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Nicholas G. Gomez, Kelton K. Gubler, Kenneth Bo Foreman and Andrew S. Merryweather

The factors that contribute to the difficulties persons with Parkinson Disease (PwPD) have when negotiating transitions in walking surfaces are not completely known. The authors investigated if PwPD adjusted their step characteristics when negotiating a familiar outdoor surface transition between synthetic concrete and synthetic turf. Force plate and motion capture data were collected for 10 participants with mild to moderate Parkinson disease and 5 healthy older control participants ambulating bidirectionally across the transition between synthetic concrete and synthetic turf. Between groups, PwPD had a significantly higher minimum toe clearance (P = .007) for both directions of travel compared with the healthy control group. Within groups, PwPD significantly increased their hip (P < .001) and ankle (P = .016) range of motion walking from concrete to turf, while the healthy control participants significantly increased their minimum toe clearance (P = .013), margin of stability (P = .019), hip (P < .001) and ankle (P = .038) range of motion, and step length (P < .001). Walking from turf to concrete, both the Parkinson disease group (P = .014) and the healthy control group (P < .001) increased their knee range of motion. Both groups adjusted their step characteristics when negotiating known surface transitions, indicating that surface transitions result in step changes regardless of health status. However, PwPD exhibited overcompensations, particularly in their minimum toe clearance.

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Andrew M. Colombo-Dougovito and Jihyun Lee

Researchers posit that physical activity (PA) settings may provide an increased opportunity for social interaction. However, little consensus exists regarding the construct of social skills. Moreover, little is known about what type or amount of PA is necessary for individuals on the autism spectrum to benefit from this increased interaction. Thus, this scoping review synthesized the components (e.g., design, participants, independent and dependent variables, etc.) and findings of PA-based interventions that included social skill components to identify how interventions have incorporated these skills in different settings. Based on a review of 25 articles, this review revealed a great deal of variability in the types of PA, social skills, and instruments studied, as well as the intensity of intervention delivery in the published findings. No longitudinal studies were identified as a part of the search. These results provide a foundation for the design of effective PA-based interventions that may have an increased impact on the social skills of individuals on the autism spectrum. Future research should employ longitudinal designs to capture the relationship between social skills and PA, as well as to increase the likelihood of capturing change.

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ZáNean McClain, Daniel W. Tindall and Jill Pawlowski

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E. Andrew Pitchford and E. Kipling Webster

The Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD) measures fundamental motor skills competency and is frequently used for eligibility determination of adapted physical education services in children with disabilities. The purpose of this study was to determine if the TGMD-3 is clinically sensitive to detect deficits in the fundamental motor skills of children with disabilities (i.e., intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, language and articulation disorders). Eighty-five children with disabilities and 85 matched controls (i.e., typically developing, individually matched on age, sex, ethnicity, and race) completed the TGMD-3. Mann–Whitney U tests identified significant differences in the total TGMD-3 scores for children with intellectual disability (p < .001), autism spectrum disorder (p < .001), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (p = .032). No differences were identified for children with language and articulation disorders. Comparisons of subscales (i.e., locomotor and ball skills) differed across disability groups. This study provides evidence that the TGMD-3 is clinically sensitive to identify deficits in fundamental motor skills competency.

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Celina H. Shirazipour and Amy E. Latimer-Cheung

A gap in knowledge exists regarding how to maintain physical activity (PA) for individuals with acquired disabilities following initial introductory experiences. The current study aimed to contribute to filling this gap by exploring the PA pathways of military veterans with a physical disability, particularly those who maintain long-term PA, from impairment to the present. Veterans with a physical disability (N = 18) participated in interviews exploring their PA history and experiences. A reflexive thematic analysis was conducted to generate common pathways in PA participation, as well as to examine which elements of participation supported PA maintenance. Three long-term pathways were identified—two parasport pathways and one recreational PA pathway. Four elements of participation (i.e., mastery, challenge, belongingness, meaning) supported to maintain PA at key junctures. This knowledge provides further understanding of how to promote long-term PA for individuals with acquired disabilities and can support advancements in theory, as well as program development.

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Matjaž Vogrin, Miloš Kalc and Teja Ličen

Context: It has been recently demonstrated that tissue flossing around the ankle joint can be effectively used to improve ankle range of motion, jump, and sprint ability. However, there is a lack of studies investigating the acute effects of tissue flossing applied using different wrapping pressures. Objective: To investigate the acute effects of tissue flossing and the degree of floss band pressure, around the upper thigh on knee range of motion, strength, and muscle contractile characteristics. Design: Crossover design in 3 distinct sessions. Setting: University laboratory. Participants: A total of 19 recreationally trained volunteers (age 23.8[4.8] y) participated in this study. Intervention: Active knee extension and flexion performed for 3 sets of 2 minutes (2-min rest between sets with wrapped upper thigh). Individualized wrapping pressures were applied to create conditions of high and moderate vascular occlusion, while a loose band application served as a control condition. Main Outcome Measures: Participants were assessed for active straight leg raise test; tensiomyography displacement and contraction time for rectus femoris, vastus medialis, and biceps femoris muscles; and maximum voluntary contractions for knee extensors and flexors for pre, after, and 30 minutes after applying the floss band. Results: There was a statistically significant increase in maximum voluntary contractions for knee extensors and a significant shortening in rectus femoris contraction time for the moderate condition, which was associated with small to medium effects in favor of the moderate condition. There were no statistically significant changes observed between control and high conditions. The active straight leg raise test was unaffected regardless of intervention. Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that tissue flossing around the upper thigh might have a localized as well as pressure-sensitive response, thereby improving neuromuscular function of the knee extensors.

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Holly M. Bush, Justin M. Stanek, Joshua D. Wooldridge, Stephanie L. Stephens and Jessica S. Barrack

Context: Limited dorsiflexion (DF) range of motion (ROM) is commonly observed in both the athletic and general populations and is a predisposing factor for lower extremity injury. Graston Technique® (GT) is a form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM), used commonly to increase ROM. Evidence of the long-term effects of GT on ROM is lacking, particularly comparing the full GT protocol versus IASTM alone. Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of 6 sessions of the GT or IASTM compared with a control (CON) group for increasing closed-chain DF ROM. Design: Cohort design with randomization. Setting: Athletic training clinic. Patients or OtherParticipants: A total of 23 physically active participants (37 limbs) with <34° of DF. Participants’ limbs were randomly allocated to the GT, IASTM, or CON group. Intervention: Participants’ closed-chain DF ROM (standing and kneeling) were assessed at baseline and 24–48 hours following their sixth treatment. Participants in the CON group were measured at baseline and 3 weeks later. The intervention groups received 6 treatments during a 3-week period, whereas the CON group received no treatment. The GT group received a warm-up, instrument application, stretching, and strengthening of the triceps surae. The IASTM group received a warm-up and instrument application. Main Outcome Measures: Closed-chain DF was assessed with a digital inclinometer in standing and kneeling. Results: A significant difference between groups was found in the standing position (P = .03) but not in kneeling (P = .15). Post hoc testing showed significant improvements in DF in standing following the GT compared with the control (P = .02). Conclusions: The GT significantly increases ankle DF following 6 treatments in participants with DF ROM deficits; however, no differences were found between GT and IASTM. The GT may be an effective intervention for clinicians to consider when treating patients with DF deficits.

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Alyssa Dittmer, David Tomchuk and David R. Fontenot

Context: Rounded shoulder posture is a common problem in the athletic population. Recently Kinesio tape has been utilized to improve balance, proprioception, and posture. However, the literature has been unable to provide definitive answers on the efficacy of Kinesio tape use. Objective: To determine the immediate effect of the limb rotational Kinesio tape application on the dynamic balance and proprioception of the shoulder measured by the Y-Balance Upper Quarter Test (YBT-UQ) in male collegiate athletes. Design: Cross-sectional. Setting: Sports medicine research laboratory.Participants: Nineteen healthy male collegiate National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics athletes (including rodeo, baseball, football, and soccer) with a mean age of 19.8 (1.4) years. Interventions: Subjects were randomized into Kinesio tape and non-Kinesio tape groups. The limb rotational Kinesio tape application was applied to the Kinesio tape group, while the non-Kinesio tape group received no intervention. Each group performed the YBT-UQ, which requires reaching in 3 directions in a push-up position, before and after the randomized intervention on a single day. Main Outcome Measures: The variables of interest included the maximum reach distance in each of the 3 directions and the composite score for both trials between the Kinesio tape and non-Kinesio tape groups. Each score was normalized against the subject’s limb length. Results: No statistically significant improvements in any YBT-UQ scores were observed following either the Kinesio tape or non-Kinesio tape intervention. Conclusions: Applying the limb rotational Kinesio tape technique did not improve immediate YBT-UQ scores in a male collegiate athletic population with rounded shoulder posture. The use of Kinesio tape to improve immediate closed kinetic chain function in male collegiate athletes with rounded shoulder posture cannot be supported.