[Purpose] The purpose of this pilot study was to investigate the effectiveness of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM), foam rolling, and athletic elastic taping on improving elite volleyball players’ shoulder range of motion (ROM) and throwing performance. [Participants and Methods] Fifteen elite male volleyball players (mean age: 24 ± 4.54 years; mean height: 177 ± 0.08 cm; mean weight: 81 ± 7.71 kg) received shoulder Ergon IASTM, foam rolling, and elastic taping treatment in random order on both upper extremities once a week for three weeks. Pre-and post-treatment assessments of their shoulders’ ROM and functional throwing performance were performed. [Results] Ergon IASTM technique resulted in significantly higher shoulder flexion ROM values than foam rolling and elastic taping. Foam rolling, in turn, showed better results than athletic elastic taping. Moreover, the Ergon IASTM technique resulted in significantly higher OSP values than athletic elastic taping. No significant differences were observed between the therapeutic interventions in terms of FTPI. [Conclusion] This pilot study on elite athletes provides evidence that both IASTM and foam rolling techniques may improve their passive shoulder ROM compared to elastic athletic taping while Ergon IASTM can also enhance their shoulder throwing performance.
[Purpose] We investigated whether patients with early-stage amyotrophic lateral sclerosis can improve their voluntary strength with a physical therapy program. [Participants and Methods] This retrospective case series study at a single university hospital included 13 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis functional rating scale-revised ≥35, modified functional ambulation categories score ≥4). Physical therapy was performed for 3 weeks. We investigated knee extension muscle strength and modified functional ambulation categories scores at the start and end of the therapy and calculated the improvement rate of knee extension muscle strength. We performed a regression analysis of the relationship between knee extension muscle strength at the start of the study and the improvement rate. [Results] The knee extension muscle strength improved significantly; however, the effect size was small (0.13). The modified functional ambulation categories scores did not improve significantly. The knee extension muscle strength at the start of the therapy was negatively correlated with the improvement rate (logarithmic transformed linear regression: adjusted R2=0.27). [Conclusion] A short-duration exercise program improved lower limb muscle strength in patients with early-stage amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Additionally, we found that patients with weaker lower limb muscle strength at the start of the therapy demonstrated greater improvement at the end of the therapy.
[Purpose] Physical guidance is routinely used in clinical practices such as rehabilitation to facilitate motor learning. Physical guidance would facilitate motor learning and reduce the workload; however, this relationship is unknown. Thus, we aimed to investigate this relationship using a physical guidance device. [Participants and Methods] Twenty-seven healthy young adults were randomly assigned to three groups and underwent varying practice conditions. The participants used a physical guidance device during practice for 2 days, did not use the device during practice for 2 days, or used the device on the first but not the second practice day. Motor learning was assessed by measuring the instability generated by the participants while maintaining a standing position on the Biodex Balance System. Psychological status was evaluated by analyzing the participants’ responses to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration-Task Load Index. [Results] Improved performance was noted in all participants; however, those who used a physical guidance device during practice for 2 days exhibited poor motor learning compared with those assigned to the other two conditions. Frustration was significantly lower in participants who used a physical guidance device during practice than those who did not. [Conclusion] The use of physical guidance during practice can reduce participant frustration, but excessive physical guidance during practice reduces learning efficiency.
[Purpose] The present study aimed to investigate the effect of an innovative postural program (the Canali Postural Method, CPM) on muscle power in Italian high school students. It is note that deficits in posture control may, in long term, generate posture weakness as early as childhood and adolescence. Postural programs based on stretching and strengthening exercises can remove these deficits and can be framed in general physical or sport activities. [Participants and Methods] Thirty-four students completed a 8-week postural program. The intervention, consisting of stretching and muscle activation exercises, was integrated in physical education lessons. For the evaluation of the effect of CPM program, we have used the countermovement jump (CMJ), a simple and versatile test that measures muscle power. [Results] The CPM program resulted in significantly increased vertical jump height of the students. The average difference between Initial and Final CMJ was 2.1 cm. [Conclusion] This finding indicates the benefic effect of this new postural program on physical performance in the youth. Further randomized control trials should be conducted to evaluate CPM long-term implications in the prevention of posture weaknesses and its inclusion in the regular school curriculum.
[Purpose] This study aimed to investigate how wearing a self-applied arm sling with a loop during rising, standing up, and walking affects the magnitude of arm swaying and activities among elderly individuals compared with wearing a triangular bandage. [Participants and Methods] Fourteen elderly individuals participated in the study. The methods involved attaching a triaxial accelerometer to an arm wearing a triangular bandage or arm sling and conducting a 5-m walk test, sit-to-stand test five times, and rising up. We then calculated the time required for each action, and the acceleration, vibration intensity, and coefficient of variation of the affected arm; these were then compared between the two groups. [Results] All the participants were able to put on the arm sling with a loop. The step rate with a triangular bandage was higher than that without one. Swaying in the front/back direction in standing up was greater with the triangular bandage. [Conclusion] The self-applied arm sling with a loop was shown to have less front/back swaying during standing up. Wearing a triangular bandage may have narrowed the stride and increased the step rate due to discomfort. This result should be applied with caution, because it remains unclear whether arm slings with loops are advantageous.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to examine the correlation between leg extensor torque and the degree of sway. [Participants and Methods] We recruited 31 male and 22 female healthy adults. Strength Ergo 240 was used to measure leg extensor torque. A body pressure measurement system was used to measure the degree of sway. After the measurement, the correlation between these factors was investigated according to sex. [Results] In the males, a significant negative correlation was observed between leg extensor torque and the degree of sway. [Conclusion] In cases where therapists actively performed muscle strengthening and standing-up exercises to reduce the degree of sway in the males, the possibility that such efforts could increase leg extensor torque was observed.
[Purpose] To investigate whether habitual pelvic posture and time spent sitting are primary contributing factors to performance in the active unilateral knee extension in sitting test in young people. [Participants and Methods] The participants’ ages ranged from 20 to 40 years. LUMOback, a wearable electronic device, was used to measure the proportion of the days spent in a neutral pelvic posture (posture score) and time spent sitting over a week. The lumbopelvic sagittal curvature from T12 to S2 (θ) during the active unilateral knee extension in sitting test was also assessed using a flexible ruler. A multiple regression analysis was performed with the primary independent variables of the posture score and time spent sitting, undertaking priori considerations of potential confounders of sex, and pain condition on the θ value. [Results] Eighty participants (21.7 ± 3.8 years) were enrolled in the study (24 males and 56 females). Neither the posture score nor time spent sitting statistically significantly contributed to the θ value. [Conclusion] Neither the proportion of the day spent with neutral pelvic posture nor time spent sitting detected by LUMOback was the primary contributing factor to the active unilateral knee extension in sitting test performance.
[Purpose] The foundations of the scoliosis specific and evidence-based physiotherapy program according to Schroth is the original the Lehnert-Schroth (LS) classification which is still in use today. The purpose of this paper is to test the reliability of the LS classification system, using clinical and radiological images of scoliosis patients as classified by specialist experienced clinicians. [Participants and Methods] A list of 40 pictures of X-Rays and a list of 40 clinical pictures (all posterior trunk images) of patients with idiopathic scoliosis were provided by the second author. Three specialist professional physiotherapists or orthotists rated all clinical and radiological pictures according to these two patterns of the LS classification. [Results] The intra-observer Kappa value was 0.90 (clinical) and 1.00 (x-rays). The inter-observer Kappa values at average was 0.65 (clinical) and 0.71 (x-rays). [Conclusion] For the application of classifying the patients when prescribing postural advice and exercises from the Schroth program the LS-classification seems an easy to use and highly reliable tool. This test demonstrated sufficient reliability with respect to the x-rays, but the tests of the clinical pictures alone, demonstrated fair levels of reliability, which indicates that it is an appropriate tool for physiotherapists when an x-ray is not available.
[Purpose] This study aimed to consider the influence of a three-month video exercise program on the physical function of older females. [Participants and Methods] Nineteen older females (aged 72.9 ± 3.64 years) participated in this study. We formed two groups—an experimental group that exercised (n=9) and a control group that did not exercise (n=10). Our study’s exercise program focused on leg training. We conducted physical and cognitive tests before and after the program to determine the effects of the exercise program. [Results] The results of the second physical (post-intervention) test showed that the exercise group recorded significant improvement in the one-leg balance test with eyes open. However, no improvement was observed in cognitive function. [Conclusion] The static balance capacity of the exercise group improved. Thus, the three-month video exercise practice was effective for physical function improvement.
[Purpose] Square-stepping exercise is recommended for elderly people, as it has a positive effect on cognitive and physical functions; however, few studies have examined the exercise intensity of square-stepping exercise. Therefore, we aimed to examine the exercise intensity of square-stepping exercise in community-dwelling late elderly females. [Participants and Methods] Study 1: The participants, constituting 12 community-dwelling late elderly females (age: 78.7 ± 3.8 years), performed the three target step patterns. Exhaled gas, heart rate, and rating of perceived exertion using the Borg Scale were measured during square-stepping exercise. Study 2: Participants were 57 community-dwelling elderly females (81.2 ± 4.3 years old). The exercise intensity, heart rate, and rating of perceived exertion using the Borg Scale during square-stepping exercise were measured. [Results] Study 1: The average METs of the 3 target step patterns was 3.6 ± 0.7, and the %heart rate reserve and rating of perceived exertion were 54.3 ± 20.0% and 11.4 ± 1.9%, respectively. Study 2: The average METs during the square-stepping exercise program was 2.1 ± 0.2, and the %heart rate reserve and rating of perceived exertion were 19.6 ± 10.2% and 11.3 ± 1.4%, respectively. [Conclusion] Square-stepping exercise was confirmed to be a low to moderate intensity exercise program and is expected to improve health and physical fitness.
[Purpose] We need to regularly evaluate motor function to sustain the health of community-dwelling older adults. Our study aimed to identify the kinematic characteristics of healthy older adults in the Timed Up and Go test because the criteria for assessing the motor function of healthy older adults are unclear in the widely used clinical simple methods. [Participants and Methods] In total, 22 healthy younger and 28 healthy older adults participated in this study. Using a 3D motion analysis system, we measured the time ratios, trajectories, trajectory length per unit time, and body inclination angles during the Timed Up and Go test. We compared the kinematic characteristics of the older and younger adults. [Results] The older adults required a longer time ratio to complete the turn and sit subtasks. The trajectory of the older adults’ turn subtask was longer than that of the younger adults. Older adults’ body inclination angles during the turn subtask were smaller than that of the younger adults. [Conclusion] Healthy older adults had a different kinematic index from younger adults during the Timed Up and Go turn subtask. Therefore, we suggest the kinematic index of posture and turning radius be used to measure Timed Up and Go as a clinically useful index for understanding the motor characteristics of older adults.
[Purpose] One-repetition maximum is an essential statistic for physical therapists and coaches in rehabilitation and athletic settings. In a previous study, we showed that one-repetition maximum of the knee extensor could be predicted more accurately with the combination of maximal voluntary isometric contraction strength, as measured by a handheld dynamometer, muscle thickness, and thigh circumference, in young adults. However, there has been no study in older adults investigating the relationship between one-repetition maximum and maximal voluntary isometric contraction strength, or muscle thickness, and thigh circumference. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between one-repetition maximum and maximal voluntary isometric contraction strength, or muscle thickness, and thigh circumference in older adults. [Participants and Methods] Twenty-eight older community-dwelling adults (18 males and 10 females) participated in this study. Muscle strength of the knee extensor was measured using one-repetition maximum and maximal voluntary isometric contraction strength. In addition, muscle thicknesses of the refutes femoris and the vastus intermedius, and thigh circumference were measured using ultrasonography and measuring tape, respectively. [Results] Stepwise regression analysis revealed that body mass, gender, thigh circumference at 15 cm above the patella, and maximal voluntary isometric contraction strength were significant and independent determinants (R2=0.868). [Conclusion] One-repetition maximum could be predicted more accurately using a combination of maximal voluntary isometric contraction strength, as measured with a handheld dynamometer, and thigh circumference in older adults.
[Purpose] In the present study, electroencephalography was used to explore neural activity related to electromyography biofeedback training, focusing on pain perception before and after electromyography biofeedback. [Participants and Methods] Twenty-seven participants (female=23; mean age: 28.85 ± 4.99 years) with mild-to-moderate myofascial pain syndrome in the upper trapezius were recruited for this study. All participants underwent electroencephalography recording before, during, and after (0 and 15 min) electromyography biofeedback training. Quantitative electroencephalography analysis was performed to obtain the absolute power of the four main frequency bands. Pain scores before and after electromyography biofeedback were also evaluated by subjective rating. [Results] Electromyography biofeedback increased alpha power and decreased delta power 15 minutes after training, suggestive of relaxation. However, although a tendency for scores to decrease was observed, no significant improvements in pain scores were observed following the intervention. Such results may be due to the short duration of the biofeedback session and the subjective nature of pain assessments. [Conclusion] Despite no obvious changes in pain perception, brief electromyography biofeedback training may induce relaxation in patients with myofascial pain syndrome of the upper trapezius muscle.
[Purpose] The study aimed to determine the relationship between low back pain and lumbar and hip movement in desk workers with chronic non-specific low back pain, in order to obtain basic data regarding measures for preventing low back pain in desk workers. [Participants and Methods] The study included 10 desk workers (all female, age: 47.1 ± 6.0 years). The following measurements were recorded: numerical rating scale score for pain assessment at the time of maximum forward and backward bending of the trunk while standing, and the amount of movement of the trunk and the lumbar and hip joint. The ratio of the lumbar and hip joint movements during maximum forward and backward bending of the trunk was calculated. [Results] For maximum forward and backward bending of the trunk, a positive correlation between the numerical rating scale score and the ratio of movement for the lumbar and a negative correlation with that of the hip joint were noted. [Conclusion] Moving the hip joint while suppressing excessive lumbar movement is one of the measures for preventing low back pain in desk workers.
[Purpose] This study aimed to elucidate the aspects of psychosocial adjustment of mothers of children with developmental but no intellectual disabilities and to clarify the nature of these disabilities. [Participants and Methods] We conducted an unstructured group interview with three mothers of children with developmental but no intellectual disabilities. [Results] The mothers who were not aware of the disabilities, because the disability characteristics made it difficult to recognize easily the disabilities, began to feel anxious about the unforeseeable future when their children began to fail in society outside the home, such as in school. This anxiety was made worse by the teachers’ lack of understanding of the developmental disabilities and reduced self-esteem of the children themselves. Becoming aware of their children’s ability that they had not seen earlier, a peaceful life and expectations for the future brought about by awareness led to the psychosocial recovery of these mothers. [Conclusion] The truth about the nature of developmental disabilities in the absence of intellectual disabilities, human consciousness does not accept diversity and allows the majority to force minorities to conform.
[Purpose] Improvement in the smoothness of movement is a motor learning outcome. This study sought to clarify the relationship between motor skills and smoothness of movement in motor learning. [Participants and Methods] We subjected 12 healthy adults to a task in which they had to learn the sensation of a load while standing up and sitting down. We attached triaxial accelerometers to the seventh cervical spine and the third lumbar spinous process of the participants prior to measurement. We took the measurements over two successive days and used absolute error and variable error as indicators of motor learning outcomes. In addition, we used entropy, calculated from the results of the power spectrum analysis of acceleration changes, as an indicator of the smoothness of the movement. [Results] In the test sessions, absolute and variable errors showed a significant reduction. Entropy also showed a similarly significant decrease, although the change in errors and entropy showed different transitions. [Conclusion] Qualitative indicators of motor learning captured an aspect of motor learning that one cannot capture by quantitative indicators. In the future, qualitative indicators will be necessary to judge the outcomes of motor learning.