[Purpose] The aim of this study was to assess the effects of ergometer cycling on the ambulatory function and cardiovascular fitness of patients with stroke in the sub-acute phase. [Participants and Methods] Twenty (20) patients with stroke in the sub-acute phase were randomly allocated to either an ergometer cycling group (n=10) or a control group (n=10). The experimental (ergometer cycling) group performed cycling exercises in addition to conventional physiotherapy for 60 minutes per session, three times per week for 8 weeks. The control group only received conventional physiotherapy for the same duration as the experimental group. Assessments of participants’ functional ambulatory category, ambulatory velocity, 6-minute walk test, heart rate and blood pressure were conducted at baseline and at the end of the 8-week intervention. [Results] The means of the ambulatory velocity and distance walked in 6 minutes were significantly higher in the ergometer cycling group than those of the control group at week 8. However, the increase in the FAC score was not significant. The means of heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressures significantly decreased in the ergometer cycling group compared to the control group at the end of the 8-week of intervention. [Conclusion] This study demonstrated that ergometer cycling improved the ambulatory function and cardiovascular fitness of patients with stroke in the sub-acute phase.
[Purpose] Temporomandibular disorder is a condition with a multifactor etiology that involves the temporomandibular joint, bones, surrounding muscles and facial pain is the most common symptom. This study evaluated the possible association between headache and temporomandibular disorder in university professors. [Participants and Methods] Twenty-seven professors were recruited and answered the Axis II of the Research Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders for the evaluation and diagnosis of temporomandibular disorder and filled out a “Headache Diary” proposed by the American Headache Society. [Results] The university professors showed headache and temporomandibular disorder, but no association was found between the two conditions. Comparing the gender, the males were most frequently affected, but females had more intensity of signs and symptoms. There is a lack of data on the population addressed in the present study. [Conclusion] Indeed, this was the first such study developed with university professors. It is of considerable importance to develop further studies to investigate the possible association between headache and temporomandibular disorder.
[Purpose] This study was conducted to investigate the immediate prophylactic effects of local vibration on quadriceps muscle fatigue in young non-athletic males. [Participants and Methods] Thirty healthy young males were randomly assigned to vibration and sham control groups. Participants in the local vibration group received a single session vibration (2 minutes, 30 Hz). They also in the control group received a 2-minute vibration, while the vibration system was off. MVC, RMS and median frequency of EMG findings and time to reach fatigue were measured. [Results] Time to reach fatigue and MVC in the local vibration group was significantly high than those in the sham control group. [Conclusion] It seems that the prior local muscle vibration may be useful to attenuate some signs and symptoms of muscle fatigue.
[Purpose] To clarify the relationship between movement of the shank relative to the global reference frame (shank angle) while running, and foot alignment factors that lead to the onset of Achilles peritendinitis. [Participants and Methods] This study included 54 healthy male participants. Running at a constant speed was measured by three-dimensional motion analysis. The shank angle at the time of the first peak of vertical ground reaction force and maximum ankle dorsiflexion were analyzed. The magnitude of ankle plantarflexion, inversion, and adduction angle in the propulsive phase as well as static foot alignment (navicular index, and range of ankle dorsiflexion angle) were measured. The relationships between shank angle features and these parameters were investigated. [Results] Outward inclination of the shank occurred at the time of the first peak of vertical ground reaction force and maximum ankle dorsiflexion, with this increase in movement correlating with parameters that increased the risk of Achilles peritendinitis. [Conclusion] These findings suggest that evaluation of the shank angle on the frontal plane while running may be used to estimate the onset of Achilles peritendinitis in clinical practice.
[Purpose] In children with cerebral palsy, despite increases in muscle strength after strengthening, improvements in walking efficiency are inconsistent in previous studies. The purpose of this study was to analyze the relationship between walking efficiency and muscle strength in children with cerebral palsy. [Participants and Methods] Twenty-six children with cerebral palsy participated in this study. Isometric muscle strength in the lower extremities and the Total Heart Beat Index were measured. Participants were divided into the high and low walking efficiency groups based on the median Total Heart Beat Index value (2.06 beats/m). [Results] For all participants, all isometric muscle strength values were significantly correlated with the Total Heart Beat Index. In the high walking efficiency group, there was no significant correlation. All isometric muscle strength values in the low walking efficiency group were significantly correlated with the Total Heart Beat Index, except for that of the hip extensors. [Conclusion] The influence of muscular strength on walking efficiency in children with cerebral palsy varied. Significant correlations were observed only for those in the low walking efficiency group. The walking efficiency level should be confirmed before planning muscle strength training to improve walking efficiency.
[Purpose] To examine the reliability of using a manual goniometer for measuring the range of dart-throwing motion. [Participants and Methods] The range of dart-throwing motion in 24 healthy participants was measured by three raters on the same day, and one rater repeated the measurement on another day of the same week. The stationary arm of the goniometer was placed along the radius, and the moveable arm was placed along the shaft of the second metacarpal, approximately 45° supinated from Lister’s tubercle. All of the participants performed the dart-throwing motion on a plane that passed through the anatomical neutral wrist position, inclined 45° to the orthogonal anatomical plane. [Results] The intra-rater reliability was moderate (0.5–0.75) only for some parameters of the radial extension, and the intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) of all other parameters were <0.5. For the inter-rater reliability, the ICCs of all parameters were <0.5. Brand-Altman analysis revealed some fixed biases between the raters, although no proportional bias was observed. [Conclusion] The goniometric measurement procedure examined in this study appeared to be unsuitable for clinical use because of its poor reliability.
[Purpose] To determine the effects of sudden unexpected mechanical perturbation training aimed at the primary prevention of inversion ankle sprain on the reactiveness of ankle eversion movement and cortical activity. [Participants and Methods] Sixty healthy participants were randomly allocated equally into 1) the sudden unexpected mechanical perturbation training group, 2) self-paced training group, or 3) control group. The first two groups performed each course of training 3 days per week for 4 weeks. During pre-training and post-training, the latency to peak amplitude on the surface electromyography of the peroneus longus and the time to reposition the plate back to its initial position under the right foot after sudden unexpected mechanical perturbation were measured. Functional near-infrared spectroscopy was used to measure the changes in the concentration of oxygenated hemoglobin. [Results] The latency to peak amplitude was significantly shorter in group 1 than in group 2; time to reposition the plate was the shortest among the 3 groups during post-training. The changes in the concentration of oxygenated hemoglobin were significantly increased in the supplementary motor and pre-motor areas during post-training than during pre-training in group 1. [Conclusion] Sudden unexpected mechanical perturbation training may facilitate the primary prevention of inversion ankle sprain via the positive effects on the reactiveness of ankle eversion movement and cortical activity.
[Purpose] Here, we evaluated the reaction times of young and middle-aged people in different tasks. [Participants and Methods] The study included 23 young and 28 middle-aged volunteers. Their reaction times were measured in three tasks featuring different symbols (arrow and figure symbols) and spatial attributes (left, right, and ipsilateral choices). [Results] No significant inter-group differences in the reaction times were found for the simple reaction time task. In the choice reaction time and go/no-go reaction time tasks, the middle-aged participants demonstrated significantly slower reaction times. When the correct response was congruous with the direction of an arrow stimulus, the reaction times were shortened significantly among the middle-aged participants. In the go/no-go reaction time task, the reactions were delayed due to an inhibition of responses to upcoming stimuli. [Conclusion] The slower reaction time of the middle-aged participants in the choice reaction time task suggested that their responses were guided by the arrow stimulus to a greater extent compared to that of the younger participants. In the go/no-go reaction time task, the reaction times may have been slower in middle-aged participants because of a non-response possibility, which meant that participants had to first check the stimulus before deciding whether to respond.
[Purpose] We aimed to compare the effects of cognitive load and task prioritization on dual task strategies in patients with stroke and healthy adults in order to clarify the characteristics of cognitive-motor interference. [Participants and Methods] In total, 26 patients with stroke and 26 age-matched healthy adults (controls) performed the Timed Up and Go Test while performing a serial subtraction task from random numbers between 90 and 100. Dual task was measured under four conditions in which two difficulty levels of “3 subtraction” and “7 subtraction” were multiplied by two prioritizing tasks that involved “paying equal attention to both walking and subtraction tasks” (no priority) and “paying attention while mainly focusing on subtraction tasks” (cognitive priority). [Results] Increasing cognitive load and prioritizing cognitive tasks affected motor performance in terms of the amount of time and number of steps required to complete the Timed Up and Go Test in both the patients and controls. However, cognitive load and task prioritization did not affect cognitive performance. [Conclusion] When cognitive load increases and instructions are given to prioritize increases in cognitive load, patients with stroke use the “posture first” strategy to stabilize their gait as effectively as healthy adults do.
[Purpose] To assess the influence of plantar sensory input and task guidance produced by a protrusion on lower limb joint dynamics during gait by changes in muscle activity and two-dimensional motion analysis. The protrusion seals on the soles of the feet, named “Perceptual Stimulus Protrusion” were used in this study. [Participants and Methods] In this study, 40 and 42 healthy adults were recruited for muscle activity and two-dimensional analysis, respectively. In addition to walking without perceptual stimulus protrusion (“Control” condition), the testing conditions included attachment of the protrusion to the heel (“Heel Condition”) and the hallucal (“Hallucal Condition”). As task guidance, participants were orally instructed how to walk for each conditions. The muscle activities of the rectus femoris, vastus medialis, tibialis anterior, and medial head of the gastrocnemius were measured. The two-dimensional analysis was compared with the angle of ankle dorsiflexion and plantarflexion, the toe height during the swing phase between the test conditions, respectively. [Results] In the Heel Condition, the tibialis anterior and vastus medialis activity in the stance and swing phases, toe height, and angle of ankle dorsiflexion and plantarflexion increased. In the Hallucal Condition, tibialis anterior activity during the stance and swing phases, gastrocnemius activity during the stance phase, toe height, and angle of ankle plantarflexion increased. [Conclusion] Plantar sensory input and task guidance using perceptual stimulus protrusion influences active motion control. Therefore, the application of this procedure can be expected to support motion guidance, such as gait and load practice.
[Purpose] We aimed to investigate the change rate in the cross-sectional area of each hamstring component to evaluate muscle extensibility and to contribute to the studies on hamstring strain prevention. [Participants and Methods] Fifteen healthy young males volunteered to participate in this study. They performed a knee extension test. For the measurements, we used multi-posture magnetic resonance imaging (gravity magnetic resonance imaging), the open shape of which allows performing body scanning in various positions. We measured the maximum cross-sectional area of the hamstring during the initial and stretch positions from the obtained images. Then, for each muscle, we calculated the maximum cross-sectional area change rate relative to the initial position. [Results] For all hamstring muscles, the maximum cross-sectional area during stretching was significantly smaller than that in the initial position. The maximum cross-sectional area change rate of the semimembranosus was significantly smaller than that of the other 3 muscles (there were no significant differences among these 3 muscles). [Conclusion] The results suggest that the semimembranosus has higher resistance to morphological change than the other muscles, which could be an important limiting factor for the extensibility of the hamstring muscle group.
[Purpose] It is considered that evaluation of the vertical trunk function is important, because humans stand and move with two legs. To evaluate this, a novel method named Trunk Righting Test has been reported. The purpose of this study was to examine the trunk muscle activity during a TRT using electromyogram analysis. [Participants and Methods] This study included 7 healthy volunteer males. The TRT evaluated the supportability of the posture after moving 10 cm laterally from the sitting position using a hand-held dynamometer. The TRT measurements were analyzed separately at the measurement side (ipsilateral side) and at the non-measurement side (contralateral side). The measurements were obtained bilaterally, and the evaluated muscles included the rectus abdominis, internal oblique, external oblique, multifidus, and transversus abdominis. The measured value was expressed as a percentage after comparing with the value at the maximum voluntary contraction (% MVC) for standardization. The changes in the muscle activities in the sitting position and TRT were evaluated. [Results] All the muscle activities significantly increased during the TRT in contrast to that in the sitting posture. [Conclusion] The load support of the trunk on one side during the TRT was significant in all the muscles on both the sides, which increased the muscle activity, in contrast to that in the sitting position.
[Purpose] Heart failure has been identified as a risk factor for reduced physical function and falls; however, the impact of heart failure on functional recovery after a hip fracture is unclear. This study aimed to examine how heart failure and pre-fracture physical function affect recovery after a hip fracture. [Participants and Methods] The study population consisted of 122 patients with sub-acute hip fracture (mean age 81.7 ± 9.7 years, 18.9% male) who were divided into two groups: heart failure and non-heart failure. The outcome measurement was the functional independence measure effectiveness. A two-way analysis of variance was performed to investigate how heart failure and ambulatory ability prior to hip fracture were related to the functional independence measure effectiveness. [Results] Seventeen patients (13.9%) had a history of heart failure. The two-way analysis of variance showed the two independent variables (heart failure and ambulatory ability before fracture) had significant main effects; however, their interaction effect was not significant. [Conclusion] Heart failure affects functional recovery after hip fracture independent of the pre-fracture physical function, and vice versa. Further research on rehabilitation in hip fracture patients with heart failure is required to develop strategies to overcome poor functional recovery in such patients.
[Purpose] This study aimed to investigate the plantar contact condition in females and to clarify the relationship between the foot alignment and floating toes classified in static and dynamic conditions. [Participants and Methods] The participants were 122 females. We evaluated the plantar contact condition, calculated the floating toe score, and classified the floating toes of the participants. The floating toes were classified into improvable and unimprovable floating toe groups based on the floating toe score measured in dynamic conditions. Furthermore, foot alignment was evaluated in 35 participants randomized and extracted from the contact toe and the improvable and unimprovable floating toe groups. [Results] The Arch Height Index in the unimprovable floating toe group was significantly smaller than that in the improvable floating toe group. The digitus minimus varus angle in the unimprovable floating toe group was significantly larger than that in the improvable floating toe group. No significant differences were observed in other items. [Conclusion] This study revealed that the foot alignment between the improvable and unimprovable floating toe groups has different features. However, no significant difference was found in the foot alignment between the contact and floating toe groups. Henceforth, it is necessary to evaluate and classify floating toes considering the functional aspects.
[Purpose] This study aimed to evaluate the influence of a newly developed ankle-foot orthosis with a built-in spring on the activity of lower limb muscles during the sit-to-stand movement. [Participants and Methods] This cross-sectional study recruited 20 male volunteers. The sit-to-stand movement (rising from a chair) was performed under three conditions: no ankle-foot orthosis (NA), ankle-foot orthosis with no spring (NS), and ankle-foot orthosis with a built-in spring (SP). Muscle activity during the sit-to-stand movement was measured using surface electrodes placed on the vastus medialis, tibialis anterior, medial gastrocnemius, and soleus muscles. Root mean square and integral value were calculated from the raw data, and statistical analysis was performed using SPSS version 24.0. [Results] The electromyography data of the vastus medialis, medial gastrocnemius, and soleus muscles showed a significant decrease in muscle activity in the SP condition, whereas the activity of the tibialis anterior muscle increased significantly in the SP condition compared to that in the NA and NS conditions. [Conclusion] Our data showed that the use of an ankle-foot orthosis with a built-in spring affected not only the muscle activity at the ankle joint but also the activity of the knee joint extensor muscle. It is possible that the control of the ankle joint motion affects movement above the knee joint; this finding may help development new physical therapy techniques. Further research is warranted in this regard.