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Justin M. Stanek, John Meyer and Rob Lynall

Context:

Balance training is widely used by rehabilitation professionals and has been shown to be effective at reducing risk of injury, as well as improving function after injury. However, objective evidence for the difficulty of commonly available equipment is lacking.

Objective:

To assess center-of-pressure (COP) area and average sway velocity in healthy subjects while performing a single-limb stance on 4 commonly available rehabilitation devices to determine their level of difficulty.

Design:

Single-session, randomized, repeated-measures design to assess COP area and average sway velocity while performing a single-limb stance on 4 devices positioned on a force platform.

Setting:

University laboratory.

Subjects:

A convenience sample of 57 healthy college-age subjects.

Intervention:

Each participant balanced on the dominant limb in a nonshod single-limb stance with eyes open for 20 s during 4 conditions. The 4 conditions were randomized and included the Both Sides Up (BOSU) trainer, Airex balance pad, half-foam roller, and DynaDisc.

Main Outcome Measure:

Means and standard deviations were calculated for maximum displacement in each direction. In addition, the means and standard deviations for COP area and average sway velocity were calculated for the 4 conditions and compared using a 1-way repeated-measure ANOVA.

Results:

Significant differences were found for both COP area and average sway velocity between the BOSU trainer and the other 3 devices. A significant difference was also found between the DynaDisc and the half-foam roller.

Conclusions:

Level of difficulty, as measured by COP area and average sway velocity, is different for commonly available rehabilitation equipment. Clinicians may find these results a useful guide when progressing patients through balance training.

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Matthew J. Moncrieff and Lori A. Livingston

Context:

Structural and coronal-plane-alignment characteristics of the lower limb are frequently cited as factors contributing to knee pathologies.

Objective:

The purpose of this study was to determine the accuracy and reliability characteristics of a digital-photographic-goniometric method (DPGM) of measurement for 2-dimensional (2D) coronal-plane lower limb measurements of the quadriceps (Q) angle, tibiofemoral (TF) angle, and femur length in human participants adopting a self-selected- or Romberg-stance position.

Design:

Reliability study.

Setting:

University motion-analysis laboratory.

Participants:

A convenience sample of 20 healthy young adult men and women.

Main Outcome Measures:

Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs), 95% confidence intervals, and standard error of the measurements.

Results:

Intratester- and intertester-reliability coefficients for the Q angle (ICCs .458–845 and .257–737) were consistently lower than those for the TF angle (ICCs .627–.904 and .700–.839) or femur length (ICCs .867–.958 and .866–.944). Q angles were also significantly larger (13.4%) in the Romberg- vs self-selected-stance position (P < .001) and larger (20.2%) in the left limb than the right limb.

Conclusions:

The DPGM has the potential to produce accurate and reliable measurements of selected 2D lower limb measures. However, the reliability characteristics depend on the ability of the testers to correctly and repeatably landmark the anatomical sites used to define the measurements of interest and might be influenced by other factors such as the stance position adopted, the complexity of the variable (ie, number of anatomical landmarks and segments), and the size of the captured image. Further investigation of these latter factors is warranted.

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Matthew C. Hoch, David R. Mullineaux, Richard D. Andreatta, Robert A. English, Jennifer M. Medina-McKeon, Carl G. Mattacola and Patrick O. McKeon

Context:

A single talocrural joint-mobilization treatment has improved spatiotemporal measures of postural control but not ankle arthrokinematics in individuals with chronic ankle instability (CAI). However, the effects of multiple treatment sessions on these aspects of function have not been investigated.

Objective:

To examine the effect of a 2-wk anterior-to-posterior joint-mobilization intervention on instrumented measures of single-limb-stance static postural control and ankle arthrokinematics in adults with CAI.

Design:

Repeated measures.

Setting:

Research laboratory.

Participants:

12 individuals with CAI (6 male, 6 female; age 27.4 ± 4.3 y, height 175.4 ± 9.78 cm, mass 78.4 ± 11.0 kg).

Intervention:

Subjects received 6 treatments sessions of talocrural grade II joint traction and grade III anterior-to-posterior joint mobilization over 2 wk.

Main Outcome Measures:

Instrumented measures of single-limb-stance static postural control (eyes open and closed) and anterior and posterior talar displacement and stiffness were assessed 1 wk before the intervention (baseline), before the first treatment (preintervention), 24–48 h after the final treatment (postintervention), and 1 wk later (1-wk follow-up). Postural control was analyzed as center-of-pressure velocity, center-of-pressure range, the mean of time-to-boundary minima, and standard deviation of time-to-boundary minima in the anteroposterior and mediolateral directions for each visual condition.

Results:

No significant differences were identified in any measures of postural control (P > .08) or ankle arthrokinematics (P > .21).

Conclusions:

The 2-wk talocrural joint-mobilization intervention did not alter instrumented measures of single-limb-stance postural control or ankle arthrokinematics. Despite the absence of change in these measures, this study continues to clarify the role of talocrural joint mobilization as a rehabilitation strategy for patients with CAI.

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Kyung-Min Kim, Christopher D. Ingersoll and Jay Hertel

Context:

Focal ankle-joint cooling (FAJC) has been shown to increase Hoffmann (H) reflex amplitudes of select leg muscles while subjects lie prone, but it is unknown whether the neurophysiological cooling effects persist in standing.

Objective:

To assess the effects of FAJC on H-reflexes of the soleus and fibularis longus during 3 body positions (prone, bipedal, and unipedal stances) in individuals with and without chronic ankle instability (CAI).

Design:

Crossover.

Setting:

Laboratory.

Participants:

15 young adults with CAI (9 male, 6 female) and 15 healthy controls.

Intervention:

All subjects received both FAJC and sham treatments on separate days in a randomized order. FAJC was accomplished by applying a 1.5-L plastic bag filled with crushed ice to the ankle for 20 min. Sham treatment involved room-temperature candy corn.

Main Outcome Measures:

Maximum amplitudes of H-reflexes and motor (M) waves were recorded while subjects lay prone and then stood in quiet bipedal and unipedal stances before and immediately after each treatment. Primary outcome measures were Hmax:Mmax ratios for the soleus and fibularis longus. Three-factor (group × treatment condition × time) repeated-measures ANOVAs and Fisher LSD tests were performed for statistical analyses.

Results:

Significant interactions of treatment condition by time for prone Hmax:Mmax ratios were found in the soleus (P = .001) and fibularis longus (P = .003). In both muscles, prone Hmax:Mmax ratios moderately increased after FAJC but not after sham treatment. The CAI and healthy groups responded similarly to FAJC. In contrast, there were no significant interactions or main effects in the bipedal and unipedal stances in either muscle (P > .05).

Conclusions:

FAJC moderately increased H-reflex amplitudes of the soleus and fibularis longus while subjects were prone but not during bipedal or unipedal standing. These results were not different between groups with and without CAI.

Open access

Matthew C. Hoch, David R. Mullineaux, Kyoungkyu Jeon and Patrick O. McKeon

Single joint kinematic alterations have been identified during gait in those with chronic ankle instability (CAI). The purpose of this study was to compare sagittal plane hip, knee, and ankle kinematics during walking in participants with and without CAI. Twelve individuals with CAI and 12 healthy individuals walked on a treadmill at 1.5 m/s. Three-dimensional kinematics were analyzed using mean ensemble curves and independent t tests. Participants with CAI demonstrated less lower extremity flexion during the absorption phase of stance and the limb placement phase of swing, which may have implications for limb placement at initial contact.

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Karen P. DePauw and Gudrun Doll-Tepper

Inclusion has been a topic of discussions and debate among adapted physical activity professionals since the 1980s. Although the initial discussions focused primarily on inclusion as a place or placement, the discourse today about inclusion must be expanded to incorporate issues of context, disability rights, and social justice. Inclusion must now be reconceptualized as an attitude or a process. Progressive inclusion and acceptance is not a myth but a reality. As international attention and efforts are focused on physical education as a right of all children, APA professionals must forego bandwagons and adopt a strong philosophical stance that guides our efforts toward achieving inclusive physical education.

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Young-Hoo Kwon, Lonn Hutcheson, Jeffrey B. Casebolt, Joong-Hyun Ryu and Kunal Singhal

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of transversely sloped ballasted walking surface on gait and rearfoot motion (RFM) parameters. Motion analysis was performed with 20 healthy participants (15 male and 5 female) walking in six surface-slope conditions: two surfaces (solid and ballasted) by three slopes (0, 5, and 10 degrees). The gait parameters (walking velocity, step length, step rate, step width, stance time, and toe-out angle) showed significant surface effect (p = .004) and surface-slope interaction (p = .017). The RFM motion parameters (peak everted/inverted position, eversion/inversion velocity, and acceleration) revealed significant surface (p = .004) and slope (p = .024) effects. The ballasted conditions showed more cautious gait patterns with lower walk velocity, step length, and step rate and longer stance time. In the RFM parameters, the slope effect was more notable in the solid conditions due to the gait adaptations in the ballasted conditions. Ballast conditions showed reduced inversion and increased eversion and RFM range. The RFM data were comparable to other typical walking conditions but smaller than those from running.

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Yuki Uto, Tetsuo Maeda, Ryoji Kiyama, Masayuki Kawada, Ken Tokunaga, Akihiko Ohwatashi, Kiyohiro Fukudome, Tadasu Ohshige, Yoichi Yoshimoto and Kazunori Yone

The purpose of this study was to determine whether a lateral wedge insole reduces the external knee adduction moment during slope walking. Twenty young, healthy subjects participated in this study. Subjects walked up and down a slope using 2 different insoles: a control flat insole and a 7° lateral wedge insole. A three-dimensional motion analysis system and force plate were used to examine the knee adduction moment, the ankle valgus moment, and the moment arm of the ground reaction force to the knee joint center in the frontal plane. The lateral wedge insole significantly decreased the moment arm of the ground reaction force, resulting in a reduction of the knee adduction moment during slope walking, similar to level walking. The reduction ratio of knee adduction moment by the lateral wedge insole during the early stance of up-slope walking was larger than that of level walking. Conversely, the lateral wedge insole increased the ankle valgus moment during slope walking, especially during the early stance phase of up-slope walking. Clinicians should examine the utilization of a lateral wedge insole for knee osteoarthritis patients who perform inclined walking during daily activity, in consideration of the load on the ankle joint.

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Heydar Sadeghi, Francois Prince, Karl F. Zabjek and Paul Allard

In this study, tasks of the hip in elderly and young gait were identified using principal-component analysis (PCA). Discrepancies between older and younger participants for hip-flexor and -extensor action during stance were also investigated. PCA was applied to the sagittal-hip-muscle-power curves of participants. Three principal components (PCs) were retained for further analysis. A t test revealed that all measures of gait spatiotemporal parameters were significantly lower in the older participants (p < .05). The first PC for both groups extracted the largest variation and described hip-power action during midistance. The second and third PCs in the older participants highlighted the role of the hip extensors and flexors during weight acceptance, late stance, and pull-off. The corresponding PCs for the younger participants were mainly associated with hip-extensor/flexor action during pull-off and weight acceptance. The results indicate that the hip-extensor/flexor muscles are mainly responsible for balance control in elderly gait but contribute to both balance control and propulsion in the gait of younger individuals.

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Astrid Bergland, Hilde Sylliaas, Gun Britt Jarnlo and Torgeir Bruun Wyller

The aim of this study was to investigate walking and health among woman age 75 yr or older, in the associations between the highest step up performed without support by an individual and balance, walking, and health among women age 75+. Records of the highest step, balance, walking, and health were made for 307 women age 75–93 yr living in the community. Eighty percent managed to climb steps higher than 20 cm. There was a statistically significant negative relationship between age and stair-climbing capacity. The highest steps registered were significantly and independently associated with a short time on the timed up-and-go test, long functional reach, low body weight, lack of perceived difficulty walking outdoors, low number of “missteps” when walking in a figure of 8, longer time in one-leg stance, ability to carry out tandem stance, no walking aids outdoors, and not being afraid of falling. These variables together explained 67% of the variance in the step-height score.