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Blaine C. Long

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Blaine C. Long and J. Ty Hopkins

Context:

It is reported that thermotherapy decreases motoneuron-pool recruitment. Any decrease in recruitment might have a significant impact on an athlete’s ability to return to competition.

Objective:

To determine whether moist heat application influences involuntary motoneuron-pool recruitment or voluntary plantar-flexion peak torque of the soleus muscle immediately or 30 min after application.

Design:

A 3 × 3 crossover design.

Setting:

Biomechanics laboratory.

Participants:

Eighteen healthy subjects with no history of lower extremity surgery or injury 12 months before the study volunteered.

Intervention:

A series of short-duration, high-intensity stimuli was delivered to the tibial nerve to find the Hmax and Mmax measures. Immediately after the Hmax and Mmax measures, subjects were positioned on an isokinetic dynamometer where they performed 5 submaximal warm-up repetitions. Immediately after the warm-up, 5 maximum-intensity peak plantar-flexion torque repetitions were performed. After the dynamometer measures, subjects returned to the table, where a moist heat pack, no heat pack, or a dry nonheated heat pack was applied.

Main Outcome Measures:

Hmax, Mmax, peak plantar-flexion torque, surface temperature (°C), and ambient temperature (°C).

Results:

Moist heat did not influence the H:Mmax ratio or peak plantar-flexion torque. Temperature increased with moist heat pack. Ambient temperature remained constant.

Conclusions:

Moist heat did not influence involuntary motoneuron-pool recruitment or voluntary peak plantar-flexion torque of the soleus muscle immediately or 30 min after application.

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Lisa S. Jutte, Kenneth L. Knight and Blaine C. Long

Objective:

Examine thermocouple model uncertainty (reliability + validity).

Design:

First, a 3 × 3 repeated measures design with independent variables electrothermometers and thermocouple model. Second, a 1 × 3 repeated measures design with independent variable subprobe.

Intervention:

Three electrothermometers, 3 thermocouple models, a multi-sensor probe and a mercury thermometer measured a stable water bath.

Main Outcome Measures:

Temperature and absolute temperature differences between thermocouples and a mercury thermometer.

Results:

Thermocouple uncertainty was greater than manufactures’ claims. For all thermocouple models, validity and reliability were better in the Iso-Themex than the Datalogger, but there were no practical differences between models within an electrothermometers. Validity of multi-sensor probes and thermocouples within a probe were not different but were greater than manufacturers’ claims. Reliability of multiprobes and thermocouples within a probe were within manufacturers claims.

Conclusion:

Thermocouple models vary in reliability and validity. Scientists should test and report the uncertainty of their equipment rather than depending on manufactures’ claims.

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Andrew R. Mohr, Blaine C. Long and Carla L. Goad

Context:

Many athletes report that foam rollers help release tension in their muscles, thus resulting in greater range of motion (ROM) when used before stretching. To date, no investigators have examined foam rollers and static stretching.

Objective:

To determine if foam rolling before static stretching produces a significant change in passive hip-flexion ROM.

Design:

Controlled laboratory study.

Setting:

Research laboratory.

Participants:

40 subjects with less than 90° of passive hip-flexion ROM and no lower-extremity injury in the 6 mo before data collection.

Interventions:

During each of 6 sessions, subjects' passive hip-flexion ROM was measured before and immediately after static stretching, foam rolling and static stretching, foam rolling, or nothing (control). To minimize accessory movement of the hip and contralateral leg, subjects lay supine with a strap placed across their hip and another strap located over the uninvolved leg just superior to the patella. A bubble inclinometer was then aligned on the thigh of the involved leg, with which subjects then performed hip flexion.

Main Outcome Measure:

Change in passive hip-flexion ROM from the preintervention measure on day 1 to the postintervention measure on day 6.

Results:

There was a significant change in passive hip-flexion ROM regardless of treatment (F 3,17 = 8.06, P = .001). Subjects receiving foam roll and static stretch had a greater change in passive hip-flexion ROM compared with the static-stretch (P = .04), foam-rolling (P = .006), and control (P = .001) groups.

Conclusions:

Our results support the use of a foam roller in combination with a static-stretching protocol. If time allows and maximal gains in hip-flexion ROM are desired, foam rolling the hamstrings muscle group before static stretching would be appropriate in noninjured subjects who have less than 90° of hamstring ROM.

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Blaine C. Long, Kenneth L. Knight, Ty Hopkins, Allen C. Parcell and J. Brent Feland

Context:

It is suggested that postinjury pain is difficult to examine; thus, investigators have developed experimental pain models. To minimize pain, cryotherapy (cryo) is applied, but reports on its effectiveness are limited.

Objective:

To investigate a pain model for the anterior knee and examine cryo in reducing the pain.

Design:

Controlled laboratory study.

Setting:

Therapeutic modality laboratory.

Participants:

30 physically active healthy male subjects who were free from any lower extremity orthopedic, neurological, cardiovascular, or endocrine pathologies.

Main Outcome Measures:

Perceived pain was measured every minute. Surface temperature was also assessed in the center of the patella and the popliteal fossa.

Results:

There was a significant interaction between group and time (F68,864 = 3.0, P = .0001). At the first minute, there was no difference in pain between the 3 groups (saline/cryo = 4.80 ± 4.87 mm, saline/sham = 2.80 ± 3.55 mm, no saline/cryo = 4.00 ± 3.33 mm). During the first 5 min, pain increased from 4.80 ± 4.87 to 45.90 ± 21.17 mm in the saline/cryo group and from 2.80 ± 3.55 to 31.10 ± 20.25 mm in the saline/sham group. Pain did not change within the no-saline/cryo group, 4.00 ± 3.33 to 1.70 ± 1.70 mm. Pain for the saline/sham group remained constant for 17 min. Cryo decreased pain for 16 min in the saline/cryo group. There was no difference in preapplication surface temperature between or within each group. No change in temperature occurred within the saline/sham. Cooling and rewarming were similar in both cryo groups. Ambient temperature fluctuated less than 1°C during data collection.

Conclusion:

Intermittent infusion of sterile 5% hypertonic saline may be a useful experimental pain model in establishing a constant level of pain in a controlled laboratory setting. Cryotherapy decreased the induced anterior knee pain for 16 min.

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Kayla E. Boehm, Blaine C. Long, Mitchell T. Millar and Kevin C. Miller

Effectiveness of Kinesiology Tex Tape (KTT) is conflicting, with some clinicians supporting and others refuting its effects. There is limited information on the psychological effects of KTT or whether its increased use has been influenced by professional athletes. The purpose of this study was to assess the physiological, psychological, and use of KTT. A descriptive survey on the use of KTT was performed with athletic trainers and other health care providers. Many reported that KTT benefited patients physiologically and psychologically. Those who thought KTT provided a physiological benefit indicated that they use it. Many indicated KTT benefited patients psychologically, without impacting them physiologically. In addition, clinicians indicated KTT use has been influenced by professional athletes.