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  • Author: Yu Okubo x
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Hiroshi Takasaki, Yu Okubo and Shun Okuyama

Context: Accurate joint position sense (JPS) is necessary for effective motor learning and high performance in activities that require fine motor control. Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) can be a promising intervention. Objective: To examine existing peer-reviewed original studies that have investigated the effect of PNF techniques on the JPS in terms of the methodological quality, PNF techniques, outcomes, and participant characteristics. Evidence Acquisition: A systematic literature search was performed using PubMed, EMBASE, MEDLINE, CINAHL, SocINDEX, Scopus, and Cochrane Library from inception to January 2018. The following inclusion criteria were used: (1) assessment of the JPS; (2) peer-reviewed original studies with a randomized controlled trial or quasi-randomized controlled trial design; (3) participants with musculoskeletal disorders or healthy individuals (ie, neither animal studies nor those involving neurological problems); and (4) no cointervention with PNF, except for warm-up procedures. The methodological quality was assessed using PEDro scale and 5 additional criteria. Effect size (η 2) was calculated where a positive value indicated an increased JPS after PNF as compared with other approaches including the wait-and-see method. Evidence Synthesis: Nine studies were examined for their methodological quality, and only one study scored >6 on the PEDro scale. Positive and large effect size (η 2 > .14) was detected in 2 studies where JPS of the knee with contract-relax and replication techniques was assessed in healthy individuals. However, the methodological quality of these studies was poor (PEDro scores of 3 and ≤5 in the total quality score out of 16, respectively). Conclusions: The current study did not find multiple studies with high methodological quality and similar PNF techniques, outcomes, and characteristics of participants. More high-quality studies are required to achieve a comprehensive understanding of the effect of PNF on the JPS.

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Tomoki Oshikawa, Gen Adachi, Hiroshi Akuzawa, Yu Okubo and Koji Kaneoka

Context: The quadratus lumborum (QL) is expected to contribute to segmental motor control of the lumbar spine to prevent low back pain. It has different layers (anterior [QL-a] and posterior [QL-p] layers), whose functional differences are becoming apparent. However, the difference between the QL-a and QL-p activities during bridge exercises utilized in rehabilitation is unclear. Objective: To compare QL-a and QL-p activities during bridge exercises. Design: Repeated-measurement design was used to assess electromyographic activity of trunk muscles recorded during 14 types of bridge exercises. Setting: University laboratory. Participants: A total of 13 healthy men with no history of lumbar spine disorders participated. Intervention: The participants performed 14 types of bridge exercises (3, 3, and 8 types of side bridge, back bridge, and front bridge [FB], respectively). Main Outcome Measures: Fine-wire electromyography was used for QL-a and QL-p activity measurements during bridge exercises. Results: Both QL-a and QL-p showed the highest activity during the side bridge with hip abduction  (47.3% [29.5%] and 43.0% [32.9%] maximal voluntary isometric contraction, respectively). The activity of the QL-a was significantly higher than that of the QL-p during back bridge with ipsilateral leg lift and FB elbow–toe with ipsilateral arm and contralateral leg lift (P < .05). With regard to the QL-p, the activity of the FB hand–knee with contralateral arm and ipsilateral leg lift, the FB elbow–knee with contralateral arm and ipsilateral leg lift, and the FB elbow–toe with contralateral arm and ipsilateral leg lift were significantly higher than that of the FB elbow–knee and FB elbow–toe (P < .05). Conclusion: This study indicates different regional activities; the QL-a activated during the back bridge with ipsilateral leg lift and FB with ipsilateral arm lift, and the QL-p activated during the FB with ipsilateral leg lift. These results have implications for the rehabilitation of low back pain or lumbar scoliosis patients based on QL recruitment.