Patellofemoral taping is a technique used in the management of patellofemoral pain that has been shown to alter the pattern of muscle activation onset in symptomatic subjects. It is unknown, however, if this taping technique directly influences the patterns of muscle activity that controls patella position or if its benefits are more related to the effect of pain reduction. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a taping technique on the muscle activation onset of selected quadriceps muscles where pain was not a confounding factor. Thirteen asymptomatic subjects completed a stair ascent and descent task with the right patella untaped and taped for a medial patella glide. Muscle activation onset was determined by computer algorithm from surface EMG of vastus lateralis (VL) and vastus medialis obliquus (VMO). Taping significantly delayed the muscle activation onset of VMO and VL during stair ascent. There was no significant change for stair descent. This effect may be an attempt by the motor control system to counter the mechanical effect of patella perturbation or may be due to cutaneous stimulation affecting threshold or recruitment of motor units.
David Parsons and Wendy Gilleard
Pazit Levinger, Wendy Gilleard and Cliff Coleman
Use of a shank shell has been shown to estimate tibial transverse rotations better than skin-mounted markers. However, the day-to-day reliability of the transverse tibial rotations using an individually molded shank shell has not been previously investigated. This study examined the between-tests and trials reliability of an individually molded shank shell for measuring peak tibial internal and external rotations, time of peak values, and tibia range of motion during 5 walking trials. The trial-to-trial reliability of tibial transverse rotations was measured in 14 healthy individuals while the test-retest reliability was measured in 10 persons on two occasions. Trial-to-trial reliability for peak transverse rotations, time of peak values, and tibia range of motion ranged from ICC (3,1) 0.59–0.95. The PCA between trials showed that 88–99% of values were within 3° of agreement. Test-retest reliability for peak rotations, tibia range of motion, and time of peak values ranged from ICC (3,1) 0.70–0.89 with SEM 1.6–2.21°, 0.021%, and 0.034%, respectively. The PCA between tests showed that 70–100% of values were within 3° of agreement. The use of an individually molded shell and the close attachment of the shank shell to the individual's shank resulted in reliable test-retest and trial-to-trial data.
Alison Alcock, Wendy Gilleard, Nick A.T. Brown, John Baker and Adam Hunter
Initial ball flight characteristics of curve and instep kicks were investigated. Fifteen international female footballers performed curve and instep kicks from a distance of 20 m from goal and at a 1 m2 target. Seventeen Vicon cameras tracked three-dimensional coordinates of four reflective markers adhered to the ball. Ball flight characteristics were quantified, and the coordinates of the ball relative to the target center were recorded. The lateral launch angle and the angle of the spin axis relative to the horizontal best predicted the horizontal placement of the ball relative to the target. The vertical launch angle, antero-posterior velocity and amount of backspin best predicted the vertical coordinate. Regression models demonstrated how carefully controlled the flight characteristics must be with launch angles constrained within 3° to hit the target. Curve kicks were characterized by significantly greater lateral and vertical launch angles, increased sidespin and spin about the antero-posterior axis, and a more vertical spin axis. This information is beneficial for coaches in training players to achieve the characteristics required to score a goal and avoid a defensive wall. For example, if players consistently kick above or below the target, these findings identify the variables that will help rectify that error.
Simon A. Rogers, Peter Hassmén, Alexandra H. Roberts, Alison Alcock, Wendy L. Gilleard and John S. Warmenhoven
Purpose: A novel 4-task Athlete Introductory Movement Screen was developed and tested to provide an appropriate and reliable movement screening tool for youth sport practitioners. Methods: The overhead squat, lunge, push-up, and a prone brace with shoulder touches were selected based on previous assessments. A total of 28 mixed-sport junior athletes (18 boys and 10 girls; mean age = 15.7 [1.8] y) completed screening after viewing standardized demonstration videos. Athletes were filmed performing 8 repetitions of each task and assessed retrospectively by 2 independent raters using a 3-point scale. The primary rater reassessed the footage 3 weeks later. A subgroup (n = 11) repeated the screening 7 days later, and a further 8 athletes were reassessed 6 months later. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC), typical error (TE), coefficient of variation (CV%), and weighted kappa (k) were used in reliability analysis. Results: For the Athlete Introductory Movement Screen 4-task sum score, intrarater reliability was high (ICC = .97; CV = 2.8%), whereas interrater reliability was good (intraclass correlation coefficient = .88; CV = 5.6%). There was a range of agreement from fair to almost perfect (k = .31–.89) between raters across individual movements. A 7-day and 6-month test–retest held good reliability and acceptable CVs (≤ 10%) for sum scores. Conclusion: The 4-task Athlete Introductory Movement Screen appears to be a reliable tool for profiling emerging athletes. Reliability was strongest within the same rater; it was lower, yet acceptable, between 2 raters. Scores can provide an overview of appropriate movement competencies, helping practitioners assess training interventions in the athlete development pathway.