Jayshree Shah, Tarushi Tanwar, Iram Iram, Mosab Aldabbas and Zubia Veqar
The objective was to investigate the electromyographic activity of the lumbar multifidus (MF) muscle and longissimus thoracis muscle, along with their activity ratio (MF longissimus thoracis ratio), during quadruped stabilization exercise performed with neutral posture and with increased lumbar lordosis in patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP). A total of 23 patients with CLBP (12 females and 11 males) were recruited based on inclusion and exclusion criterion. Each patient performed 4 exercises in random order, with surface electromyography electrodes and an electrogoniometer attached. A cross-sectional study design was used to measure the amplitude of muscle activation (as a percentage of maximum voluntary contraction) in each patient across the 2 muscles (MF and longissimus thoracis) during quadruped stabilization exercise with neutral posture and with increased lumbar lordosis. A 2-way analysis of variance was conducted, which demonstrated a statistically significant increase in the recruitment of MF with increased lumbar lordosis in patients with CLBP during quadruped exercise. An increase of 9.7% and 16.9% maximum voluntary contraction in MF electromyographic activity was observed in lumbar lordosis posture during the quadruped leg raise and quadruped leg-arm raise exercise, respectively (P < .01), when compared to the neutral posture. The increased recruitment of MF with lumbar lordosis in the quadruped position has strong implications in the assessment and management of patients with CLBP.
Angelica E. Lang, Soo Y. Kim, Stephan Milosavljevic and Clark R. Dickerson
Breast cancer survivors have known scapular kinematic alterations that may be related to the development of secondary morbidities. A measure of muscle activation would help understand the mechanisms behind potential harmful kinematics. The purpose of this study was to define muscle force strategies in breast cancer survivors. Shoulder muscle forces during 6 functional tasks were predicted for 25 breast cancer survivors (divided by impingement pain) and 25 controls using a modified Shoulder Loading Analysis Module. Maximum forces for each muscle were calculated, and 1-way analysis of variance (P < .05) was used to identify group differences. The differences between maximum predicted forces and maximum electromyography were compared with repeated-measures analysis of variance (P < .05) to evaluate the success of the model predictions. Average differences between force predictions and electromyography ranged from 7.3% to 31.6% but were within the range of previously accepted differences. Impingement related pain in breast cancer survivors is associated with increased force of select shoulder muscles. Both pectoralis major heads, upper trapezius, and supraspinatus peak forces were higher in the pain group across all tasks. These force prediction differences are also associated with potentially harmful kinematic strategies, providing a direction for possible rehabilitation strategies.
Rachel S. Johnson, Kendall H. Scott and Robert C. Lynall
Context: Gait termination time (GTT) has been used to predict falls in older adults but has not been explored in the sport rehabilitation setting. The incorporation of a concurrent cognitive task as a complex measure of gait in this clinical population could lead to better health-related outcomes. Objective: To compare the effect of planned and unplanned gait termination with and without a concurrent cognitive task on reaction time (RT), gait velocity, and GTT. Design: Cross-sectional. Setting: Laboratory. Participants: Twenty young adults (females 60.0%, age 20.1 [0.9] y, height 169.5 [8.8] cm, mass 67.4 [10.8] kg). Intervention: Participants completed 6 planned and 6 unplanned gait termination trials on an instrumented gait mat with and without a cognitive task. Main Outcome Measures: The authors measured RT (s), gait velocity (m/s), GTT (s), and normalized GTT (s2/m). A 2 (motor) × 2 (cognitive) repeated-measures analysis of variance (α = .05) was used; significant interaction effects were explored using Bonferroni-corrected t tests (α < .008). Results: Participants walked more slowly during dual-task trials compared with single-task trials (F1,19 = 4.401, P = .050). Participants walked significantly more slowly with a cognitive task during planned (P < .001, mean difference = −0.184 m/s, 95% CI, −0.256 to −0.111) and unplanned (P = .001, mean difference = −0.111 m/s, 95% CI, −0.173 to −0.050) gait termination. Participants walked significantly more slowly (P < .001, mean difference = −0.142 m/s, 95% CI, −0.210 to −0.075) when performing the most difficult task, unplanned termination with a cognitive task, than when performing the least difficult task, planned termination with no cognitive task. We observed a cognitive task main effect such that adding a cognitive task increased RT (F1,19 = 16.375, P = .001, mean difference = −0.118 s, 95% CI, −0.178 to −0.057) and slowed normalized GTT (F1,19 = 5.655, P = .028, mean difference = −0.167 s2/m, 95% CI, −0.314 to −0.020). Conclusions: Overall, participants displayed more conservative gait strategies and slower RT, normalized GTT, and gait velocity as task difficulty increased. More investigation is needed to truly understand the clinical meaningfulness of these measures in athletic injuries.
Erika M. Pliner, April A. Dukes, Kurt E. Beschorner and Arash Mahboobin
There is a need for pedagogical techniques that increase student engagement among underrepresented groups in engineering. Relating engineering content to student interests, particularly through biomechanics applications, shows promise toward engaging a diverse group of students. This study investigates the effects of student interests on engagement and performance in 10th grade students enrolled in a summer program for students underrepresented in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. The authors assessed the effects of interest-tailored lectures on student engagement and performance in a 5-week program with bioengineering workshops, focusing on the delivery of biomechanics content. A total of 31 students received interest-tailored lectures (intervention) and 23 students received only generic lectures (control) in biomechanics. In addition, the authors assessed the effects of teaching method (lecture, classroom activities, and laboratory tours) on student engagement. The authors found interest-tailored lectures to significantly increase student engagement in lecture compared with generic lectures. Students that received interest-tailored lectures had an insignificant, but meaningful 5% increase in student performance. Students rated laboratory tours higher in engagement than other teaching methods. This study provides detailed examples that can directly assist student teaching and outreach in biomechanics. Furthermore, the pedagogical techniques in this study can be used to increase engagement of underrepresented students in engineering.
Katelyn M. Nelson, Elizabeth H.K. Daidone, Katherine M. Breedlove, Debbie A. Bradney and Thomas G. Bowman
The study objective was to determine the magnitude and frequency of head impacts in NCAA Division III soccer athletes based on player position and type of play (offense, defense, transition). Across player position, male and female soccer defenders sustained the most head impacts (males IR = 18.89, 95% CI = 16.89–20.89; females IR = 8.45, 95% CI = 7.25–9.64; IRR = 2.23, 95% CI = 1.87–2.67). The study revealed a nonstatistically significant interaction between sex, player position, and type of play for both linear (p = .42) and rotational accelerations (p = .16). Defenders sustained the majority of the head impacts in the study sample, suggesting preventative initiatives should be focused on back row players.
Rafael Gnat, Agata Dziewońska, Maciej Biały and Martyna Wieczorek
Low back pain constitutes a multidimensional problem of largely unknown origin. One of the recent theories explaining its frequent occurrence includes speculative statements on patterns of central nervous system activity associated with the control of so-called local and global muscles of the lower trunk. The objective of the study was to verify whether there is a difference in the activity of the brain during selective, voluntary contraction of the local and global abdominal muscles as assessed by functional MRI. Twenty healthy subjects participated. An experimental design was applied with repeated measurements of the blood-oxygen-level–dependent signal from the brain during voluntary contraction of the local and global abdominal muscles, performed in random order. Prior to registration, a 2-week training period was introduced, aiming to master the experimental motor tasks. The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data were processed using the FMRIB Software Library (Oxford, UK). Brain areas showing significant activations/deactivations were identified and averaged across all participants, and intercondition differential maps were computed. Areas of significant intercondition differences were linked to the corresponding anatomical structures and ascribed to the default mode functional brain network and to the sensorimotor network. Contraction of the local abdominal muscles elicited more pronounced activity of the brain cortex, basal ganglia, and cerebellum. This suggests that motor control of the abdominal musculature consists of two modes of brain activity and that control of the local muscles may be a more challenging task for the brain. Moreover, contraction of the local muscles elicited more distinct deactivation of the default mode network, which may have implications for diagnostics and therapy of low back pain.
Adam E. Jagodinsky, Rebecca Angles, Christopher Wilburn and Wendi H. Weimar
Current theoretical models suggest that ankle sprain copers exhibit movement adaptations contributing to the avoidance of chronic ankle instability. However, few studies have examined adaptations at the level of biomechanical motor synergies. The purpose was to examine characteristics of the support moment synergy between individuals with chronic ankle instability, copers, and healthy individuals. A total of 48 individuals participated in the study. Lower-extremity kinetics and variability in the moment of force patterns were assessed during the stance phase of walking trials. The copers exhibited reductions in the support moment during the load response and preswing phase compared with the chronic ankle instability group, as well as during the terminal stance and preswing phase compared the healthy group. The copers also exhibited reductions in the hip extensor moment and ankle plantarflexion moment compared with healthy and chronic ankle instability groups during intervals of stance phase. Variability of the support moment and knee moment was greater in the copers compared with the chronic ankle instability group. Dampening of the support moment and select joint moments exhibited by the copers may indicate an adaptive mechanism to mitigate loading perturbations on the previously injured ankle. Heightened motor variability in copers may be indicative of a more adaptable motor synergy compared with individuals with chronic ankle instability.
Christanie Monreal, Lindsay Luinstra, Lindsay Larkins and James May
Context: Technological advances have given smartphones the capabilities of sensitive clinical measurement equipment at lesser cost and higher availability. The Clinometer is a smartphone application that can be used to measure the joint range of motion in a clinical setting, but psychometric properties of the tool’s use measuring cervical range of motion (CROM) are not established. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine the validity and intrarater reliability of the Clinometer application for the measurement of CROM (ie, flexion, extension, rotation, lateral flexion) and to determine the minimal detectable change and SEM. Design: A blinded, repeated-measures correlational design was employed. Setting: The study was conducted collaboratively between 2 athletic training clinics. Participants: A convenience sample of healthy adults ages 18–30 years were recruited. Participants with any history in the last 3 months of cervical or thoracic pathology, pain, or any musculoskeletal injury were excluded. Main Outcome Measures: Three repetitions of each motion were measured by a primary researcher with a goniometer. The same researcher then conducted 3 blinded measurements with the Clinometer application following the same procedure. A second researcher, blinded to the goniometer measurements, recorded the results. Thirty minutes later, testing was repeated with the application. The Pearson correlation was calculated to determine validity of the application compared with goniometry. Results: The measurements between devices had moderate to excellent concurrent validity, with the coefficients ranging between 0.544 and 0.888, P < .01. Test–retest reliability of the CROM measurement using the application was moderate to excellent, with intraclass correlation coefficients ranging between .774 and .928. Across all movements, the SEM ranged from 1.17° to 2.01°, and the minimal detectable change ranged from 1.18° to 2.02°. Conclusion: The Clinometer application is a valid and reliable instrument for measuring active CROM. Level of evidence: clinical measurement, level 1b.
Ben Langley, Nick Knight and Stewart C. Morrison
Medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS) is a common running-related injury. Alterations in movement patterns and movement coordination patterns have been linked to the development of overuse injuries. The aim of this study was to compare transverse plane tibial and frontal plane rearfoot motion and the coordination of these movements between runners with MTSS and healthy controls. A total of 10 recreational runners with MTSS and 10 healthy controls ran at 11 km/h on a treadmill. A 3-camera motion analysis system operating at 200 Hz was used to calculate tibia and rearfoot motion. Stance phase motion patterns were compared between groups using multivariate analysis, specifically, Hotelling T 2 test with statistical parametric mapping. A modified vector coding technique was used to classify the coordination of transverse plane tibial and frontal plane rearfoot motion. The frequency of each coordination pattern displayed by each group was compared using independent samples t tests. Individuals with MTSS displayed significantly (P = .037, d = 1.00) more antiphase coordination (tibial internal rotation with rearfoot inversion) despite no significant (P > .05) differences in stance phase kinematics. The increased antiphase movement may increase the torsional stress placed upon the medial aspect of the tibia, contributing to the development of MTSS.