[Purpose] This work was designed to establish criteria for assessing common clinical measurement methods for thoracic spinal rotation angles by comparing their results with magnetic resonance imaging measurements. [Participants and Methods] Twenty-six healthy participants underwent thoracic rotation angle assessments using an electronic goniometer in three positions: lumbar-locked, seated, and half-kneeling. We compared these results with measurements obtained by magnetic resonance imaging. [Results] A moderate but significant positive correlation was observed between the thoracic rotation angle measured by magnetic resonance imaging and the lumbar-locked rotation test. The respective 95% confidence intervals of these correlation coefficients were 0.09 and 0.72. Bland–Altman analysis revealed a fixed error in the lumbar-locked rotation test, suggesting that the test tended to overestimate thoracic rotation compared with magnetic resonance imaging, but proportional errors could not be definitively identified. [Conclusions] Thoracic spine rotation angles measured using magnetic resonance imaging aligned closely with previously reported results. Notably, although measurements obtained by the lumbar-locked rotation test correlated with magnetic resonance imaging results, they exhibited fixation errors. Functional tests (seated and half-kneeling) showed limited correlations with magnetic resonance imaging results. The influence of adjacent joints on clinical measurements should be considered.
[Purpose] This study investigated the effect of controlled start position (CSP) on the reach distance distribution range (RDDR) in the functional reach test (FRT) in community-dwelling older adults. [Participants and Methods] The participants were 34 community-dwelling older adults. We compared the RDDR in CSP and non-CSP and analyzed the relationship between the mean reach distance (MRD) and the length of movement of the center of pressure (LMCOP). [Results] The RDDR in CSP condition was significantly lower than non-CSP condition. A significant positive correlation was observed only for CSP condition. In the non-CSP condition, MRD was not reflected in the LMCOP. [Conclusion] The FRT in the CSP effectively reflects the standing balance ability of community-dwelling older adults.
[Purpose] We aimed to determine the autonomic response in patients with rotator cuff tear-related nocturnal pain using nonlinear analysis of heart rate variability. [Participants and Methods] Twenty-eight patients with nocturnal pain who were diagnosed with a rotator cuff tear and received steroid injections, and whose nocturnal pain improved, were divided into a control group (14 patients) and a failure group (14 patients). Pulse wave was measured continuously using BACS Advance equipment (TAOS Co.) for a total of 17 min: 5 min before isometric hand grip, 2 min during isometric hand grip, 5 min after isometric hand grip, and 10 min after isometric hand grip. The autonomic nervous system activity was assessed using detrended fluctuation analysis and approximate entropy. [Results] The α1 values obtained from the detrended fluctuation analysis were significantly higher in the failure group than in the control group at each measurement period. The approximate entropy was normal in 12 (85%) patients in the control group and six (42%) patients in the failure group; it was abnormal in two (15%) patients in the control group and eight (58%) patients in the failure group. [Conclusion] Among patients experiencing nocturnal pain, several have abnormal autonomic response during isometric hand grip.
[Purpose] This study investigated the changes in caregiving risk and motor function among older adults participating in community gatherings (“Kayoinoba”) in Koshigaya. [Participants and Methods] A total of 257 older participants who engaged in the Kayoinoba program for 6 months from its inception were included in the analysis. Caregiving risk and motor function were assessed twice—once at the beginning of the Kayoinoba (first assessment) and again 6 months later (second assessment). The Kihon Checklist was used to evaluate caregiving risk, and the timed up-and-go, one-leg standing, and 30-s chair-stand tests were done to evaluate motor functioning. Participants were divided into pre-frail and healthy groups, and the first and second assessments were compared. [Results] The Kihon Checklist score of the pre-frail group significantly improved from the first to the second assessment. The pre-frail group had lower composite scores for physical function, outdoor activities, and depression mood items based on the Kihon Checklist; the healthy group showed no such differences. Performance on the 30-s chair-stand test was significantly better in the second assessment than in the first assessment in both groups. [Conclusion] The findings of this study emphasize the benefits of participating in Kayoinoba among high-risk older adults and provide the knowledge for developing a healthier community-based symbiotic society.
[Purpose] The aim of this study was to develop a novel wearable surface electromyograph called NOK, and compare its reliability and validity to an existing electromyograph. [Participants and Methods] The study participants were 23 healthy university students (Seven males and 16 females; age 20.3 ± 1.1 years [mean ± standard deviation]; height 162.0 ± 6.7 cm; weight 58.4 ± 10.1 kg) who all gave informed written consent. The newly developed electromyograph (NOK) features a rubberized skin contact surface that requires no electrodes and allows the acquisition of up to 10 channels of muscle waveforms on a portable personal computer. After measuring maximal isometric elbow extension and flexion, we examined muscle waveforms during isometric contractions of elbow joint flexion and extension at approximately 50% of maximal voluntary contraction using both NOK and Delsys electromyographs and compared the results of the two devices. [Results] We found a significant moderate correlation between the measurements by the two devices for biceps and triceps. The measurements by the two devices also showed strong measure-retest reliability. Systematic errors were observed for elbow flexion and extension in the two measurements, indicating limited agreement between the two measurement methods. [Conclusion] Although the new device also has high repeatability and reliability, it is unsuitable for analyzing detailed muscle activity. However, since it can measure up to 10 channels of muscle activity, it is expected to be used in the rehabilitation and sports field in the future.
[Purpose] Older patients with cardiovascular disease should increase their physical activity and prioritize positive psychological and social approaches in the maintenance phase of their cardiac rehabilitation. This study aimed to clarify the effect of small community walking on physical activity, well-being, and social capital in older patients with cardiovascular disease in the maintenance phase. [Participants and Methods] We conducted a multicenter study in Kumamoto, Japan. We randomly divided 55 patients with cardiovascular disease into two groups: small community walking and walking alone. For three months, a registered cardiac rehabilitation instructor provided walking guidance to both groups using a wearable device. We measured physical activity, social capital, and subjective happiness before and after the intervention. [Results] Results revealed a statistically significant main effect of time on physical activity and social participation. In the subjective happiness scale, there was an association between group and time. [Conclusion] Our results suggest that walking guidance using a wearable device was beneficial in improving overall physical activity, regardless of whether the individual did small community walking or walking alone. Furthermore, small community walking intervention may effectively enhance well-being. The relationship between physical activity and social participation needs to be further investigated.
[Purpose] Ultrasonography can be used to non-invasively analyze any cross-section of the human body and to measure tissue elasticity, thickness, and brightness. This study was performed to examine the quantitative and qualitative changes in the masseter muscle at rest and at maximal occlusion, and to evaluate the relationship between these changes and the general health of the individual. [Participants and Methods] The study cohort comprised 30 healthy adults. Correlations between basic participant information (sex, age, height, body weight, body mass index, body fat, maximum bite force, handgrip strength, and tongue pressure) and masseter muscle ultrasonographic data were examined. [Results] Masseter muscle thickness was significantly greater in males than in females. Body weight and body mass index correlated positively with masseter muscle thickness. Body mass index and body fat percentage correlated positively with masseter muscle brightness. Tongue pressure correlated positively with handgrip strength. [Conclusion] Our analyses of muscle thickness and brightness suggest that ultrasonography may be useful in evaluating masseter muscle quantity and quality, and that the condition of the masseter muscle may correlate with the overall health status of the individual.
[Purpose] This study aimed to identify the factors and cutoffs associated with walking independence in patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia. [Participants and Methods] In total, 112 patients with COVID-19 pneumonia (98 males and 14 females) who were hospitalized between March 2020 and August 2021 and underwent physiotherapy during mechanical ventilation were included in the study. Attributes, respiratory function, physical function, and bed-withdrawal status were compared between two groups of patients, who were classified according to their ability to walk independently at discharge. The independent variables were reduced to four components by principal component analysis. Logistic regression analysis was performed with walking independence at discharge as the dependent variable. Receiver operating characteristic curves for the extracted factors were drawn, and cutoff values were calculated. [Results] At discharge, 76 patients were able to walk independently, while 36 were not. The logistic regression analysis was adjusted according to age and mechanical ventilation time. Cutoffs were an age of 56 years and a ventilation period of 7.5 days. [Conclusion] In cases of patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia who required ventilators, age and mechanical ventilation time were associated with ambulatory independence at discharge, indicating the importance of reducing the ventilation period by providing respiratory physiotherapy, including expectoration, positioning, and weaning.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study is to determine how the study environment during remote classes affected the physical health of university students during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. [Participants and Methods] A total of 3,359 students currently enrolled at our university participated anonymously. The survey was conducted using Google Forms, with items including “gender”, “study environment during remote classes”, “presence or absence of symptom”, “symptoms that existed before starting remote classes”, and “changes in symptoms after starting remote classes”. [Results] The overall valid response rate was 49%, with a total of 688 males and 983 females providing responses. In the grouping by gender, the number of students with symptoms was significantly higher in females than in males. Similarly, the number of students with existing symptoms that were exacerbated was significantly higher in females than in males. With regards to study environment, a significantly higher proportion of students who sat on the floor during remote classes complained about exacerbated existing symptoms than those who sat on chairs. [Conclusion] The results demonstrate that remote classes during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic led to a higher prevalence of new physical symptoms and exacerbation of existing symptoms in females than in males, and when students sat on floors rather than on chairs.