[Purpose] The objective of this study was to compare the active cervical range of motion (CROM) of asymptomatic subjects without orthosis with wearing cervical soft collars or with cervical 5cross-taping. [Subjects] Twenty-three asymptomatic subjects (13 males, 10 females) without neck or shoulder pain agreed to participate in this study. [Methods] The active neck movement (flexion, extension, and left and right rotation and lateral flexion) of the subjects was measured using a CROM instrument without orthosis, while wearing a cervical soft collar, and with cervical-5 cross-taping. [Results] All active neck movements with cervical-5 cross-taping were significantly reduced compared to without orthosis. All active neck movements while wearing soft cervical collars were significantly reduced compared to without orthosis and cervical-5 cross-taping. [Conclusion] These preliminary results suggest that cervical-5 cross-taping using Kinesio tape may allow more active neck movement than soft cervical collars and be more supported than without orthosis.
[Purpose] This study aimed to find out the effects of Kinesio taping (KT) on the vastus medialis oblique (VMO) and vastus lateralis (VL) EMG activities of patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) patients. [Subjects and Methods] Fifteen PFPS patients (mean age: 23 yr, mean height: 155 cm, mean weight: 71.47 kg) participated in this study. KT was attached to all subjects from the tibial tuberosity, following VMO and VL paths, up to 1/3 of the proximal thigh. Subjects' pain was measured using a VAS scale with and without KT. A digital dynamometer (Power Track II, JTECH medical, USA) was used to measure maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC), and a surface EMG (MP150 BIOPAC System Inc. CA. USA) was used to measure the VMO and VL EMG activities. [Results] KT was found to significantly reduce pain and to increase MVIC. The VMO and VL EMG activities during stair ascent and descent decreased to a significant degree. [Conclusion] The study results suggest that KT is effective for pain relief, increase MVIC and decrease EMG activity of PFPS patients. Accordingly, KT applied around knee joints seems to help PFPS patients during stair ascent and descent and with activities of daily living including walking.
[Purpose] The aim of this study was to investigate the change in knee muscle force of younger persons after neuromuscular joint facilitation (NJF) treatment. [Subjects] The subjects were 39 healthy young people, who were divided into two groups: a NJF group and a control group. The NJF group consisted of 26 subjects (16 males, 10 females), and the control group consisted of 13 subjects (7 males, 6 females). [Methods] Participants in the NJF group received NJF treatment. We measured the maximal flexor force and the maximal extensor force during isokinetic movement of the knee joint before and after intervention in both groups. The angular velocities used were 60°/sec, 180°/sec and 300°/sec. [Results] The NJF group showed significant increases in the maximal flexor force and the maximal extensor force after the intervention. In the control group, there were no significant differences. [Conclusion] These results suggest that there is an immediate effect of NJF intervention on knee muscle force.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of the moment arm length on the muscle activation of the upper limbs and the trunk. Subjects performed push-up exercises on a stable surface and on an unstable surface placing their feet at a higher level than the hands. [Subjects] The subjects of this study were 33 normal adults in their 20s who had normal range of motion and who were without disorders of the shoulder complex, musculoskeletal disease in the upper limbs or low back pain. [Methods] The experiment was performed using the following four positions: on an unstable surface created by placing a 65 cm diameter exercise ball under the ankle or knee joints of the subjects, and on a stable surface created by placing a bench with a height of a 65 cm under the ankle or knee joints of the subjects. To prevent the effect of muscle fatigue, all exercises were randomly performed. To measure muscle activation in the trunk, electrodes were attached to the erector spinae, rectus abdominis, and external oblique abdominal muscle. The serratus anterior, deltoid middle fiber, pectoralis major, and triceps brachii muscle were chosen as scapular stabilizers. [Results] The muscle activations of the four different positions were compared and the results show that there were significant difference among the erector spinae, rectus abdominis, external oblique abdominal, serratus anterior, deltoid middle fiber and pectoralis major. [Conclusion] The push-up exercise with the lower limbs on unstable ground increased trunk and shoulder muscle activation more than those on stable ground. We assume that muscle activation of the distal parts might have affected the muscle activation of the shoulder stabilizers that are proximal part muscles.
[Purpose] We investigated the changes in strength of the lumbar area and the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) of HNP patients in their early recovery stage after surgery before and after performance of an exercise program, minimal walking, or no exercise. [Subjects] Ninety-six (men=54, women=42) HNP patients who had received surgery were divided into 3 groups: the self-stretching and strengthening exercise group (SG), the walking group (WG), and the control group (CG). CG conducted no exercise. [Methods] WG walked for 10 minutes to 1 hours at a time. SG was permitted to walk under the same conditions as WG and also conducted an exercise program for 10 to 30 minutes at a time. The lumbar extension strength and ROM were measured before and after the exercise program. [Results] SG showed the most decreased disability and improved muscle strength and ROM. [Conclusion] Intensive exercise, for example, stretching and strengthening exercise, was effective for trunk function. However, more scientific research will be needed in the future.
[Purpose] To examine electromyographic (EMG) activity change during dynamic contraction of the quadriceps with skin cold stimulation (SCS) over the vastus lateralis (VL) and L4 dermatome area on the medial side of the lower leg. [Subjects and Methods] Seventeen healthy male volunteers participated. Dynamic knee extension was performed at 15% maximum voluntary contraction (MVC). SCS is a method used to cool the skin to 25 °C using a gel-cooling pad. The SCS method has no effect on the muscle below the cooled skin. Subjects performed dynamic knee extension under 4 randomly selected conditions: (1) SCS of skin over the VL (SCSVL), (2)without SCS of skin over the VL (non-SCSVL), (3) SCS of L4 dermatome area on the medial side of the lower leg (SCSL4), and (4) without SCS of L4 dermatome area on the medial side of the lower leg (non-SCSL4). Surface EMG from the rectus femoris (RF), VL, and vastus medialis (VM) were recorded using miniature electrodes. [Results] The root mean square of the EMG (rmsEMG) of the VL with SCS was significantly greater than activation without SCS, but was decreased by SCSL4. However, the activity of RF and VM did not change in any condition. [Conclusion] Our results suggest that the influence of cutaneous input can demonstrably modulate muscle activation.
[Purpose] This study examined the changes in the translation of the center of pressure (COP) when older adults initiated gait before and after Tai Chi (TC) training. [Subjects] Twenty older adults, ranging in age from 65 to 83 years, participated in a 16-week TC training program. [Methods] Before and after the TC training the subjects were asked to perform gait initiation (GI). The subjects exercised with Sun-style TC, which incorporates elements that emphasize continuous flowing movement, balance control, endurance, strength, concentration and awareness of the environment, three times per week over a 16-week period. The differences in COP excursion in the anteroposterior (A-P) and mediolateral (M-L) directions between pre- and post-training were analyzed using the data collected from two force plates. [Results] The COP displacement in the A-P and M-L directions after TC training was increased significantly compared to that observed pre-training. [Conclusion] The 16-week practice of TC improved the ability of participants to generate momentum via a greater COP shift in the A-P and M-L directions in the initiation of gait as well as their ability to maintain balance and lateral stability. TC training may be effective for prevention of falls among the healthy elderly.
[Purpose] This study investigated the effect of trunk stabilization exercises on the thickness of deep abdominal muscles and balance in chronic stroke patients. [Subjects] Twelve patients with chronic stroke were divided into 2 groups, an experimental group (EG) of 6 people and a control group (CG) of 6 people. [Methods] The 2 groups received routine physical therapy for 30?min, 5 times a week for 5 weeks. In addition, EG performed trunk stabilization exercises with visual feedback, using ultrasonic imaging, for 30?min. For the thickness of the deep abdominal muscles, the muscle thickness gap was measured with ultrasonic imaging. The Postural Assessment Scale for Stroke Patients (PASS) and Functional Reach Test (FRT) were also performed to assess balance ability. Muscles thickness gap, PASS, and FRT were measured before and after the intervention. [Results] Significant differences between the pre- and post-intervention values were observed for all variables in EG. A post-intervention comparison of the 2 groups revealed significant differences in all variables. The improvement rate for all variables was significantly higher in EG than in CG. [Conclusion] According to our results, trunk stabilization exercises showed effects in chronic stroke patients on both the deep abdominal muscle thickness and balance. The results support the idea that simultaneous application of routine physical therapy and trunk stabilization exercises can promote the recovery of chronic stroke patients and be helpful in rehabilitating them and improving their functional outcome.
[Purpose] Ideomotor apraxia (IMA) is a disorder characterized by spatial or temporal errors in correctly performing intentional movements and making meaningful gestures. This study was performed to determine whether the arm IMA scores can be used to predict the leg IMA scores using the IMA test for the upper and lower limbs. [Subjects and Methods] Thirty stroke patients that showed complete paralysis of a hemiplegic limb were recruited for this study. All patients were right-handed with no unilateral spatial neglect or severe cognitive impairment. IMA of the upper and lower limbs was assessed by the arm and leg IMA test. Each test has 12 items, which require patients to reproduce movements by imitation immediately after presentation using the limb ipsilateral to the lesion. [Results] The arm IMA test showed a significant correlation with the leg IMA test. The leg IMA score was predicted by the arm IMA score according to a simple regression model that showed a significant coefficient of simple determination. [Conclusion] We found that the score of the arm IMA test is similar to the score of the leg IMA test in hemiplegic stroke patients. The arm IMA test is a good prognostic factor for predicting the relative degree of leg IMA. Furthermore, IMA of the upper limbs may contribute to the motor planning and execution of the movement strategy for the lower limbs.
[Purpose] This study examined the influence of aging on balance function through the reaction time of the ankle joint muscles. [Methods] Forty-nine subjects were classified into 3 age groups: aged 20 to 30 (group Y, 19 subjects); aged 60 to 74 (YO, 12); and over 75 (OO, 18). Functional reach (FR), single-leg standing with eyes closed (SLS), and plantar flexor strength, were measured. For the electromyogram responses, reaction time (RT), premotor time (PMT), motor time (MT) and anticipatory postural adjustments (APAs) were evaluated. [Results] Significant differences in FR and SLS were observed between Y and YO, and OO. In the standing position, significant differences in PMT were observed between Y and OO, and in MT among all age groups. For the APAs, significant differences were observed between Y and OO, and in the strength between Y and YO, and OO. Balance items appeared to correlate with the reaction time in the standing position. [Conclusion] The results of this study verify that the balance function declines with age. We demonstrated that a delay in central processing and slower muscle contractions are key factors in the age-related decline of the balance function.
[Purpose] This study investigated the upper trapezius muscle and sternocleidomastoid muscle activities during overhead work performed under three different conditions. [Subjects] Ten young overhead workers (five males, five females), aged 22–32 years, were recruited. [Methods] We measured the right side upper trapezius muscle activity and right side sternocleidomastoid muscle activity of all subjects while they performed overhead work under the following conditions: 1) one hand doing overhead work and a fixed neutral neck posture; 2) one hand doing overhead work with maximal neck extension; and 3) two hands doing overhead work with maximal neck extension. [Results] In Condition 3 there was a significant increase in the upper trapezius muscle activity compared to Condition 1;There was also a significant increase in the sternocleidomastoid muscle activity compared to Condition 1 and Condition 2. [Conclusion] Overhead workers should only be asked to do one-handed work that requires a neutral neck posture. A neutral neck posture and a device, such as a monitor or mirror, would reduce the risk of muscle strain from overhead work.
[Purpose] This study examined the physical function of elderly community-dwellers with and without potential musculoskeletal ambulation disability symptom complex (MADS), determined by the evaluation criteria for the disease. [Subjects] The subjects were 522 community-dwelling elderly. [Methods] Subjects were divided into 2 groups, with (146) and without (376) potential MADS, to compare their physical function. Evaluation of physical function was made with the following 8 items: walking speed; 10-m obstacle walk; 6-minute walking distance; hand grip strength; quadriceps muscle strength; foot grip strength; sit-ups; and sit-and-reach flexibility. [Results] The results show that the age was significantly higher and the overall limb and trunk muscle strength was markedly lower in the elderly community-dwellers with potential MADS. However, in the analysis of covariance adjusting for the age and sex, significant differences between the groups were only observed in the foot grip strength and walking ability. [Conclusion] These results suggest that a decline in foot function and walking ability is characteristic of the physical function of the elderly with potential MADS.
[Purpose] This study examined the change in the muscle activities of the lower limbs during the 6-minute walk test to identify the relationship between the change in muscle activity and physical performance of community-dwelling elderly women. [Methods] Twenty-three elderly women (mean age: 77.9 years) were recruited from the community to participate. Their muscle activities were recorded using surface electromyography of the gastrocnemius, tibialis anterior, vastus medialis, hamstrings, and gluteus medius, and muscle strength, mobility, balance and 6-minute walking distance were also measured. [Results] The decrease of electromyography activity during the 6-minute walk test was significantly greater in the gastrocnemius and tibialis anterior than in the other muscles. The decrease of electromyography activity in the gastrocnemius was correlated with the timed up-and-go time (r= –0.435) and that of the tibialis anterior was correlated with the timed up-and-go time (r= –0.530) and walking distance (r= 0.482). [Conclusions] The electromyogram activities of the gastrocnemius and the tibialis anterior showed deterioration during the 6-minute walk test, and they were correlated with gait performance. These results suggest that muscle activity of the distal muscles plays an important role in the walking ability of elderly women.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of lumbar stabilization exercise on sitting balance of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) patients. [Subjects] Eighteen patients with AIS, mean Cobb angle of 31.4°, participated in this study. [Methods] The Lumbar Trunk Muscle Endurance Test (LTMET) and the Balance Performance Monitor (BPM; SMS Healthcare, Harlow, UK.) were used to measure trunk endurance and postural sway before and after the lumbar stabilization exercise, which was performed for 40 minutes per day, 3 times per week for three weeks. [Results] Sitting balance was improved as determined by the anterior-posterior sway angle, right-left sway angle and sway area under the eyes opened and closed conditions. No correlation was found between sitting balance parameters and trunk flexor endurance after the lumbar stabilization exercise. [Conclusion] The results demonstrate that lumbar stabilization exercise effectively improves sitting balance, suggesting that lumbar stabilization exercise can be clinically used for patients with AIS to improve their postural control when seated.
[Purpose] This pilot study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of brief education combined with home exercise programs on pain and disability of office workers with chronic non-specific LBP. [Subject] A quasi-experimental study of single group, pretest-posttest design with 30 workers as subjects serving as their own controls was conducted. [Methods] Initially, demographic characteristics and outcome measures, including pain intensity using a visual analogue scale and the Roland-Morris disability score, were collected every 2 weeks for 6 weeks. Participants then received interventions for 8 weeks, consisting of brief education regarding LBP and individually designed home exercise programs, focusing on core stability, stretching and mobility exercises. After that, outcome measures were collected every 2 weeks for 6 weeks. [Results] Pain intensity and disability gradually decreased after completion of the interventions. However, pain intensity decreased to a significant level only after completion of the intervention for 4?6 weeks. No significant difference in disability level was found between pre- and post-intervention. [Conclusion] The combination of brief education and a home exercise program can alleviate the pain intensity of office workers with chronic non-specific LBP. Further research using a randomized controlled trial design is required to validate this preliminary finding.