower-extremity neuromuscular control was assessed by the Modified Star Excursion Balance Test and frontal plane projection angle during single-leg squat before and after the experiments. Results: Navicular drop test scores were significantly lower after the hip-focused neuromuscular exercise than after the sham exercise (mean difference [95% CI] = 2.84 [−1.08 to 6.77], P = .003). Modified Star Excursion Balance Test scores in the anterior (P = .008), posteromedial (P = .04), and posterolateral (P < .001) directions were significantly increased after hip-focused neuromuscular exercise. No statistically significant condition × time interaction was found for the frontal plane projection angle (P > .05). However, a main effect of time (P = .003) indicated that less dynamic knee valgus occurred during single-leg squat after both experiments. Conclusions: Hip-focused neuromuscular exercise produced immediate alterations in foot pronation and dynamic balance. Thus, the hip-focused neuromuscular exercise may be used to control foot posture in foot rehabilitation integrated with a kinetic chain approach and could be an effective prevention and treatment strategy.