Context: Arthrogenic muscle inhibition (AMI) is a common neurophysiological response to joint injury. While athletic trainers (ATs) are constantly treating patients with AMI, it is unclear how clinicians are using the available evidence to treat the condition. Objective: To investigate ATs’ general knowledge, clinical practice, and barriers for treating AMI. Methods: A cross-sectional web-based survey was utilized. The survey was distributed to a random sample of 3000 ATs from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and through social media. 143 board certified ATs (age: 34.6 [10.3] y; experience: 11.7 [9.8] y) from various clinical settings and educational backgrounds were included in the analysis. Results: One hundred one respondents were able to correctly identify the definition of AMI. The majority of these respondents correctly reported that joint effusion (n = 95, 94.1%) and abnormal activity from joint receptors (n = 91, 90.1%) resulted in AMI. Of the 101 respondents, only 58 (57.4%) reported using disinhibitory interventions to treat AMI. The most frequently used evidence supported interventions were transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (n = 38, 65.5%), neuromuscular electrical stimulation (n = 33, 56.9%), and focal joint cooling (n = 25, 43.1%). The interventions used correctly most often based on current evidence were neuromuscular electrical stimulation (n = 29/33, 87.9%) and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (n = 26/38, 68.4%). Overall, difficulty quantifying AMI (n = 62, 61.24%) and lack of education (n = 71, 76.2%) were most frequently perceived as barriers. Respondents that did not use disinhibitory interventions perceived lack of experience treating AMI, understanding the terminology, and access to therapeutic modalities more often than the respondents that reported using disinhibitory interventions. Conclusion: Further education about concepts and treatment about AMI is warranted for ATs. Continued understanding of ATs’ clinical practice in regard to AMI may help identify gaps in athletic training clinical education.
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Justin L. Rush, David A. Sherman, David M. Bazett-Jones, Christopher D. Ingersoll, and Grant E. Norte
Marcus B. Stone, Jeffrey E. Edwards, Catherine L. Stemmans, Christopher D. Ingersoll, Riann M. Palmieri, and B. Andrew Krause
Despite recent evidence to suggest that exercise-associated muscle cramps (EAMC) might be primarily of neuromuscular origin, the authors surmise that most information available to certified athletic trainers (ATCs) emphasizes the role of dehydration and electrolyte imbalance in EAMC.
To investigate ATCs' perceptions of EAMC.
7-question, Web-based, descriptive, cross-sectional survey.
Main Outcome Measures:
Responses to 7 questions regarding the cause, treatment, and prevention of EAMC.
Responders indicated humidity, temperature, training, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalance as causative factors of EAMC. Fluid replacement and stretching the involved muscle were identified as very successful in treating and preventing EAMC. Proper nutrition and electrolyte replacement were also perceived as extremely successful prevention strategies.
ATCs' perceptions of the cause, treatment, and prevention of EAMC are primarily centered on dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Other prominent ideas concerning EAMC should be implemented in athletic training education.
Daniel H. Huffman, Brian G. Pietrosimone, Terry L. Grindstaff, Joseph M. Hart, Susan A. Saliba, and Christopher D. Ingersoll
Motoneuron-pool facilitation after cryotherapy may be mediated by stimulation of thermoreceptors surrounding a joint. It is unknown whether menthol counterirritants, which also stimulate thermoreceptors, have the same effect on motoneuron-pool excitability (MNPE).
To compare quadriceps MNPE after a menthol-counterirritant application to the anterior knee, a sham counterirritant application, and a control treatment in healthy subjects.
A blinded, randomized controlled laboratory study.
Thirty healthy subjects (16 m, 14 f; 24.1 ± 3.9 y, 170.6 ± 11.4 cm, 72.1 ± 15.6 kg) with no history of lower extremity surgery volunteered for this study.
Two milliliters of menthol or sham counterirritant was applied to the anterior knee; control subjects received no intervention.
Main Outcome Measures:
The average vastus medialis normalized Hoffmann reflex (Hmax:Mmax ratio) was used to measure MNPE. Measurements were recorded at 5, 15, 25, and 35 minutes postintervention and compared with baseline measures.
Hmax:Mmax ratios for all groups significantly decreased over time (F 4,108 = 10.52, P < .001; menthol: baseline = .32 ± .20, 5 min = .29 ± .18, 15 min = .27 ± .18, 25 min = .28 ± .19, 35 min = .27 ± .18; sham: baseline = .46 ± .26, 5 min = .36 ± .20, 15 min = .35 ± .19, 25 min = .35 ± .20, 35 min = .34 ± .18; control: baseline = .48 ± .32, 5 min = .37 ± .27, 15 min = .37 ± .27, 25 min = .37 ± .29, 35 min = .35 ± .28). No significant Group × Time interaction or group differences in Hmax:Mmax were found.
Menthol did not affect quadriceps MNPE in healthy subjects.