[Purpose] To clarify the influence of nonspecific low back pain (NSLBP) on force fluctuation and the myoelectric data of back muscles during isometric trunk extension at low to high force levels. [Subjects] Fourteen male subjects with NSLBP and 14 healthy male control subjects participated in this study. [Methods] All participants extended their trunk isometrically maintaining 10 levels of target force [2, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, 50, 70, 80 and 90% of maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) in a random order] for about 4 seconds with visual feedback. A force transducer and tri-axis force sensor were positioned at the 7th thoracic vertebra to measure force output and the direction of force. Myoelectric activities of the back muscles (longissimus thoracis, L2 level; multifidus, S1 level) were recorded by surface electromyography. [Results] Force output of NSLBP subjects fluctuated more than that of healthy subjects at 30% and 50%MVC. Higher median power frequency in the multifidus was observed in NSLBP subjects at moderate to high force levels. [Conclusion] These results show that the properties of force output in NSLBP subjects differ from those in healthy subjects, suggesting that the assessment of force fluctuation of back muscles at moderate force levels is a useful index for evaluating and discriminating NSLBP.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of Action Observational Training (AOT) on cerebral hemodynamic changes, including cerebral blood flow velocity (CBFV) and cerebral blood flow volume (CBFvol) in healthy subjects and stroke survivors. [Subjects] This study had a cross-sectional design. Seven healthy subjects and six patients with a first-time stroke participated in this study. [Methods] All subjects were educated about AOT, and we measured their systolic peak velocity (Vs), mean flow velocity (Vm), pulsatility index (PI), and resistance index (RI) in the middle cerebral artery (MCA), the anterior cerebral artery (ACA), and the posterior cerebral artery (PCA), before and after performance of AOT, using Functional Transcranial Doppler (fTCD) with a 2-MHz probe. [Results] Both healthy subjects and stroke survivors showed significant improvements of Vs and Vm in MCA, ACA and PCA after AOT. [Conclusion] Our findings indicate that AOT increases CBFV in healthy subjects and stroke survivors, because the brain requires more blood in order to meet the metabolic demand of the brain during AOT.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study is to examine the effects on respiratory function and oxygen saturation of intermittent life in the uplands at an altitude above sea level of approximately 850 m. [Subjects and Methods] The study subjects were on 100 female student subjects attending a university located in the uplands. The subjects’ oxygen saturation, heart rates and respiratory functions were measured at the university, which has campuses both in the uplands and the lowlands. [Results] Freshmen showed differences in oxygen saturation, heart rate, and most respiratory function items between the different altitudes; however, seniors did not exhibit any differences. There were no differences in oxygen saturation and heart rate between the uplands and the lowlands either group. In the uplands, peak forced expiratory flow was shown to be high in the seniors, who also had better cardiopulmonary function. [Conclusion] Senior students, who had been exposed to the upland environment for a longer period of time, generally showed better respiratory function. Therefore, alternating living between the uplands and the lowlands can be said to improve an individual’s respiratory function.
[Purpose] We investigated the effect of active individual muscle stretching (AID) on muscle function. [Subjects] We used the right legs of 40 healthy male students. [Methods] Subjects were divided into an AID group, which performed stretching, and a control group, which did not. We examined and compared muscle function before and after stretching in the AID and control groups using a goniometer and Cybex equipment. [Results] A significant increase in flexibility and a significant decrease in muscle strength output were observed in the AID group after the intervention. [Conclusion] These results suggest that AID induces an increase in flexibility and a temporary decrease in muscle output strength.
[Purpose] To investigate how balance changes develop across time under different conditions (with or without a memory task) for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). [Subjects and Methods] The participants were 11 children with ADHD and 12 normal children. To determine their static balance ability, a force plate was used to measure the center of the pressure trajectory. [Results] The length of the sway path became slightly greater in both groups when an additional memory task was added, but the difference was not statistically significant. However, it was interesting to note a significant difference in memory task ability across groups with increasing time. The ADHD group showed a decrease sway path with increasing time for the memory task, but in the control group it increased. [Conclusion] At first, the memory task interfered with ADHD children’s performance; however, the memory task may improve their performance after a few seconds.
[Purpose] Among the physical therapeutic procedures to decrease pain, there is transcutaneous electrical neural stimulation (TENS). There is no consensus about its efficacy for oncological patients, especially for post-mastectomy pain and eletrocortical changes in somatosensory areas. The aim of this study was to analyze acute electrocortical changes after TENS treatment of patients with intercostobrachial post mastectomy pain. [Subjects] Eighteen patients were divided into acupuncture (A) and burst (B) group. [Methods] In this pre and post-intervention study each group was measured for EEG analysis in absulte power in alpha band (8–14 Hz). Outcomes variables were the alpha waveband in the sensorymotor cortex and pain pre-and-post TENS intervention. Data were analyzed using ANOVA to compare times (rest, 10 and 15 min), group and electrodes. Pain was analyzed using percentual pain evaluation (PPE) in both groups. [Results] Outcomes indicate main effects of time and electrodes because of slow (8–10 Hz) and fast alpha (10–12 Hz) wavebands decreased. PPE reduced 88.4% in A and 66.3% in G. [Conclusion] TENS promoted electrical modification in the parietal region and a decrease in pain. Future studies should investigate other wave must be proposed for other bands and use different methods of EEG analysis to elucidate the actual mechanisms behind the efficacy of TENS treatment.
[Purpose] Immobilization-induced atrophy is a general phenomenon caused by prolonged muscle disuse associated with orthopaedic conditions. However, changes in the phosphorylation of atrophy-related cofilin and LIM kinases are still poorly understood. In this study, we examined whether or not phosphorylation of cofilin and LIM kinases is altered in the skeletal muscles of rats after 3, 7, 14, and 21 days of cast immobilization. [Methods] We used two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, mass spectrometry, and western blotting to examine protein expression and phosphorylation in atrophied rat gastrocnemius muscles. [Results] The expression of the cofilin was detected in gastrocnemius muscle strips using proteomic analysis. Cast immobilization after 3, 7, 14, and 21 days significantly diminished the phosphorylation of cofilin and LIM kinases. [Conclusion] The present results suggest that cast immobilization-induced atrophy may be in part related to changes in the phosphorylation of cofilin and LIM kinases in rat skeletal muscles.
[Purpose] This study investigated the effect of a motor dual-task balance program on balance and gait of elderly women to suggest a more effective balance exercise method. [Subjects] Twenty elderly Korean women who could walk independently were recruited from the community dwelling. [Methods] The motor dual-task balance training (experimental) group stood on an Aero-step, and performed gym ball bouncing, catching, and throwing, while the simple task balance training (control) group merely stood on the Aero-step. Participants performed 45 minutes of training, 2 times a week for 6 weeks. Balance (fall index) was measured using a TETRAX. Gait variables were recorded on a GAITRite walkway at self-determined walking speed. [Results] The fall index of the experimental group was significantly lower than that of the control group. Step length, stride length, velocity, and cadence of the experimental group improved significantly more than those of control group. [Conclusions] We found that motor dual-task balance training improved balance and walking ability more than simple balance training. Further studies should investigate motor dual-task training with kinematic and kinetic data, and muscle activation based on motor strategies.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on the upper limb of function of patients with post-stroke hemiplegia. [Subjects] Twenty subjects were randomly allocated to either the upper tDCS group or the functional training group, with 10 subjects in each group. [Methods] The two groups received functional training for thirty minutes a day, five days a week for four weeks. The tDCS group additionally received tDCS for 20 minutes. The outcome was assessed by the Box and Block test (BBT), grip strength, and the Fugl-Meyer assessment (FMA). [Results] There were significant improvements between pre- and post- intervention in both groups, in the BBT, grip strength, and the upper limb and lower lims sub-items of the FMA. The tDCS group showed significantly greater improvements than the control group in the BBT, and upper limb and lower limb sub-items of the FMA. [Conclusion] These findings suggest that tDCS may be more beneficial than functional training for improving the upper and lower limb functions of chronic stroke patients.
[Purpose] This study examined how exercise capacity and the oxidative stress regulation system are affected by different amounts of dietary Ubiquinol (reduced form of coenzyme Q10, H2CoQ10: QH) over the long term. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty-three senescence-accelerated mouse P1 (SAMP1) mice were randomly divided into two groups: one consuming a relatively high amount of QH (300 mg/kg; Group A) and the other a relatively low amount (30 mg/kg, Group B). Food and tap water were provided ad libitum. Both groups were made to run on a treadmill until exhaustion, and total running duration was measured. For the oxidative stress regulation system, the d-ROM test value (degree of oxidative stress) and BAP test value (antioxidant potential) were measured in a resting state, and then the BAP/d-ROM ratio (B/R ratio) was calculated. The values of plasma QH and plasma ubiquinone (plasma oxidized form of CoQ10) were also measured, and the reduced ratio was calculated. Measurements were taken 3 times: at the start of the study when the animals were 39 weeks old (baseline), after consumption of QH for 7 months (7 mo), and after consumption of QH for 10 months (10 mo). [Results] The senescence score at 10 mo was significantly lower in Group A. Comparison of the mean percentage change in running time showed a difference of 15.1% between the 2 groups. At 10 mo, the d-ROM test value was significantly increased and the B/R ratio was significantly decreased in Group B. Significant increases in the plasma QH value and reduced ratio were seen in Group A. [Conclusion] Group A showed a greater decrease in the d-ROM test and increase in the reduced ratio than Group B. Thus, a dose-dependent effect of QH consumption was demonstrated.
[Purpose] The purpose of the present study was to verify the effects of intrinsic foot flexor strength training. [Subjects] The subjects were 12 healthy males without motor system disease. [Methods] A training method that involved flexion of all toe interphalangeal and metatarsophalangeal joints against a 3-kg load was implemented and was performed for 200 repetitions once per day, three times per week, for a period of eight weeks. [Results] Significant changes were observed for intrinsic foot flexor strength scores, foot arches, vertical jumping, 1-legged long jumping, and 50-m dash time. [Conclusion] This muscle strength training method significantly improved muscle strength scores, foot arch shape, and movement performance.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to determine pillow designs suitable for supine and side-lying positions. [Subjects] Twenty female and twenty male subjects with a mean age of 22.7 years (SD = 1.3) participated in the study. [Methods] First, a three-dimensional motion analysis system was used to analyze the movements of the head and the shoulder joints during changes from supine positions to side-lying positions. Second, the height from the face to the shoulder and the height from the floor to the middle of the neck in a side-lying position were measured. Third, the weight distribution ratios of the head and the trunk were compared using general pillows (polyester sponge), memory foam, and prototype pillows. [Results] During position changes from supine positions to side-lying positions, the head moved in a fan shape, and the shoulder joint moved an average of 4.4 cm upward. The height from the face to the shoulder was 9 cm on average. The height from the floor to the middle of the neck was 11 cm on average. The weight distribution ratios between the head and the trunk were compared among general pillows (polyester sponge), memory foam, and prototype pillows. The results showed significant differences in the side-lying position. [Conclusion] Pillows with uniform heights are not suitable for a supine or side-lying position. In the case of both positions, users should be allowed to select pillows in shapes that can support the neck.
[Purpose] Age-related mediolateral (ML) instability of static postural control in the elderly has been well studied. Recent studies have provided evidence that ML center of pressure (CoP) parameters during dynamic postural control are more sensitive for differentiation of the fallers in the elderly. However, very limited studies have been done in which ML stability differences between fallers and non-fallers were investigated. The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences in ML CoP parameters between elderly fallers and elderly non-fallers during dynamic postural control. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty-nine community-dwelling older adults were divided into either fallers or non-fallers according to a self-report related to falling history within a year. Every participant performed 4 different tasks (static postural control tasks comprising quiet stance with eyes open and eyes closed and dynamic postural control tasks comprising stance with arm lifting and with trunk flexion) on force plates. [Results] The fallers demonstrated decreased AP and ML CoP parameters, and ML CoP distance was significantly smaller than in the non-fallers during both dynamic postural control tasks. [Conclusions] ML CoP parameters were able to differentiate the fallers from the non-fallers in a community-dwelling elderly population.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to implement combined muscle strengthening and proprioceptive exercises to examine the effects of combined exercises on functional ankle instability. [Subjects and Methods] Experiments were conducted with 30 adult males and females. The study subjects were randomly assigned to either a control group (Group A), a muscle strengthening exercise group (Group B), or a combined muscle strengthening and proprioceptive exercise group (Group C) consisting of 10 subjects each. In Group A, measurements were only conducted before and after the experiment without any intervention, whereas the exercise programs for Group B and Group C were implemented three days per week for four weeks. [Results] Muscle strength showed significant increases in Groups B and C compared with the control group during plantar flexion, dorsiflexion, inversion, and eversion. The Cumberland ankle instability tool showed significant increases in Group B and Group C compared with Group A and significant increases in Group C compared with Group B. [Conclusion] Applying combined muscle strengthening and proprioceptive exercises to those who have functional ankle instability is more effective than applying only muscle strengthening exercises.
[Purpose] The current study was designed to investigate the difference in lung capacity and muscle strengthening related to respiration depending on the level of the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) in children with cerebral palsy (CP) through tests of respiratory function and respiratory pressure. [Subjects and Methods] A total of 49 children with CP who were classified as below level III of the GMFCS were recruited for this study. They were divided into three groups (i.e., GMFCS level I, GMFCS level II, and GMFCS level III). All children took the pulmonary function test (PFT) and underwent respiratory pressure testing for assessment of respiratory function in terms of lung capacity and respiratory muscle strength. [Results] The GMFCS level III group showed significantly lower scores for all tests of the PFT (i.e., forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume at one second (FEV1), and slow vital capacity (SVC)) and testing for respiratory pressures (maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP) and maximal expiratory pressure (MEP)) compared with the other two groups. The results of post hoc analysis indicated that the GMFCS level III group differed significantly from the other two groups in terms of FVC, FEV1, MIP, and MEP. In addition, a significant difference in SVC was observed between GMFCS level II and III. [Conclusion] Children with CP who had relatively low motor function showed poor pulmonary capacity and respiratory muscle weakness. Therefore, clinical manifestations regarding lung capacity and respiratory muscle will be required in children with CP who demonstrate poor physical activity.
[Purpose] Balance deficits are increasingly recognized in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, but little is known regarding this issue in asthma. Our primary aim was to assess the correlation between postural balance and pulmonary function in adults with asthma. Secondarily, we aimed to correlate balance with functional capacity and body mass index in these subjects. [Methods] A cross-sectional study of 26 adults with asthma was performed in which they were subjected to stabilometry, pulmonary function testing, a 6-minute walking test, and nutritional assessment. [Results] We found significant correlations of forced expiratory volume at one second (ρ=−0.49) and total lung capacity (ρ=0.39) with mediolateral displacement with feet apart/eyes open. Significant correlations were observed between peak expiratory flow and a number of stabilometric parameters. There were several significant correlations between airway-specific conductance and the tasks performed on the force platform, especially one with the feet apart/eyes open. The Berg Balance Scale revealed significant correlations with mediolateral displacement, mediolateral range, and anteroposterior range for feet together/eyes closed (ρ=−0.49). There were no significant correlations between stabilometry, body mass index, and six-minute walking distance. [Conclusion] In adults with asthma, there is an association between balance and the bronchial obstruction markers. This finding may contribute to improvement of rehabilitation programs for these subjects.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to investigate the amount of plantar pressures on the lower limb during tilt table standing and to indicate the ideal degree of tilting for partial weight bearing. [Subjects and Methods] Fifteen healthy subjects between the ages of 20 and 30 were recruited as volunteers for this study. All the measurements were taken while standing on a tilt table according to different inclination angles. [Results] The plantar pressures for 60° tilt table standing were lower by 7–9% of total body weight than the pressures during tilt table standing at 90°, and the pressures for 30° tilt table standing were lower by 18–20% of total body weight than the pressures for tilt table standing at 90°. [Conclusion] Standing training on a 60° tilt table might be equivalent to 80% of full weight bearing training, and tilt table standing training at 30° might be equivalent to 60% of full weight bearing training.
[Purpose] The present study investigated how skilled reach training influences functional and neurological brain recovery via a rat model with intracerebral hemorrhage. [Subjects] Thirty rats with intracerebral hemorrhage were divided into 2 groups randomly: the control group (CON) that did not receive any treatment, and the experimental group (SRT) that received skilled reach training. [Methods] The experimental group was trained through skilled reaching training with the affected upper limb in 15-minute sessions administered 6 days per week for 4 weeks. [Results] In the behavioral test, the results showed that motor function was significantly improved in the skilled reach training group compared with the control group. In the neurological teat, the expression level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) was significantly increased in the skilled reach training group compared with the control group. [Conclusion] Skilled reach training is able to facilitate both the expression of neurotrophic factor in the motor cortex and motor function recovery following intracerebral hemorrhage.
[Purpose] We attempted to determine whether static and dynamic postural control ability fluctuated depending on the influence of the time of day (9 am, 1 pm, and 5 pm), and at which time point postural balance performance was best in healthy individuals. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty-four healthy subjects participated in this study. The static and dynamic postural balance test was conducted during three sessions (i.e., at 9 am, 1 pm, and 5 pm) with a counterbalanced order for prevention of learning effects. As outcome measurements, AP distance, ML distance, and velocity moment were adopted in the static balance test, and the performance time and total distance were measured in the dynamic balance test. [Results] For the static postural balance test, COP distance was shorter and COP velocity was slower at 9 am compared with those at 1 and 5 pm. In particular, the COP distance at 9 am was statistically different from that at 13 pm. During the dynamic postural balance test, performance time and total distance were influenced by the time of day, as the best performance was observed in the morning. [Conclusion] This study found that static and dynamic postural balance abilities were greatest in the morning and worst at 1 pm. Understanding of the mechanism of the time-of-day effect on postural balance will be helpful for assessment and treatment of postural balance by physical therapists and in making desirable clinical decisions.
[Purpose] Cigarette smoking increases oxidative stress, which is a risk factor for several diseases. Moreover, strenuous exercise has been shown to induce plasma and pulmonary oxidative stress in young cigarette smokers. However, no previous reports have demonstrated whether plasma and pulmonary oxidative stress occur after moderate-intensity exercise. Therefore, the aim of this study was to clarify whether moderate-intensity exercise induces pulmonary and plasma oxidative stress in smokers. [Subjects] Ten young male smokers and 10 young male nonsmokers participated in this study. [Methods] Plasma hydroperoxide concentrations were measured at baseline and then immediately and 15 min after moderate-intensity exercise. Hydrogen peroxide concentrations in exhaled breath condensate were measured at baseline and after exercise. [Results] No significant interactions were found between smokers and nonsmokers in terms of hydroperoxide or hydrogen peroxide concentrations following moderate-intensity exercise at any time point. [Conclusion] These findings suggested that moderate-intensity exercise did not induce plasma or pulmonary oxidative stress in young cigarette smokers.
[Purpose] The present study aimed to determine the correlation between the activities of daily living and the quality of life (QOL) of patients with chronic stroke. [Subjects and Methods] The study subjects were 68 patients with stroke. Three questionnaires were distributed by visiting the subjects. [Results] All the items and total scores of the functional independence measure (FIM) showed a high correlation with the QOL total score. The relationship between the activities of daily living and the total QOL score showed a significant positive correlation. Among the FIM items, mobility and social cognition showed the most significant effects. The modified r2 value was 0.67, mobility and social cognition explained approximately 67% of the change in the QOL. [Conclusion] The activities of daily living of the patients with chronic stroke and their QOL showed a high correlation. Among the FIM items, mobility (transfers) and social cognition had the largest effects on the total QOL score.
[Purpose] This study compared the forward head angle and the lumbar flexion and rotation angles of computer workers using routine and fixed computer workstations. [Subjects] Ten male workers voluntarily consented to participate in the study. [Methods] A 3-D motion analysis system was used to measure the angles of the forward head and lumbar flexion. All subjects performed computer work for 30 minutes using both types of workstation. [Results] When working at the fixed workstation, the forward head angle was less than that observed when the routine workstation was used. At the fixed workstation, the lumbar flexion and rotation angles were less than that at the routine workstation. [Conclusion] The computer workstation individually fixed for standard posture may have prevented poor sitting posture.
[Purpose] We with respect to their effects on the compared hippotherapy with a horseback riding simulator (JOBA, Panasonic Inc. JP) static and dynamic balance of children with cerebral palsy (CP). [Subjects and Methods] Twenty-six children were randomly divided into two groups: a hippotherapy group that included 13 children, and a horseback riding simulator (JOBA, Panasonic Inc., Japan) group, which was also composed of 13 children. The two groups participated in 1 hour of exercise per day, 3 times a week, for 12 weeks. The subjects’ static balance ability was measured using BPM (software 5.3, SMS Healthcare Inc., UK) as the center of pressure sway length while standing for 30 seconds with their eyes open and looking to the front. Dynamic balance ability was measured using the PBS (Pediatric Balance Scale). [Results] Both groups showed significant improvements in static and dynamic balance but significant differences between the two groups were not found. [Conclusion] The horseback riding simulator could be a useful alternative to hippotherapy for the improvement of static and dynamic balance of children with CP.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to verify the efficacy of a pelvic floor muscle exercise program by comparing subjects’ muscle thickness with changes in vaginal pressure. [Subjects] Two groups of female participants without a medical history of pelvic floor muscle dysfunction were evaluated. The mean age of Group I was 33.5 years and that of Group II was 49.69 years. [Methods] The participants were instructed to perform a pelvic floor muscle contraction. While measuring the vaginal pressure of the pelvic floor muscle, biofeedback was given on five levels, and the thicknesses of the transversus abdominis, external oblique, and internal oblique muscles were measured with ultrasound. [Results] The thickness of the transversus abdominis muscle was significantly increased at 30 cmH2O in Group I, and at 20 cmH2O in Group II. The thickness of the internal oblique abdominal muscle significantly increased at maximum contraction in Group II. [Conclusion] Different abdominal muscles contracted depending on vaginal pressure. The result may be used to create and implement an exercise program that effectively strengthens the pelvic floor muscles.
[Purpose] A stationary bicycle exercise and a treadmill exercise were conducted in order to determine the effect of these exercises on the balance and walking ability of elderly women. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty-four elderly women aged 65 or older were equally assigned to a stationary bicycle exercise group and a treadmill exercise group, and they performed exercise three times per week for 8 weeks for 20 minutes each time. In order to examine gait, step length and time were measured as parameters of walking ability, and in order to examine dynamic balance, subjects were evaluated with the Berg balance scale (BBS). [Results] After the intervention, step time and step length and BBS significantly increased significantly decreased, in both groups. A comparison of BBS after the intervention between the two groups revealed that the stationary bicycle group showed larger increases than the treadmill group. [Conclusion] The stationary bicycle exercise group and treadmill exercise group showed significant improvements in gait and balance. Stationary bicycle exercise can help to prevent falls by improving the balance of elderly persons.
[Purpose] The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effect of a tight waist belt on the human musculoskeletal system by assessing sagittal pelvic kinematic data during the sit-to-stand (STS) maneuver. [Subjects] Twelve asymptomatic males were recruited and three belt conditions were used during the STS. Sagittal kinematic data of pelvic motion were collected using a 3D motion-capture device [Results] The changes of the anterior pelvic tilt during the STS were significantly greater in the tight waist-belt condition than in the no-belt condition. [Conclusion] The results of this study show that wearing a tight waist belt increases anterior pelvic motion.
[Purpose] This study evaluated the effects of water and land-based obstacle training on static balance of chronic stroke patients. [Subjects] The subjects were randomly allocated to an aqua group (n=15) and a land group (n=15). [Methods] Both groups trained for 40 minutes, 3 times a week for 12 weeks. Static balance was assessed by measuring the mean velocities of mediolateral (ML) and anteroposterior (AP), and sway area with the eyes closed. [Results] Following the intervention, both groups showed significant changes in ML velocity, AP velocity, and sway area. The static balance of the aqua group was significantly better than the land group. [Conclusion] The results of this study suggest the feasibility and suitability of obstacle training in water for stroke patients.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of sustained computer work on cervical flexion, especially the upper cervical region. [Subjects] We recruited 11 sedentary workers who used a computer for at least 4 hours a day. [Methods] Total range of cervical flexion, upper cervical flexion, and their ratio were measured before and after 1 hour of computer work. [Results] The total range of cervical flexion was not significantly different between pre-and post-measurement. However, upper cervical flexion, and the ratio between the upper cervical flexion and total cervical flexion significantly decreased after 1 hour of computer work, compared to pre-measurement. [Conclusion] Sustained computer work affects the range of cervical flexion, especially in the upper cervical region.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of childbirth delivery method on vaginal pressure and abdominal thickness during the Valsalva maneuver (VAL). [Subjects] Thirty healthy female volunteers (26–39 years of age) were selected for this research. Their delivery histories were: nulliparous 10, vaginal delivery 10, and Cesarean delivery 10. None of the participants had a history of incontinence. [Methods] In the crook-lying position, a perineometer probe was inserted into the vagina and the transducer was placed transversely on the right side of the body during the Valsalva maneuver. [Results] There were significant differences in the thickness of the transverses abdominis (TrA) between in all the groups rest and the Valsalva maneuver, and there were significant differences in the internus oblique (IO) in the nulliparous group. During the Valsalva maneuver, there were significant differences in the TrA between the nulliparous group and the vaginal delivery group, and there were significant differences in the IO between the nulliparous delivery group and the vaginal delivery group, and between the nulliparous group and the Cesarean section group. Delivery history changed vaginal pressure, and there were significant differences between the nulliparous group and the vaginal delivery group, and between the nulliparous group and the Cesarean delivery group. [Conclusion] Pregnancy and delivery method may affect pelvic floor and abdominal muscles during the Valsalva maneuver.
[Purpose] This study aimed to validate the postural control characteristics of individuals with a history of ankle sprain during single leg standing by using a gravicorder and head and foot accelerometry. [Subjects] Twenty subjects with and 23 subjects without a history of ankle sprain (sprain and control groups, respectively) participated. [Methods] The anteroposterior, mediolateral, and total path lengths, as well as root mean square (RMS) of each length, were calculated using the gravicorder. The anteroposterior, mediolateral, and resultant acceleration of the head and foot were measured using accelerometers and were evaluated as the ratio of the acceleration of the head to the foot. [Results] There was no significant difference between the two groups in path length or RMS acceleration of the head and foot. However, the ratios of the mediolateral and resultant components were significantly higher in the sprain group than in the control group. [Conclusion] Our findings suggest that individuals with a history of ankle sprain have a higher head-to-foot acceleration ratio and different postural control characteristics than those of control subjects.
[Purpose] The effectiveness of intrinsic foot flexor strength training performed in the plantar flexion position was examined using needle electromyography. [Subjects] The subjects of this study were 18 healthy men. [Methods] We used needle electromyography to measure the muscle activities of the flexor hallucis brevis (FHB), and the flexor digitorum brevis (FDB) in maximum plantar and an intermediate position. [Results] Significant increases in muscle activities were observed for both FHB and FDB, and the rates of increase from the intermediate position to the plantar flexion position were 43% for FHB and 46% for FDB. [Conclusion] This study demonstrated that it is possible to evaluate intrinsic foot flexors, in addition to the numerous reports on treatment methods focusing on extrinsic foot flexors. Furthermore, the results suggest that toe flexion exercises performed during plantar flexion of the ankle joint are an effective method for intrinsic foot flexor strength training.
[Purpose] Acute development of local muscle fatigue and recovery often become large issues on sports fields. This study aimed to identify the effects of normobaric hyperoxia on the recovery of local muscle fatigue. [Subjects] Eleven healthy males participated in this study, and they all completed two protocols in a random order. [Methods] Subjects performed single-leg isometric knee extension at 70% of their maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) for as long as possible. Each participant was subsequently treated with one of two recovery conditions: 20.9% O2 or 30.0% O2 for 30 minutes. Afterwards, they performed an identical isometric task to measure the extent of their recovery. The following parameters were used to assess the degrees of muscle fatigue: MVIC, endurance time, surface electromyography (sEMG) power spectra, and changes in hemoglobin concentration using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). [Results] The treatment of 30.0% O2 induced a significant recovery rate in MVIC compared to the 20.9% O2. Additionally, the data revealed a significantly higher concentration of total hemoglobin after the 30.0% O2 treatment than after the 20.9% O2 treatment. [Conclusion] The results of this study suggest that recovery from acute muscle fatigue can be better facilitated under 30.0% normobaric hyperoxia than a normoxic condition. Therefore, for cases requiring quicker full recovery, treatment under 30.0% O2 environment for 30 minutes is recommended.
[Purpose] A patellar bandage is often used by individuals with patellofemoral pain syndrome (PPS) to reduce pain and the additional sensorial input improves proprioception of the knee joint. The aim of this work was to assess the effect of a patellar bandage on the postural control of individuals with and without PPS. [Subjects and Methods] An analysis was performed of variables of center of pressure (CoP) as recorded by a force plate. Information about the forces and moments in three directions was used to obtain the CoP. Thirty women participated in this study: 15 with PPS and 15 without PPS. All subjects performed 3 trials in a unipodal stance with and without a patellar bandage. The force plate data were used to calculate the following variables: CoP sway area, CoP displacement frequency, and CoP mean velocity for the anteroposterior (AP) and mediolateral (ML) directions. A the linear mixed effects model was used for statistical analysis. [Results] Postural sway was significantly reduced in individuals with PPS when a patellar bandage was applied. [Conclusion] Additional sensory input from a patellar bandage increase proprioceptive feedback and this could be related to the improvement in postural control of PPS subjects.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to study the correlation of knee range of motion between walking and squatting for young and elderly populations. [Subjects] Sixteen young and eight elderly healthy subjects were recruited for this study. [Methods] Three-dimensional joint motions of each subject were captured while they performed walking and squatting exercises. [Results] Significant differences in the non-sagittal plane knee motions (peak adduction, and peak external and internal rotation) were revealed between the young and the elderly during squatting. Correlations of three-dimensional knee range of motion between walking and squatting were positive and high in all three planes for the young subjects (R2=0.70, 0.52, and 0.45, respectively), but not for the elderly subjects (R2=0.23, 0.0004, and 0.05, respectively). [Conclusion] We suggest that changes in secondary knee kinematics and poor correlations between walking and squatting for the elderly may result from degeneration of the sensory and neuromuscular systems. It could be injurious for the elderly to perform high flexion activities.
[Purpose] This study examined the effects of a ball-backrest chair combined with an accelerometer on the pain and trunk muscle endurance of a computer worker with low-back pain (LBP). [Subject and Methods] A 36-year-old male with a flat back who complained of LBP at the L3–5 level was the subject. He used the ball-backrest chair when working at a computer for 1 week. [Results] After using the ball backrest, the trunk extensor and flexor muscle endurance times had increased compared with the baseline and the VAS score had decreased from 7 to 4. [Conclusion] Combining exercises with information on motion is a useful common treatment approach for improving trunk muscle endurance in LBP.