To investigate how sensory symptoms impact the motor control of hands, in this study we examined the differences in conventional sensibility assessments and pinch force control in the pinch-holding-up activity (PHUA) test between carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) patients and healthy controls. CTS patients (n = 82) with 122 affected hands and an equal number of control subjects were recruited to participate in the threshold, discrimination, and PHUA tests. The patients showed significantly poorer hand sensibility and lower efficiency of force adjustment in the PHUA test as compared with the control subjects. Baseline pinch strength and the percentage of maximal pinch strength for the PHUA were significantly higher for the subgroup of sensory nerve action potential (SNAP) of <16 μV than for the subgroup of SNAP of3 16 μV. Using a PHUA perspective to analyze the efficiency of force-adjustment could assist the clinical detection of sensory nerve dysfunction.
Wei-Jang Yen, Yao-Lung Kuo, Li-Chieh Kuo, Shu-Min Chen, Ta-Shen Kuan and Hsiu-Yun Hsu
Yi-Ju Tsai, Chieh-Chie Chia, Pei-Yun Lee, Li-Chuan Lin and Yi-Liang Kuo
Context: Core control and strength are important for reducing the risk of lower-extremity injury. Current evidence on the effect of core training in male adolescent athletes is limited, and other investigations into the effects of core training often emphasized core strength only. Objective: To examine whether core training emphasizing both control and strength of the trunk and hip would improve joint kinematics during landing, sports performance, and lower-extremity muscle strength in adolescent male volleyball athletes. Design: Single group pretest and posttest design. Setting: University laboratory. Participants: Sixteen male participants (age: 13.4  y, height: 167.8 [8.6] cm, mass: 58.6 [13.9] kg, and volleyball experience: 3.8 [1.5] y) from a Division I volleyball team at a junior high school. Main Outcome Measurements: Kinematics of the trunk and lower-extremity during box landing and spike jump landing tasks, volleyball-related sports performance, and isokinetic strength of hip and knee muscles were assessed before and after a 6-week core training program. Results: After training, the participants demonstrated decreased trunk flexion angle (P = .01, Cohen’s d = 0.78) during the box landing task and reduced the maximum knee internal rotation angle (P = .04, Cohen’s d = 0.56) during the spike jump landing task. The average isokinetic strength of hip flexors and external rotators, and knee flexors and extensors also significantly increased (P = .001, Cohen’s d = 0.98; P = .04, Cohen’s d = 0.57; P = .02, Cohen’s d = 0.66; P = .003, Cohen’s d = 0.87, respectively); however, sports performance did not show significant changes. Conclusions: A more erect landing posture following training suggests that the core training program may be beneficial for improving core stability. The long-term effect of core training for knee injury prevention needs further investigation.
Pai-Yun Cheng, Hsiao-Feng Chieh, Chien-Ju Lin, Hsiu-Yun Hsu, Jia-Jin J. Chen, Li-Chieh Kuo and Fong-Chin Su
This study aims toward an investigation and comparison of the digital force control and the brain activities of older adults and young groups during digital pressing tasks. A total of 15 young and 15 older adults were asked to perform force ramp tasks at different force levels with a custom pressing system. Near-infrared spectroscopy was used to collect the brain activities in the prefrontal cortex and primary motor area. The results showed that the force independence and hand function of the older adults were worse than that of the young adults. The cortical activations in the older adults were higher than those in the young group during the tasks. A significant hemodynamic between-group response and mild negative correlations between brain activation and force independence ability were found. Older adults showed poor force independence ability and manual dexterity and required additional brain activity to compensate for the degeneration.