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Joshua Berger, Oliver Ludwig, Stephan Becker, Wolfgang Kemmler and Michael Fröhlich

A 17-year-old male road cyclist with unspecific back pain and postural deficiency regarding the depth of the lumbar lordosis (flèche lombaire [fl]) and the upper body tilt (forward trunk tilt [tt]) absolved an 8-week whole-body electromyostimulation (WB-EMS) training to improve performance parameters and health issues. During WB-EMS, muscle groups all over the body are stimulated via external electrodes, thus creating an intensive training stimulus due to the electrically induced involuntary muscle contraction. The athlete’s posture (fl 2.2%, tt 64.3%) and back pain (54%) improved, and trunk strength increased (extension 15.5%, flexion 29.2%). This is the first WB-EMS study of a minor cyclist, suggesting positive effects of WB-EMS as a time-saving strength training method on health and strength parameters.

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Paul J. Read, Theodosia Palli and Jon L. Oliver

Context: Single-leg hop tests are used to assess functional performance following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. Recording 6-m timed hop scores using a stopwatch increases the potential for misclassification of patient status due to the number of error sources present. Objective: To examine the consistency of pass/fail (>90% limb symmetry index [LSI]) decisions in athletes tested at discharge following ACL reconstruction during the 6-m timed hop and the agreement between different human raters using a stopwatch and an electronic timing system. Setting: Clinic, rehabilitation. Participants: A total of 20 professional soccer players (age 24.6 [4.2] y; height 175.3 [10.2] cm; mass 73.6 [14.5] kg; 36 [10.5] wk following ACL reconstruction) volunteered to take part in this study. Main Outcome Measures: Two individual raters recorded each trial of the 6-m timed hop test on each limb with a stopwatch and an electronic timing system acted as the criterion measure. LSI scores were also computed with a pass score >90% LSI. Results: No significant differences were observed between limbs for any scoring method (P > .05). Mean differences indicated the electronic timing system was slower than both human raters (P < .05). Five participants failed the test (<90% LSI) but on each occasion this was only recorded by one method of rating. Kappa statistics showed no agreement in LSI scores across all 3 methods of scoring (κ = −.13) and no agreement when comparing the light gates to individual raters and rater 1 versus 2 (κ < 0). 95% limits of agreement in LSI scores recorded values of approximately ±20%. Conclusions: The 6-m timed hop test recorded using a stopwatch is not a valid measure to make clinical decisions following ACL reconstruction. Systematic bias between methods also suggests that a stopwatch and electronic timing system cannot be used interchangeably.

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Brady M. Smith, David O. Draper, Robert D. Hyldahl and Justin H. Rigby

Context: Low current intensity iontophoresis treatments have increased skin perfusion over 700% from baseline potentially altering drug clearance from or diffusion to the targeted area. Objective: To determine the effects of a preceding 10-minute ice massage on subcutaneous dexamethasone sodium phosphate (Dex-P) concentration and skin perfusion during and after a 4-mA iontophoresis treatment. Design: Controlled laboratory study. Setting: Research laboratory. Patients or Other Participants: Twenty-four participants (male = 12, female = 12; age = 25.6 [4.5] y, height = 173.9 [8.51] cm, mass = 76.11 [16.84] kg). Intervention(s): Participants were randomly assigned into 2 groups: (1) pretreatment 10-minute ice massage and (2) no pretreatment ice massage. Treatment consisted of an 80-mA·minute (4 mA, 20 min) Dex-P iontophoresis treatment. Microdialysis probes (3 mm deep in the forearm) were used to assess Dex-P, dexamethasone (Dex), and its metabolite (Dex-Met) concentrations. Skin perfusion was measured using laser Doppler flowmetry. Main Outcome Measure(s): Microdialysis samples were collected at baseline, at conclusion of treatment, and every 20 minutes posttreatment for 60 minutes. Samples were analyzed to determine Dex-Total (Dex-Total = Dex-P + Dex + Dex-Met). Skin perfusion was calculated as a percentage change from baseline. A mixed-design analysis of variance was used to determine Dex-Total and skin perfusion difference between groups overtime. Results: There was no difference between groups (P = .476), but [Dex-Total] significantly increased over the course of the iontophoresis and posttreatment time (P < .001). Dex-P was measured in 18 of 24 participants with a mean concentration of 0.67 (1.09) μg/mL. Skin perfusion was significantly greater in the no ice treatment group (P = .002). Peak skin perfusion reached 27.74% (47.49%) and 117.39% (103.45%) from baseline for the ice and no ice groups, respectively. Conclusions: Ice massage prior to iontophoresis does not alter the tissue [Dex-Total] even with less skin perfusion.

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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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Fábio Carlos Lucas de Oliveira, Amanda L. Ager and Jean-Sébastien Roy

Context: Recreational overhead athletes are exposed to high overload, which increases the risk of shoulder injuries. Reduction of the acromiohumeral distance (AHD) is often associated with rotator cuff–related shoulder pain (RCRSP) among the general population. However, the AHD of symptomatic shoulders of recreational athletes has not yet been compared with their asymptomatic shoulders. Objective: To compare the AHD of a symptomatic to asymptomatic shoulder at rest (0°) and 60° abduction. To establish the relationship between AHD, pain, and functional limitations of recreational athletes with RCRSP. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: University laboratory. Participants: A total of 45 recreational overhead athletes with RCRSP were examined. Main Outcome Measures: The AHD was measured by ultrasonography at 0° and 60° abduction (angles). Shoulder pain was assessed using a numeric pain scale, whereas functional limitations were assessed using the The Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand questionnaire. Differences in the between-shoulders condition (symptomatic and asymptomatic) were determined using 2-way analysis of variance for repeated measures. A Pearson correlation established the relationship between AHD, pain, and functional limitations. Results: No angles × shoulder condition interactions (P = .776) nor shoulder condition effects (P = .087) were detected, suggesting no significant differences (P > .05) between asymptomatic and symptomatic shoulders in the AHD at 0° or 60°. The AHD at 60° reduced significantly compared with 0° (3.05 [1.36] mm [2.77–3.33], angle effects: P < .001). The AHD at 0° and 60° was not correlated with pain or functional limitations (−.205 ≤ r ≤ .210, .167 ≤ P ≤ .585). Conclusions: The AHD of recreational athletes is not decreased in symptomatic shoulders compared with asymptomatic shoulders. Reduction of the AHD in symptomatic shoulders is not associated with an increase in pain or functional limitations of recreational athletes with RCRSP.