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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.

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Özlem Feyzioğlu, Özgul Öztürk, Bilsen Sirmen and Selim Muğrabi

Context: Although many researchers have investigated the functional outcomes of different accelerated rehabilitation programs after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR), the functional results of the same accelerated rehabilitation program following ACLR applied for both elite athletes and nonathletes have not yet been investigated. Objective: To examine the effects of the same accelerated anterior cruciate ligament rehabilitation program on pain and functionality of elite athletes and nonathletes. Design: Prospective preintervention–postintervention design. Setting: Physiotherapy department. Participants: Fifteen elite athletes and 15 nonathletes who underwent unilateral ACLR with autologous hamstring tendon graft. Intervention: All participants received the same protocol for 6 weeks (5 sessions in a week). Main Outcome Measures: Primary measurements were pain intensity, which was measured by visual analog scale, range of motion measurement using universal goniometer, and functionality, which was detected by Lysholm score. Secondary measurements were short form-36 and Beck Depression Inventory. Results: Higher Lysholm (P = .001) and Beck Depression Inventory (P = .03) scores were observed in the elite athlete group, and higher pain (P = .001) was observed in the nonathlete group at baseline assessments. Significant improvement detected for pain (P < .05), knee flexion range (P < .05), Lysholm score (P < .05), and Beck Depression Inventory (P < .05) compared with preintervention for both groups. Finally, after comparing the mean change values, the nonathlete group displayed greater decrease in pain level (P = .01) and participants in the elite athlete group further showed a greater decrease in depression level (P = .001). Conclusions: This study found that the same accelerated rehabilitation protocol provides significant improvements for pain, functionality, and depression in both elite athletes and nonathletes after ACLR. Clinicians should consider our results when applying an anterior cruciate ligament rehabilitation program for nonathlete groups.

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Christopher P. Tomczyk, George Shaver and Tamerah N. Hunt

Clinical Scenario: Anxiety is a mental disorder that affects a large portion of the population and may be problematic when evaluating brain injuries such as concussion. The reliance of cognitive testing in concussion protocols call for the examination of potential cognitive alterations commonly seen in athletes with anxiety. Focused Clinical Question: Does anxiety affect neuropsychological assessments in healthy college athletes? Summary of Key Findings: Three studies were included: 1 cross-sectional study and 2 prospective cohort studies. One study examined the effect of a range of psychological issues on concussion baseline testing in college athletes. Another study examined the effect of anxiety on reaction time both before and after sport competition in college-aged athletes. The final study examined the effects of psychosocial issues on reaction time during demanding tasks in college athletes. The first study reported slower simple and complex reaction times in athletes with anxiety. The second study found that athletes with high trait anxiety have slower reaction times both before and after competition. The third study reported that demanding tasks led to increased state anxiety which slowed reaction time. Overall, all 3 studies support the adverse effect anxiety can have on cognitive testing in athletes. Clinical Bottom Line: College athletes who present with anxiety at baseline may be susceptible to decreased performance on neuropsychological assessments. Strength of Recommendation: There is level B evidence that anxiety in healthy college athletes can impact neuropsychological assessments, and level C evidence that anxiety at baseline concussion assessment impacts neuropsychological testing in college athletes.

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Ryan D. Henke, Savana M. Kettner, Stephanie M. Jensen, Augustus C.K. Greife and Christopher J. Durall

ClinicalScenario: Low-intensity aerobic exercise (LIAEX) below the threshold of symptom exacerbation has been shown to be superior to rest for resolving prolonged (>4 wk) symptoms following sport-related concussion (SRC), but the effects of LIAEX earlier than 4 weeks after SRC need to be elucidated. Focused Clinical Question: Does LIAEX within the first 4 weeks following SRC hasten symptom resolution? Summary of Key Findings: Two randomized controlled trials (RCT) and 1 nonrandomized trial involving adolescent athletes (10–19 y) were included. One RCT reported faster recovery time with LIAEX versus placebo stretching. Likewise, recovery time was faster with LIAEX versus rest in the nonrandomized trial, but not in the underpowered RCT, although effect sizes were similar between these studies (0.5 and 0.4, respectively). All 3 studies reported a reduction in concussion symptom severity with LIAEX; however, the magnitude of symptom reduction across the recovery timeline was greater in the LIAEX group than the rest group in the nonrandomized trial, but not the 2 RCTs. Importantly, no adverse effects or incidence of delayed recovery from LIAEX were reported in any of the studies. Clinical Bottom Line: LIAEX initiated within 10 days after SRC may facilitate a faster recovery time versus placebo stretching or rest, although additional clinical trials are strongly advised to verify this. Strength of Recommendation: Level 1b and 2b evidence suggests subsymptom exacerbation LIAEX may decrease Postconcussion Symptom Scale scores and hasten symptom resolution in adolescent athletes following SRC.

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Kelly M. Meiners and Janice K. Loudon

Purpose/Background: Various methods are available for assessment of static and dynamic postural stability. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between dynamic postural stability as measured by the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) and static postural sway assessment as measured by the TechnoBody Pro-Kin in female soccer players. A secondary purpose was to determine side-to-side symmetry in this cohort. Methods: A total of 18 female soccer players completed testing on the SEBT and Technobody Pro-Kin balance device. Outcome measures were anterior, posterior medial, and posterior lateral reaches from the SEBT and center of pressure in the x- and y-axes as well as SD of movement in the forward/backward and medial/lateral directions from the force plate on left and right legs. Bivariate correlations were determined between the 8 measures. In addition, paired Wilcoxon signed-rank tests were performed to determine similarity between limb scores. Results: All measures on both the SEBT and postural sway assessment were significantly correlated when comparing dominant with nondominant lower-extremities with the exception of SD of movement in both x- and y-axes. When correlating results of the SEBT with postural sway assessment, a significant correlation was found between the SEBT right lower-extremity posterior lateral reach (r = .567, P < .05) and summed SEBT (r = .486, P < .05) and the center of pressure in the y-axis. A significant correlation was also found on the left lower-extremity, with SD of forward/backward movement and SEBT posterior medial reach (r = −.511, P < .05). Conclusions: Dynamic postural tests and static postural tests provide different information to the overall assessment of balance in female soccer players. Relationship between variables differed based on the subject’s lower-extremity dominance.

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Abbis H. Jaffri, Thomas M. Newman, Brent I. Smith, Giampietro L. Vairo, Craig R. Denegar, William E. Buckley and Sayers J. Miller

Context: The Dynamic Leap Balance Test (DLBT) is a new dynamic balance task that requires serial changes in base of support with alternating limb support and recovery of dynamic stability, as compared with the Y modification of the Star Excursion Balance Test (Y-SEBT), which assesses dynamic stability over an unchanging base of support. Objectives: To assess the dynamic balance performance in 2 different types of dynamic balance tasks, the DLBT and the SEBT, in subjects with unilateral chronic ankle instability (CAI) when compared with matched controls. The authors hypothesized that the DLBT score would significantly differ between the CAI involved and uninvolved limbs (contralateral and healthy matched) and demonstrate a modest (r = .50) association with the SEBT scores. Design: Case-control. Setting: Controlled laboratory. Participants: A total of 36 physically active adults, 18 with history of unilateral CAI and 18 without history of ankle injury, were enrolled in the study. CAI subjects were identified using the Identification of Functional Ankle Instability questionnaire. Interventions: The DLBT and the SEBT were performed in a randomized order on a randomly selected limb in CAI and healthy subjects. Main Outcome Measures: Time taken to complete the DLBT and the reach distances performed on the SEBT were compared between the CAI and the healthy subjects. Results: There were no statistically significant differences (P < .05) in SEBT reach distances between groups. The DLBT time was greater (P < .01) for unstable ankles compared with the stable ankle. The authors found no correlation (P > .05) between DLBT time and any of the SEBT reach distances suggesting that the DLBT provides unique information in the assessment of patients with CAI. Conclusion: The DLBT challenges the ability to maintain postural control in CAI subjects differently than the SEBT. There is a need of more dynamic balance assessment tools that are functional and clinically relevant.

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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.

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José-Antonio Cecchini, Antonio Méndez-Giménez and Beatriz Sánchez-Martínez

The objective of the study was to analyze changes in motivation in physical education students during a school year, as well as changes in their intentions to be physically active. The participants were 830 Spanish physical education students (M age = 13.86, range = 11–17 years) attending 10 secondary schools in northern Spain. The sample was divided into two groups: TARGET condition (n = 417), in which Epstein’s TARGET strategies were applied, and non-TARGET condition (n = 413). Questionnaires were administered at three different times during the school year: T1 (September), T2 (February), and T3 (June). Mixed-model linear procedures with maximum likelihood estimates were carried out. In the TARGET condition group, the results showed an increase in students’ intrinsic motivation, identified regulation and introjected regulation, whereas external regulation and amotivation gradually decreased. In the non-TARGET condition group, a decrease in students’ intrinsic motivation and identified regulation emerged, as well as an increase in external regulation and amotivation.

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Karl Fullam, Brian Caulfield, Garrett F. Coughlan, Wayne McNulty, David Campbell and Eamonn Delahunt

Context: Decreased postural balance is a primary risk factor for lower-limb injuries. Cryotherapy is commonly utilized by clinicians to provide local analgesia for minor acute knee joint musculoskeletal injuries during breaks in play or at halftime. Its effect on dynamic postural balance remains unclear. Objective: To investigate the acute effects of a 15-minute knee joint cryotherapy application on dynamic postural balance, as assessed primarily via a clinically oriented outcome measure. Design: Experimental study. Setting: University biomechanics laboratory. Patients or Participants: A total of 28 elite-level college male field-sport athletes. Intervention: Participants were tested on the anterior, posteromedial, and posterolateral reach directions of the Star Excursion Balance Test both before and after a 15-minute knee joint cryotherapy application. Main Outcome Measure(s): Normalized reach distances, 3-dimensional knee joint kinematics, sagittal plane hip and ankle joint kinematics, as well as fractal dimension of the center-of-pressure path during the performance of the anterior, posteromedial, and posterolateral reach directions of the Star Excursion Balance Test. Results: There was a statistically significant decrease in reach distance scores achieved on anterior, posteromedial, and posterolateral directions of the Star Excursion Balance Test from precryotherapy to postcryotherapy (P < .05). None of the decreases in reach distance scores exceeded the reported smallest detectable difference values. No significant differences were observed in hip, knee, or ankle joint kinematics (P > .05). No significant change in fractal dimension was observed for any reach direction following cryotherapy application (P > .05). Conclusions: The results of the present study indicate that dynamic postural balance is unlikely to be adversely affected immediately following cryotherapy application to the knee joint.

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Dai Sugimoto, Benton E. Heyworth, Brandon A. Yates, Dennis E. Kramer, Mininder S. Kocher and Lyle J. Micheli

Context: To treat anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, ACL reconstruction (ACLR) surgery is currently a standard of the care. However, effect of graft type including bone–patellar tendon–bone (BTB), hamstring tendon, or iliotibial band (ITB) on thigh size, knee range of motion (ROM), and muscle strength are understudied. Objective : To compare postoperative thigh circumference, knee ROM, and hip and thigh muscle strength in adolescent males who underwent ACLR, based on the 3 different autograft types: BTB, hamstring (HS), and ITB. Setting: Biomechanical laboratory. Participants: Male ACLR patients who are younger than 22 years of age (total N = 164). Intervention: At 6- to 9-month postoperative visits, thigh circumference, knee ROM, and hip and thigh muscle strength were measured. Main Outcome Measures: Deficits of each variable between the uninvolved and ACLR limb were compared for pediatric and adolescent ACLR males in the BTB, HS, and ITB cohorts. Baseline characteristics, including physical demographics and meniscus tear status, were compared, and differences identified were treated as covariates and incorporated in analysis of covariance. Results: Data were from 164 adolescent male ACLR patients [mean age 15.7 (1.2) years]. There were no statistical differences in thigh circumference, knee ROM, hip abductor, and hip-extensor strength among the 3 autografts. However, patients with BTB demonstrated 12.2% deficits in quadriceps strength compared with 0.5% surplus in HS patients (P = .002) and 1.2% deficits in ITB patients (P = .03). Patients with HS showed 31.7% deficits in hamstring strength compared with 5.4% deficits in BTB (P = .001) and 7.7% deficits in ITB (P = .001) groups at 6- to 9-month postoperative visits. Conclusion: Adolescent male ACLR patients with BTB and HS autografts demonstrated significant deficits in quadriceps and hamstring strength, respectively, at 6 to 9 months postoperatively. Minimal lower-extremity strength deficits were demonstrated in pediatric male ACLR patients undergoing ITB harvest.