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Edgar R. Vieira, Ruth Tappen, Sareen S. Gropper, Maria T. Severi, Gabriella Engstrom, Marcio R. de Oliveira, Alexandre C. Barbosa, and Rubens A. da Silva

The objective of this pilot study was to evaluate a 6-month exercise program completed by 10 older Caribbean Americans. Assessments were done at baseline and 3 and 6 months, and included walks on an instrumented mat at preferred speed, and during street crossing simulations with regular (10 s) and reduced time (5 s). There were no significant differences on preferred walking speed over time. Differences between the street crossing conditions were found only at 6 months. Significant changes over time among the assessments were found only during street crossing with reduced time. Street crossing with reduced time was the only walking condition sensitive to capture changes associated with participating in the exercise program. There was a significant increase in dorsiflexion strength overtime. At 6 months it was significantly higher than at baseline and 3 months. The program was feasible, acceptable, and had some positive effects on walking, knee flexion, and dorsiflexion strength.

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Alexandre H. Nowotny, Mariane Guizeline Calderon, Bruno Mazziotti O. Alves, Marcio R. de Oliveira, Rodrigo A. de Carvalho Andraus, Andreo F. Aguiar, Cesar F. Amorim, Guillaume Leonard, and Rubens A. da Silva

Context: Chronic low-back pain (CLBP) may be associated with changes in postural balance in athletes as poor postural control during sports practice. Objective: To compare the postural control of athletes with and without CLBP during 2 one-legged stance tasks and identify the center of pressure (COP) cutoff values to determine the main differences. Designed: A cross-sectional study. Setting: Laboratory of functional evaluation and human motor performance. Participants: A total of 56 male athletes, 28 with and 28 without CLBP (mean age = 26 y). Intervention: The one-legged stance with knee extension and with the knee at 30° flexion tasks were measured and analyzed on a force platform. The participants completed three 30-second trials (30 s of rest between each trial). Main Outcome Measures: The COP parameters: the area of COP, mean COP sway velocity in both the anteroposterior and mediolateral directions, and total COP displacement were computed, and a receiver operating characteristics curve analysis was applied to determine the group differences. Results: Athletes with CLBP had poorer postural control (P < .01) in both tasks. The 30° knee flexion reported more postural instability than the knee extension for all COP parameters (a large effect size d = 0.80).The knee extension cutoffs identified were >7.1 cm2 for the COP area, >2.6 cm/s for the COP sway velocity in the anterior-posterior direction, and >3.2 cm/s for the mediolateral direction. Whereas, the 30° knee flexion cutoffs were >10.9 cm2 for the COP area, >2.9 cm/s for the COP sway velocity in the anterior-posterior direction, and >4.1 cm/s for the mediolateral direction. Both measures showed enough sensitivity and specificity (ie, area under the curve = 0.88 in and 0.80, respectively) to discriminate both groups. Conclusions: The athletes with CLBP had poorer postural control than the healthy athletes and obtained specific cutoff scores from the COP values.