Privious studies have used an exercise stress testing blood pressure (BP) monitor to detect the double product break point (DPBP). However, not all clinical sites of physical therapy are equipped with an exercise stress testing BP monitor. Digital automatic blood pressure monitors (portable sphygmomanometer), which come in more compact, portable models, are becoming more common at general clinical sites. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether a portable sphygmomanometer can be used to derive the DPBP in healthy adults. Exercise stress tests were conducted on 11 healthy adults (8 male, 3 female), using a portable sphygmomanometer and ergometer. To investigate the double product (DP) reproducibility in derivation of DPBP by the portable sphygmomanometer, we repeated the exercise trials within one week. Moreover, using an exercise testing BP monitor, the exercise stress protocol was conducted again within 3 weeks under the same conditions. The results show that DP at DPBP calculated from measurements with a portable sphygmomanometer in the first and second exercise trials with the portable sphygmomanometer were 17084.9 ± 1109.4 and 17131.1 ± 979.2 mmHg × bpm, with an intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.84. The DP at DPBP calculated using measurements from an exercise stress testing BP monitor was 17533.9 ± 1459.2 mmHg × bpm, and the correlation coefficient with the DP value of the second trials with the portable sphygmomanometer was r = 0.80. The results of this study suggest that a comparatively accurate DPBP can be derived using a portable sphygmomanometer.
In this study, in order to evaluate the benefits of the application of functional braces that reduce weight load, we examined pain as well as the length of the use of a functional brace from the preoperative period to 2 months postoperative, by classifying patients based on the severity of cartilage lesions. The clinical efficacy of a functional brace was evaluated in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee (OA group) and internal derangement of the knee (ID group) who used braces, using the subjective functional evaluation index of Western Ontario and McMaster Universities (WOMAC). In addition, the strength of knee muscles was measured using a hand held dynamometer (HHD), and the duration of one foot standing with eyes open was examined comparatively. The OA group was observed pain at 2 months postoperative, a longer non-weight bearing period, and longer time until weaning from braces. However, no significant difference was observed in the aspect of clinical efficacy that was evaluated from the results of pain and physical function in the WOMAC index; the scores of both groups were favorable. Regarding the muscle force from HHD data, significant relations were partly observed between affected and non-affected sides in each of the OA group and the ID group. The duration of one-foot standing with eyes open was significantly lower for the affected side compared with the non-affected side. The benefits of the brace in patients with knee cartilage injury who used a functional brace after were confirmed, and it was suggested that the physical ability of these patients could be improved further by providing instruction regarding home exercises for the maintenance and strengthening of muscular strength and balancing ability.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of enhancement of systemic circulation due to repetitive hot water bathing on work-related chronic shoulder-neck muscle pain. Eight female office workers reporting chronic shoulder-neck muscle pain used a bath additive, KYN, while they took baths at home for 2 weeks and then took baths without KYN for another 2 weeks. KYN contained CO2 generators and 3-octylphthalide that produced final concentrations of 100 ppm and 3 ppm in 150 L bath water, respectively. The effects of KYN were evaluated during and after the use of KYN using a visual analog scale (VAS), fatigue scores, muscle hardness, near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), and the pressure pain threshold (PPT). During the use of KYN, VAS significantly decreased (p<0.05), as did fatigue score III expressing "sense of physical discomfort" (p<0.01) and muscle hardness (p<0.01). These indices expressed increases during the next 2 weeks of hot water baths without KYN. In conclusion, the effects of repetitive use of KYN were clarified by subjective and physiological parameters on work-related chronic shoulder-neck pain, and they could be ascribed to cumulative immediate enhancement of systemic circulation. Further studies are necessary to clarify the correlations among parameters and underlying mechanisms.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of thermotherapy using a bath additive containing a vasodilation agent on chronic shoulder-neck pain in comparison with conventional remedies. Male subjects reporting chronic shoulder-neck muscle pain and receiving frequent established remedies (group A: acupuncture; group B: massage; and group C: over-the-counter medicine) participated in this study. These treatments were replaced by treatment with carbon dioxide baths containing 3-octylphthalide (KYN) for 2 weeks. Changes in the subjects' symptoms were evaluated during the 2 weeks of KYN use and the following 2 weeks with a return to the initial treatments. Differences in the effects of treatment with KYN were found among these groups. In group B, significant decreases in VAS of overall symptoms in the shoulder-neck region, feelings of muscle tension, pain and difficulty in movement of the shoulder joint, and muscle hardness were found during the 2 weeks using KYN. Although decreases in the feelings of muscle tension, pain and difficulty in movement of the shoulder joint in group A, and decreases in the feelings of muscle tension, pain, and muscle hardness in group C were found, VAS of overall symptoms and other individual parameters did not significantly change. In conclusion, repeated treatments with KYN are thought to be more effective than conventional remedies. The differences in the effects of the treatment with KYN are ascribed to the etiology and symptoms that led to the subjects' initial remedies. Further studies are necessary to enhance these beneficial effects on shoulder-neck pain.
The effects of various heel elevations on postural adjustment and lower-extremity muscle activity during the squat-to-stand (SQ-ST) movement were investigated. Eight healthy male subjects participated in the experiment, which involved rising from a deep squat with three different heel elevations: a full squat (FS), in which the plantar aspects of the feet were in full contact with the floor (0 degree), slope squat (SS), in which a 15-degree wedge was applied underneath the foot, and tiptoe squat (TS), in which subjects lifted their heels to their preferred height by extending the metatarsophalangeal joint. Electromyograms were taken of the extensor digitorum brevis (EDB), tibialis anterior (TA), rectus femoris (RF), and gastrocnemius (G) muscles. The results showed that heel elevation significantly affected the postural adjustment: TS caused significantly smaller anterior displacement in the knee and the hip during ankle dorsiflexion and minimized the duration of the forward movement required to stand. On the other hand, EDB activity strongly increased in TS. However, use of foot slope appeared to decrease activities of RF, TA, and EDB. These findings suggest that the use of a foot slope to achieve a squat-to-stand movement may be appropriate to assist patients with weak lower-extremity muscles.
In the present study, we demonstrated the preventive effect of isometric contraction exercise on disuse muscle atrophy with tail suspension immobilization model mice. Mice were divided into three groups: tail suspension alone (group TS), addition of exercise to tail suspension (group EX), and control (group C). Muscle mass (muscle weight divided by body weight) of soleus (SOL) and gastrocnemius (GAS) muscles were lower in group TS than in group C. In group EX, muscle mass of SOL increased compared to group TS at 2 weeks. Histological examination indicated that group TS mice developed muscle atrophy in both SOL and GAS, while group EX mice did not develop atrophy in SOL. Moreover, this study first demonstrated that muscle mass recovered from atrophy in group EX at 2 weeks. Myosin heavy chain expression was significantly higher in group EX than in group TS at 2 weeks. Our results suggest that isometric contraction exercise prevented disuse muscle atrophy in the soleus muscle.
The purpose of this study was to examine disorders in the perception of an inclined seat surface of post-stroke hemiplegic patients on presentation of visual or proprioceptive cues. The participants were six hemiplegic patients without parietal lobe lesions, higher order cortical dysfunction or sensory impairment, and six healthy elderly persons as a control group. Two kinds of presentation cue were prepared for an alignment task: an inclined or horizontal bar (V-cue) displayed on a monitor watched by the subjects; and an inclined or horizontal stand (P-cue) placed on a table in front of the subjects on which they placed their arms. The presentation cues were inclined 0, 5 and 10 degrees to the right and left sides, the paretic and unaffected sides of the hemiplegic patients, respectively. The subjects sat on a laterally inclined seat, and were asked to verbally report when the inclination angle of the seat was aligned with the presentation cue; the angle of error was recorded. For the hemiplegic patients under the P-cue condition, when the cue was 10 degrees on the paretic (right) side, the angle of error was significantly increased compared to the unaffected side and both sides of the control group. This result indicates that the hemiplegic patients had a disorder in perception of the body angle on the paretic side. The integration function of postural perception based on visual and proprioceptive information is discussed.
This study was done to investigate whether cushion thickness affected elderly people during the sit-to-stand motion (STS motion). Fourteen elderly subjects aged 79 or over were recruited from the out-patients at a rehabilitation clinic. Their STS motions were evaluated and analyzed using a digital video camera and analyzing software. As the thickness of the cushion increased, it was difficult to identify the pelvic movement during STS motion, although the trunk was inclined more anteriorily and the load to the knee extensors was greater. Furthermore, three of the fourteen subjects had difficulties performing STS motion when the pelvis was contoured by a thick cushion. These results suggests that if an older person has a knee extensor strength below an appropriate level and/or the cushion thickness is enough large to contour the subject's pelvis, the risk of falling during STS motion is higher.
The present study examined the relation between walking velocity and motor ability, motor fitness scale and functional capacity. The subjects were 35 males and females aged from 65 to 89 years. The participants walked on 5 m walkway at their preferred and maximum velocity. Walking velocity, step length, step rate, and walk ratio were calculated. We obtained the following findings. 1) Walking speeds exhibited a significant correlation with the Motor Fitness Scale (MFS) and balance ability. 2) The determinant of preferred walking velocity was MFS. The results suggest that preferred walking velocity could be used mesuring for physical fitness in community-dwelling elderly; preferred walking velocity was a better measure of physical fitness in the elderly than maximum walking velocity.
The lower trunk muscle is involved in stabilizing the action of the standing position, and activation of the muscles of the hip joint is generated by activation of the trunk muscle. The purpose of this study was to clarify whether activation training of the obliquus internus abdominis muscle affects activation of the lower trunk muscle and hip joint abductor muscle action in the standing position. The subject was an elderly healthy man. The muscular activity of the lower trunk muscle in changing from two-leg standing to one-leg standing was compared before and after the training which mainly activated the obliquus internus abdominis muscle. Both % integrated electromyography and coefficient of variation of the obliquus internus abdominis muscle decreased significantly after the training and so did % integrated electromyography of the multifidus muscle. In the gluteus medius muscle, there was no change in % integrated electromyography and the coefficient of variation before and after the training. These results suggest that the training method may prove useful in activating a series of smooth activities of the lower trunk muscle.
The purpose of this study was to investigate healthy elderly persons by a frequency analysis of heart rate variability during shift from two-leg standing to one-leg standing. The high frequency value was lower in the elderly persons in comparison with young adults, but there were no significant differences in heart rate and the low frequency / high frequency ratio of both groups. The low frequency / high frequency ratio of low values of the high frequency group was significantly higher than that of high values of the high frequency group. From these results, we consider that when the elderly experience decreases in parasympathetic nerve function, they compensate by activating sympathetic nerve function.