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Daichi Tomita, Tadashi Suga, Hiromasa Ueno, Yuto Miyake, Takahiro Tanaka, Masafumi Terada, Mitsuo Otsuka, Akinori Nagano and Tadao Isaka

This study examined the relationship between Achilles tendon (AT) length and 100-m sprint time in sprinters. The AT lengths at 3 different portions of the triceps surae muscle in 48 well-trained sprinters were measured using magnetic resonance imaging. The 3 AT lengths were calculated as the distance from the calcaneal tuberosity to the muscle–tendon junction of the soleus, gastrocnemius medialis, and gastrocnemius lateralis, respectively. The absolute 3 AT lengths did not correlate significantly with personal best 100-m sprint time (r = −.023 to .064, all Ps > .05). Furthermore, to minimize the differences in the leg length among participants, the 3 AT lengths were normalized to the shank length, and the relative 3 AT lengths did not correlate significantly with personal best 100-m sprint time (r = .023 to .102, all Ps > .05). Additionally, no significant correlations were observed between the absolute and relative (normalized to body mass) cross-sectional areas of the AT and personal best 100-m sprint time (r = .012 and .084, respectively, both Ps > .05). These findings suggest that the AT morphological variables, including the length, may not be related to superior 100-m sprint time in sprinters.

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Aliaa M. Elabd, Salah-Eldin B. Rasslan, Haytham M Elhafez, Omar M. Elabd, Mohamed A. Behiry and Ahmed I. Elerian

Although current lumbar stabilization exercises are beneficial for chronic mechanical low back pain, further research is recommended focusing on global spinal alignment normalization. This randomized, controlled, blinded trial was conducted to determine the effects of adding cervical posture correction to lumber stabilization on chronic mechanical low back pain. Fifty adult patients (24 males) with chronic mechanical low back pain and forward head posture received 12 weeks treatment of either both programs (group A) or lumbar stabilization (group B). The primary outcome was back pain. The secondary outcomes included the craniovertebral angle, Oswestry Disability Index, C7-S1 sagittal vertical axis, and sagittal intervertebral movements. The multivariate analysis of variance indicated a significant group-by-time interaction (P = .001, partial η 2 = .609). Pain, disability, C7-S1 sagittal vertical axis, and l2-l3 intervertebral rotation were reduced in group A more than B (P = .008, .001, .025, and .001). Craniovertebral angle was increased in A when compared to B (P = .001). However, there were no significant group-by-time interactions for other intervertebral movements. Within-group comparisons were significant for all outcomes except for craniovertebral angle within patients in the control group. Adding cervical posture correction with lumber stabilization for management of chronic low back pain seemed to have better effects than the application of a stabilization program only.

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Corey A. Pew, Sarah A. Roelker, Glenn K. Klute and Richard R. Neptune

The coupling between the residual limb and the lower-limb prosthesis is not rigid. As a result, external loading produces movement between the prosthesis and residual limb that can lead to undesirable soft-tissue shear stresses. As these stresses are difficult to measure, limb loading is commonly used as a surrogate. However, the relationship between limb loading and the displacements responsible for those stresses remains unknown. To better understand the limb motion within the socket, an inverse kinematic analysis was performed to estimate the motion between the socket and tibia for 10 individuals with a transtibial amputation performing walking and turning activities at 3 different speeds. The authors estimated the rotational stiffness of the limb-socket body to quantify the limb properties when coupled with the socket and highlight how this approach could help inform prosthetic prescriptions. Results showed that peak transverse displacement had a significant, linear relationship with peak transverse loading. Stiffness of the limb-socket body varied significantly between individuals, activities (walking and turning), and speeds. These results suggest that transverse limb loading can serve as a surrogate for residual-limb shear stress and that the setup of a prosthesis could be individually tailored using standard motion capture and inverse kinematic analyses.

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Brian T. Tomblin, N. Stewart Pritchard, Tanner M. Filben, Logan E. Miller, Christopher M. Miles, Jillian E. Urban and Joel D. Stitzel

The objective of this research was to characterize head impacts with a validated mouthpiece sensor in competitive youth female soccer players during a single season with a validated mouthpiece sensor. Participants included 14 youth female soccer athletes across 2 club-level teams at different age levels (team 1, ages 12–13 y; team 2, ages 14–15 y). Head impact and time-synchronized video data were collected for 66 practices and games. Video data were reviewed to characterize the type and frequency of contact experienced by each athlete. A total of 2216 contact scenarios were observed; heading the ball (n = 681, 30.7%) was most common. Other observed contact scenarios included collisions, dives, falls, and unintentional ball contact. Team 1 experienced a higher rate of headers per player per hour of play than team 2, while team 2 experienced a higher rate of collisions and dives. A total of 935 video-verified contact scenarios were concurrent with recorded head kinematics. While headers resulted in a maximum linear acceleration of 56.1g, the less frequent head-to-head collisions (n = 6) resulted in a maximum of 113.5g. The results of this study improve the understanding of head impact exposure in youth female soccer players and inform head impact exposure reduction in youth soccer.

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Derrick D. Brown, Jurjen Bosga and Ruud G.J. Meulenbroek

This study investigated effects of mirror and metronome use on spontaneous upper body movements by 10 preprofessional dancers in a motor task in which maximally diverse upper body movement patterns were targeted. Hand and trunk accelerations were digitally recorded utilizing accelerometers and analyzed using polar frequency distributions of the realized acceleration directions and sample entropy of the acceleration time. Acceleration directions were more variably used by the arms than by the torso, particularly so when participants monitored their performance via a mirror. Metronome use hardly affected the predictability of the acceleration time series. The findings underscore the intrinsic limitations that people experience when being asked to move randomly and reveal moderate effects of visual and acoustic constraints on doing so in dance.

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Svend Erik Mathiassen

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Guneet Chawla, Madelon Hoppe, Nina Browner and Michael D. Lewek

The purpose of this study was to determine the difference in spatiotemporal gait measures induced by stepping to the beat of a metronome and to music cues of various frequencies in individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Twenty-one participants with Parkinson’s disease were instructed to time their steps to a metronome and music cues (at 85%, 100%, and 115% of overground cadence). The authors calculated cadence, cadence accuracy, and step length during each cue condition and an uncued control condition. The music and metronome cues produced comparable results in cadence manipulation, with reduced cadence accuracy noted at slower intended frequencies. Nevertheless, the induced cadence elicited a concomitant alteration in step length. The music and metronome cues produced comparable changes to gait, but suggest that temporal control is more limited at slower frequencies, presumably by the challenge of increasing the step length.

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Taylor K. Dinyer, Pasquale J. Succi, M. Travis Byrd, Caleb C. Voskuil, Evangeline P. Soucie and Haley C. Bergstrom

This study determined the load- and limb-dependent neuromuscular responses to fatiguing, bilateral, leg extension exercise performed at a moderate (50% one-repetition maximum [1RM]) and high load (80% 1RM). Twelve subjects completed 1RM testing for the bilateral leg extension, followed by repetitions to failure at 50% and 80% 1RM, on separate days. During all visits, the electromyographic (EMG) and mechanomyographic (MMG), amplitude (AMP) and mean power frequency (MPF) signals were recorded from the vastus lateralis of both limbs. There were no limb-dependent responses for any of the neuromuscular signals and no load-dependent responses for EMG AMP, MMG AMP, or MMG MPF (p = .301–.757), but there were main effects for time that indicated increases in EMG and MMG AMP and decreases in MMG MPF. There was a load-dependent decrease in EMG MPF over time (p = .032) that suggested variability in the mechanism responsible for metabolite accumulation at moderate versus high loads. These findings suggested that common drive from the central nervous system was used to modulate force during bilateral leg extension performed at moderate and high loads.