[Purpose] To clarify the effects of longitudinal changes in older adults by evaluating the relationship between changes in spinal kyphosis and respiratory function over time in patients with certified need of care in the long-term care insurance system. [Participants and Methods] We included 57 older adults (28 males and 29 females) aged ≥65 years who were identified as requiring long-term care or support. The participants were community-dwelling individuals undergoing ambulatory rehabilitation. We assessed the longitudinal changes in spinal kyphosis index, respiratory function and muscle strength, and body composition over 1 year. [Results] The spinal kyphosis index was 10.5 at the first measurement and 14.6 at 1 year after the first measurement, showing a significant increase. We did not detect any significant differences in respiratory function and muscle strength, or body composition. [Conclusion] This 1 year longitudinal comparison suggests that the spinal kyphosis indexes were high, and the respiratory function and trunk muscle mass remained unchanged. Therefore, the relationships were negligible.
[Purpose] To create a qualitative scale for the 6-minute race test in physically active participants from 18 to 25 years old. [Participants and Methods] The sample was 299 healthy participants (254 males and 45 females). All the participants were instructed to perform the greatest possible distance in the 6-minute race test. To evaluate the reliability of the 6-minute race test, 30 participants performed the 6-minute race test for a second time. The variable was distance in meters. The qualitative scale was constructed with the percentiles <25, 50, 75, 90 and >90 for the criteria poor, fair, good, very good and excellent, respectively; the reliability was calculated with the coefficient of variation, intra-class correlation coefficient and the standard error of the mean. [Results] In the 6-minute race test, the mean was 1,607 and 1,364 meters for males and females, respectively. The coefficient of variation=4.08%, intra-class correlation coefficient=0.93 and standard error of the mean=11.46. [Conclusion] The creation of the qualitative scale of the 6-minute race test allows us to evaluate and classify the level and increase of maximum aerobic speed in physically active participants from 18 to 25 years old.
[Purpose] We aimed to evaluate knee joint movement and muscle activity ratio changes in stroke hemiplegic patients in recovery phase after using a knee-ankle-foot orthosis with an adjustable knee joint for 1 month; we also aimed to discuss the practical implications of our findings. [Participants and Methods] The participants were 8 hemiplegic patients in the recovery phase of stroke who were prescribed knee-ankle-foot orthosis with adjustable knee joint. We measured knee joint angles and electromyographic activity of the vastus medialis and biceps femoris during walking in two conditions: the knee-ankle-foot orthosis knee joint fixed in the extended position and the knee joint moved from 0° to 30° in the flexion direction. Measurements were taken 2 weeks after completion to account for habituation of the orthosis and repeated 1 month later. [Results] When the knee joint was moving from 0° to 30° in the flexion direction, the knee joint angle at initial contact and the minimum flexion angle of the gait cycle decreased significantly between the first and second measurements. When knee joint flexion was 30°, the muscle activity ratio of the vastus medialis increased significantly in the loading response and mid-stance compared to when it was fixed. [Conclusion] Setting the knee joint of a knee-ankle-foot orthosis in accordance with the knee joint movement may increase the muscle activity ratio of the vastus medialis from loading response to mid-stance.
[Purpose] To investigate the effect of performing a draw-in maneuver (DI) on knee adduction moment (KAM) and hip and trunk muscle activities while walking. [Participants and Methods] We included 30 healthy young adults (21.5 ± 0.6 years, 16 males and 14 females) in this study. We measured the KAM and lever arm while participants walked with either a normal gait or a DI gait. We also performed surface electromyography (EMG) of the hip and trunk muscles (i.e., internal oblique abdominal muscle [IO], external oblique abdominal muscle [EO], multifidus muscle [MF], and gluteus medius muscle [GM]). [Results] The 1st peak of the KAM was significantly lower when walking with a DI gait compared to when walking with a normal gait. The integrated EMG activity of the IO, EO, and GM during the 1st half of the stance phase, and of the IO and EO during the 2nd half of the stance phase was significantly higher during the DI than during normal gait. [Conclusion] Compared with a normal gait, a DI gait leads to a decrease in the 1st peak of the KAM as a result of the shorter lever arm, and an increase in the muscular activity of the GM, IO, and EO.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to clarify the relationship between muscle echo intensity measured with ultrasound and the isokinetic strength of each of the three superficial quadriceps femoris muscles in healthy young adults. [Participants and Methods] We measured the echo intensity of the three superficial muscles of the quadriceps femoris in 25 healthy adults (10 males and 15 females; mean age, 22.3 years) using ultrasound. Moreover, we obtained the maximum force during isokinetic knee extension at 60°/s using an isokinetic dynamometer. [Results] In males and females, a significant negative correlation between echo intensity and muscle strength was found in the VM (r=−0.65 and r=−0.63, respectively). [Conclusion] In both males and females, only the muscle echo intensity of the vastus medialis was found to have a negative correlation with the maximum force during isokinetic knee extension at 60°/s. Our data lay the foundation for simplifying and rationally performing the measurement of muscle echo intensity of the quadriceps femoris. And it would therefore be sufficient to only measure the VM to clarify a relationship between EI and maximum isokinetic force in the quadriceps.
[Purpose] Changes in the muscle performance of professional motorized athletes using pycnogenol-containing supplements have not been clarified. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the changes in muscle strength and endurance of professional cyclists during 4 weeks of training with the use of PycnoRacerTM. [Participants and Methods] Eight professional cyclists were requested to consume PycnoRacerTM twice/day for 4 weeks. The muscle endurance test consisted of 50 consecutive knee flexion and extension exercises at 180°/sec using an isokinetic torque machine before and after PycnoRacerTM administration. The athletes’ body composition, including leg muscle mass, was also measured. [Results] The maximum flexor muscle torque and 41st–50th flexion muscle torque values significantly improved after supplement consumption (average improvement of 8.5%; range, 13.3–67.2%). The leg muscle mass and body composition did not differ significantly between the two conditions. The participants showed an average improvement of 31.8% (range, 0.9–67.8%) in their total work with cycling training. No adverse events were observed. [Conclusion] The use of PycnoRacerTM may improve training, muscle strength, and endurance, but not muscle mass.
[Purpose] In Japan, the government issued a state of emergency due to the spread of COVID-19 in April 2020. In this study, we measured physical activity before and after the state of emergency, and assessed the factors that affected physical activity. [Participants and Methods] We included thirteen elderly people living in Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan, in the study. The participants wore 3-axis accelerometer on their hips to measure physical activity for a week, before (in October 2019) and after the state of emergency. According to the median rate of decrease in physical activity (23.6%), we divided the participants into two groups: one group had participants with a high rate of decrease (low physical activity) and the other had participants with a low rate of decrease (high physical activity). [Results] The following factors decreased after the state of emergency: total physical activity, amount of moderate-intensity physical activity and activities of daily living, amount of light-intensity physical activity and walking, daily activity time, and daily steps. Statistical analysis showed that engaging in housework was associated with high physical activity. [Conclusion] Elderly people who engaged in household chores had a smaller decrease in physical activity. In order to reduce the decrease in physical activity and the risk of cardiovascular events, the elderly should perform as many daily activities and hobbies as they can while paying attention to the infection control measures.
[Purpose] This study aimed to investigate the relationships among the changes in iliopsoas muscle thickness, hip angle, and lower limb joint moment during squatting in different pelvic positions to help in performing hip-dominant squatting exercises. [Participants and Methods] The participants were seven healthy adult males. The measurement task consisted of squatting with 60 degrees of knee flexion in three positions: the anterior, neutral, and posterior pelvic tilt positions. The iliopsoas muscle thickness was measured in the center of the inguinal region using ultrasonography. A three-dimensional motion analysis system was used to measure the joint angles and joint moments. [Results] There were no significant differences in pelvic angles between the pelvic positions. The hip angle differences were significantly higher in the anterior and neutral pelvic tilt positions compared to those in the posterior tilt position. Only the anterior pelvic tilt position had a significantly positive correlation with iliopsoas muscle thickness and hip angle differences. [Conclusion] Squatting in the neutral or posterior pelvic tilt position was not associated with hip angle and iliopsoas muscle thickness changes, whereas squatting in an anterior pelvic tilt position was associated with changes in the iliopsoas muscle thickness and hip flexion angle. Our findings suggest that activation of the iliopsoas muscle might be necessary to promote hip-dominant squatting.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to describe the properties of muscle nodules (kinkoketsu) recognized by manual physical therapy practitioners. [Participants and Methods] A total of one hundred and thirty-three physical therapists, occupational therapists, judo therapists, and acupuncturists participated in this study. The shape, size, direction, depth, and hardness of muscle nodules, often treated in the buttocks, were investigated through the completion of a questionnaire. [Results] A total of 124 answer sheets were completed; 112 of these described the shape of muscle nodules as ellipsoidal. Of these 112 sheets, 97 effective sheets were analyzed. The results showed that the mean long axis length, short axis length, and thickness of the muscle nodules were 30.9 mm, 16.2 mm, and 9.3 mm, respectively. The most common responses on the long axis direction, depth, and hardness of the muscle nodules were the craniocaudal orientation, the second shallowest layer of 5 divisions, and the eraser level, respectively. [Conclusion] The typical muscle nodule found in the buttocks by manual physical therapy practitioners is roughly the shape of a large almond.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to investigate the factors that affected the discharge of walkable patients admitted to psychiatric long-term care wards. [Participants and Methods] The participants were walkable patients admitted to psychiatric long-term care wards at three different hospitals in Japan. The baseline assessments of all 73 patients were conducted between September and December 2018. During the 2 year follow-up period, five patients died, while 68 were included in the analysis. The baseline assessment includes the basic information of the participants and the risk of locomotive syndrome. [Results] In the comparisons between the discharged (n=12) and hospitalizing groups (n=56), the age, length of stay, and two-step and stand-up test scores at the baseline assessment were significantly different. The multiple logistic regression analysis, which discriminates between the two groups, adopted age as a significant variable in the baseline assessment as a predictor of dischargeability (odds ratio: 1.08; 95% confidence interval: 1.01, 1.16). [Conclusion] Age was considered to be a discharge likelihood predictor, as it affects the decline in motor function, such as locomotive syndrome, as well as the social resources that would be needed after discharge, such as family support.
[Purpose] The present study aimed to examine the existence and degree of possible asymmetries of functional test performance and their intercorrelations in the lower extremities of young basketball players. [Participants and Methods] Twenty-seven healthy male basketball players (age: 15.52 ± 1.37 years) were examined for the symmetric function of their lower extremities using triple hop for distance tests in the sagittal and frontal plane (medial-lateral), the Y-balance test and a vertical jump test. [Results] Participants exhibited statistically significant side-to-side differences in only the medial triple hop test, as they jumped further on their non-dominant for stability lower limb. No other asymmetries were observed in the rest of the functional tests. Significant correlations were also indicated between the vertical jumptest and the three directions of the triple hop test for both lower limbs. [Conclusion] Our findings proved that young basketball players present a symmetrical picture of functional performance, as revealed by the evaluation of various functional tests. The only significant asymmetric adaptation observed in the medial triple hop test will have to be strengthened by future studies to be implemented in injury prevention programs.
[Purpose] To determine the effects of hydrotherapy and land-based exercises on functional mobility and quality of life among patients with knee osteoarthritis. [Participants and Methods] We conducted a randomized controlled trial with knee osteoarthritis patients randomly allocated into land-based (n=17) and hydrotherapy groups (n=17). The Time-Up and Go (TUG), Five Times Sit-to-Stand (5STS), Stair Climbing Test (SCT), and Quality of Life by questionnaires including the Modified Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index questionnaire Thai version (Thai WOMAC) were assessed at baseline and 6 weeks. The World Health Organization Quality of Life BREF Thai version (WHOQOL-BREF-THAI) questionnaire were assessed at baseline and six weeks and 6 months. [Results] There was no significant difference in outcomes between the groups after 6-weeks and 6-months of follow-up. After 6 weeks, Thai WOMAC score improved in both groups. Only 5STS was improved in the land-based group, while the hydrotherapy group showed significant TUG, 5STS, and SCT improvement. Furthermore, only hydrotherapy showed significant improvement in WHOQOL-BREF-THAI scores in the mental, social, quality of health, and total domains after six months. [Conclusion] Both exercises equally improved functional mobility and quality of life. Hydrotherapy and land-based exercise could improve functional mobility and quality of life in patients with knee osteoarthritis.