[Purpose] Previous studies have reported that the nervous system is influenced during short-term cast immobilization. However, the effects of short-term inactivity on somatosensory information processing systems are not well understood. This study investigated the effect of 10 h of upper limb immobilization on the somatosensory pathway using short-latency somatosensory evoked potentials. [Participants and Methods] Twenty right-handed healthy participants (mean age 21.7 years) were enrolled in this study. The participants’ left hands and forearms were wrapped in a soft bandage at a 90° elbow flexed position. The participants were instructed not to move their left hand for 10 h. To obtain short-latency somatosensory evoked potentials, we used a multimodal evoked potential system. The left median nerve was electrically stimulated at a rate of 5 Hz for a duration of 0.2 ms. The intensity of the stimulus was adjusted to induce mild twitches of the thumb. The amplitudes and latencies of the short-latency somatosensory evoked potential components (N9, N13, and N20) were measured before and after immobilization. [Results] The amplitude of the N9 component significantly increased after immobilization. [Conclusion] Our results indicated that the changes in the excitability of the peripheral somatosensory nerve were due to 10 h of inactivity.
[Purpose] The neck and trunk play crucial roles in body movement and are extremely important areas of treatment for physical therapists. However, many aspects of the neural basis of this motor control remain unknown. Therefore, we investigated the distribution and electrophysiological properties of the neck and trunk in the primary motor cortex in rats. [Subjects and Methods] Using intracortical microstimulation, we investigated the somatotopic representation and movements induced by electrical stimulation of the neck and truck areas of the motor cortex in 8 Wistar rats. [Results] We determined that the neck and trunk areas are located separately on the rostral and caudal sides of the motor cortex, respectively. The neck area was significantly larger in size, while the threshold was significantly larger for the trunk area. Stimulation of the neck area with a current higher than the threshold induced movement of the forelimbs, jaw, trunk, and whiskers. However, stimulation of the trunk area did not result in movement in sites other than the trunk. [Conclusion] During movement, the respective activities of the neck and trunk are interdependent. However, due to the separate locations of these areas in the motor cortex, their properties differ greatly.
[Purpose] Home-visit rehabilitation is used to restructure patients’ home lives and involves comprehensive intervention. In Japan, liaison between physiotherapists and occupational therapists occurs, but impact of this cooperation is unclear. The present study aimed to investigate therapeutic efficacy of this liaison. [Participants and Methods] The study used a cross-sectional design. Participants were community-dwelling older adults who required long-term care and were receiving home-visit rehabilitation provided in the Chubu region. They were divided into a single-intervention group with either physiotherapy or occupational therapy alone, and a liaison-intervention group with therapy coordinated between the 2 professions. In addition to basic information, the Barthel Index, Frenchay Activities Index, Health Utility Index Mark 3, and subjective health assessments were evaluated. [Results] Eighteen participants were recruited. No significant differences were observed between groups for the Barthel Index, whereas the total Frenchay Activities Index score and items of the Frenchay Activities Index (outdoor domestic chores and outdoor activities) were significantly higher in the liaison-intervention group. The emotion item in the Health Utility Index Mark 3 and subjective health assessments were also significantly higher in the liaison-intervention group. [Conclusion] These findings suggest that this liaison is effective for improving activities of daily living and increasing quality of life. This is probably due to each therapist performing a specialized intervention and professional cooperation.
[Purpose] This study aimed to obtain evidence of the musculo-physiological involvement in the effect of physiotherapy on low back pain by examining the reproducibility of elasticity measurements of the multifidus muscle at different trunk angles via the shear wave elastography function of an ultrasound diagnostic device. [Participants and Methods] This study included 11 healthy adults. Measurements were conducted with participants in the prone position, and the elasticity of the superficial and deeper layers of the multifidus muscle was measured under the following 3 conditions: trunk at neutral position, trunk flexed at 40°, and trunk extended at 20°. Next, intraclass correlation coefficients (1, 1) were calculated to examine the intrarater reliability. [Results] All intraclass correlation coefficients for the superficial and deeper layers of the multifidus muscle were ≥0.85 for all 3 conditions. [Conclusion] Regardless of the trunk position, the elastic modulus measurement of inner muscles via shear wave elastography serves as an assessment of biological changes in individuals with lower back pain in response to interventions.
[Purpose] This study aimed to examine the effect of osteoporosis complications on the physical function, frailty in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. [Participants and Methods] The participants were 27 female type 2 diabetes mellitus patients aged ≥65 years. Of these, 14 patients had osteoporosis. In order to evaluate the physical function, we measured the lower limb muscle strength, handgrip, gait speed, etc. We performed statistical comparison of both the groups and examined the applicable number of items on the Linda Fried Frailty scale and the correlation by evaluating the physical function. [Results] The lower limb muscle strength of patients with osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes mellitus was significantly lower than that of type 2 diabetes mellitus patients without osteoporosis. Factors of the osteoporosis group that inversely correlated to the Linda Fried Frailty scale included lower limb muscle strength, handgrip, and gait speed. [Conclusion] We found that osteoporosis reduced lower limb muscle strength in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients and was correlated with frailty.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to analyze ankle range of motion in patients undergoing hemodialysis and those with diabetes. [Participants and Methods] Eight male kidney disease patients without diabetes undergoing hemodialysis and 10 male kidney disease patients with diabetes undergoing hemodialysis were enrolled in this study. For comparison, 27 patients with diabetes not undergoing hemodialysis and 10 healthy participants were included. All participants were divided into 4 groups: patients without diabetes undergoing hemodialysis, patients with diabetes undergoing hemodialysis, patients with diabetes not undergoing hemodialysis, and control group. The measured parameter was the passive range of motion of the ankle joint. [Results] Patients with diabetes not undergoing hemodialysis demonstrated the greatest joint restriction, followed by patients with diabetes undergoing hemodialysis. The main effect of diabetes was observed in ankle range of motion, rather than hemodialysis. There was a significant difference between both the diabetes undergoing hemodialysis and the diabetes not undergoing hemodialysis groups and the other groups. [Conclusion] Limited joint mobility of the ankle in patients undergoing hemodialysis may be affected by diabetes rather than hemodialysis.
[Purpose] In patients with critical limb ischemia, the ambulatory state often has a lasting impact on recovery and wound healing. The aim of this study was to examine the predictive factors connected with the ambulatory state in wounds with critical limb ischemia. [Participants and Methods] This study included 125 inpatients with critical limb ischemia, who underwent physical therapy between January 2015 and December 2018. We retrospectively studied factors from the participant’s medical records and comparisons were made between the ambulatory and non-ambulatory groups. Next, we analyzed the differences between factors using multiple logistic regression analysis. [Results] The factors associated with the ambulatory state in patients with critical limb ischemia, as determined by multiple logistic regression analysis, were knee extension muscle strength, off-loading the foot duration, and the presence or absence of heart disease. [Conclusion] Shortening off-loading the foot period and intensive rehabilitation at an early stage after amputation need to be prioritized to maintain the quality of life and ambulatory status of patients with wounds in critical limb ischemia.
[Purpose] Cerebral palsy is one of the most common causes of childhood physical disability affecting motor development. Gait training with a wearable-robot, such as the Hybrid Assistive Limb, has been reported to improve gait ability in patients with chronic motor disabilities; however, there are no reports concerning the sustained improvement of walking ability with its use in patients with cerebral palsy. We present our observations for the use of Hybrid Assistive Limb gait training in a postpubescent cerebral palsy patient. [Participant and Methods] A 17-year-old male with spastic cerebral palsy could only ambulate slightly using a crouch gait posture and with the aid of a walker. Hybrid Assistive Limb training was performed thrice weekly for 4 weeks (total of 12 sessions) along with concurrent daily physical therapy. The follow-up period was 7 months after the intervention. [Results] The intervention resulted in improvements in the patient’s gait speed, proportion of the stance phase in a gait cycle, step length, and the flexion angle of the knees at initial contact and during late stance phase, which was sustained for 7 months following the intervention. [Conclusion] Our observations suggest that Hybrid Assistive Limb training may effectively improve and sustain walking ability even among postpubescent cerebral palsy patients who have a decreased walking ability.
[Purpose] Limited literature has investigated the relationships between acceleration-based gait characteristics and kinematic information from motion analysis systems in gait analysis. The purpose of this study is to determine whether acceleration-based gait characteristics were associated with gait characteristics by motion analysis systems in patients with stroke. [Participants and Methods] Seventeen patients with stroke walked along a 10-m-long walkway at their comfortable speed. Trunk acceleration was measured with an accelerometer. Several reflective markers over bony landmarks on the lower extremities were used to capture movements. We evaluated the correlations of variables calculated between the trunk accelerometers and the motion analysis system. [Results] Walking speed was positively correlated with harmonic ratios along the anteroposterior axis and stride regularity along the vertical and anteroposterior axes. Harmonic ratios were associated with the stance phase percent on the unaffected side. Stride regularity was associated with the stance phase percent on both sides. Smaller interstride variability was associated with smaller peak ankle plantarflexion during both phases and greater peak ankle dorsiflexion during swing phase. Stride regularity is positively associated with maximal knee flexion during swing phase. [Conclusion] Relationships with spatiotemporal and joint kinematic parameters from the motion analysis system support the potential use of accelerometers.
[Purpose] This study aimed to examine the intrarater reliability when measuring the thickness of the lumbar and lateral abdominal muscles using ultrasound with the participants in the prone position. [Participants and Methods] The participants were 10 healthy adult males without chronic low back pain. The muscle thicknesses of the lumbar multifidus, erector spinae, obliquus externus abdominis, obliquus internus abdominis, and transversus abdominal muscles were measured using ultrasound with the participants in the prone position. [Results] The intraclass correlation coefficients of the within-day and between-day intrarater reliability measurements were 31.1–34.1 mm (lumbar multifidus), 32.0–33.5 mm (erector spinae), 7.4–8.0 mm (obliquus externus abdominis), 9.4–10.4 mm (obliquus internus abdominis), and 2.9–3.4 mm (transversus abdominal). The standard error of measurement and 95% confidence interval of minimal detectable change of the within- and between-day measurements were 0.1–1.2 mm and 0.3–3.4 mm, respectively, for each muscle. [Conclusion] The reliability of measuring the lumbar and lateral abdominal muscles in the prone position using ultrasound was confirmed. It was suggested that measurements during muscle activity and extremity movement are possible when participants are in the prone position.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to ascertain the kinetic characteristics on a horizontal plane, including knee joint rotation, when performing tandem gait on a sine-wave walkway. [Participants and Methods] The participants were 10 healthy adults. The movement task included tandem gait on a sine-wave walkway. The instruments used were an electromyograph and a three-dimensional motion analysis system. Regarding data analysis, we determined the knee joint rotation angle and muscle activity of the biceps femoris and semitendinosus muscle. [Results] The knee joint rotation angle range was 48.1 ± 6.7°. Two strategies were confirmed with regard to the direction of knee joint rotation: a case in which the agonist muscle acts actively and a case in which the antagonist muscle acts passively. [Conclusion] It has been suggested that the knee joint rotational angle and muscular activity of the rotator muscle group are important for tandem gait on a sine-wave-shaped walking path.
[Purpose] There are many factors associated with sports injuries in volleyball that remain unclear; therefore, many of these injuries are still not being effectively prevented. This study aimed to help effectively prevent injuries among and provide conditioning guidance to participants of a high-school men’s volleyball team. [Participants and Methods] The participants were 36 males of a high-school men’s volleyball team, and the circumstances of injury occurrence, injury type, injury site, exposure time, and injury rate per 1,000 player-hours were evaluated among these participants. [Results] Over the 2 year period, 68 injuries occurred, and the injury rate was 1.51/1,000 player-hours. Specifically, the injuries comprised 40 cases of trauma (58.8%) and 28 cases of disorders (41.2%). Additionally, injuries occurring during training tended to be disorders, and injuries occurring during matches tended to be traumas. The most common site of injury was the ankle joint. [Conclusion] The results suggest that it is important for players to have appropriate knowledge about the injuries, acquire accurate form, and undergo various types of site-specific training in order to prevent injury. In the future, the causes and circumstances of occurrence of injury must be verified in a larger number of participants.
[Purpose] We aimed to clarify and compare the changes in thoracic and lumbar spine motion and to elucidate the relationship between hip and lumbar spine motion during running. [Participants and Methods] Seven healthy females were recruited in this study. Hip and spine movement were measured using a 3D motion analysis system when running at 6, 9, and 12 km/h. One-way analysis of variance was used to compare the changes in hip joint and spine angles during running. Correlation coefficient analysis was used to determine the relationship between the hip and lumbar spine angles at right and left toe-offs. [Results] As the running speed increased, the rotation angles of the thoracic and lumbar spine and the extension angles of the lumbar spine and hip joint significantly increased in the late stance phase. Significant positive relationships were observed between hip flexion and lumbar spine extension angles at toe-off when running at 6 and 9 km/h but not when running at 12 km/h. [Conclusion] To increase the running speed, participants increased the rotation angle of spine and the extension angles of the hip joint and lumbar spine during the stance phase. Participants extended the lumbar spine to compensate for the restricted hip motion at toe-off, which could cause stress to the lumbar spine.
[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of the flexion-distraction technique and drop technique on the straight leg raising angle and intervertebral disc height of patients with an intervertebral disc herniation. [Participants and Methods] Thirty patients with herniated intervertebral discs were divided into either an experimental group (n=15), who underwent flexion-distraction and drop techniques, or a control group (n=15), who obtained spinal decompression therapy. Both groups were treated three times per week for eight weeks. [Results] An intragroup comparison showed that the straight leg raising angle and the intervertebral disc height significantly increased in both groups. But it was not significantly difference in the intergroup comparison. [Conclusion] The flexion-distraction technique and the drop technique may serve as effective interventions for the straight leg raising angle and intervertebral disc height in patients with intervertebral disc herniations.
[Purpose] This study aimed to examine the impact of changing the drop vertical jump stance time on kinematic and kinetic parameters by ordering to high jump or quick jump for consistent stance time and a more accurate assessment of anterior cruciate ligament injury risk. [Participants and Methods] The participants were 20 healthy female students. The drop vertical jump was started by instructing the participants to stand on a 30-cm platform with both legs stationary. The task was performed while the participants were instructed to perform high jump or quick jump. [Results] Stance time was significantly shorter with quick jump than with high jump. Quick jump showed significantly higher knee abduction angles at initial contact and peak vertical ground reaction force, and lower hip flexion, knee flexion, and ankle dorsiflexion angles at the lowest point of the center of mass. Quick jump showed a significantly higher peak vertical ground reaction force. The knee abduction moment at initial contact was not significantly different between the 2 conditions. [Conclusion] Quick jump was better than high jump for making stance time consistent, and the differences in kinematic and kinetic characteristics by oral instructions should be considered when using drop vertical jump.
[Purpose] To determine the relationship between low back pain and a range of demographic, environmental, and injury history factors to identify potential factors for the management of low back pain. [Participants and Methods] The participants were 123 elite high school male and female volleyball players. They answered an extensive questionnaire regarding demographic details, low back pain in the previous year, volleyball-specific movements, previous regional injuries, and years of volleyball experience. Questionnaire responses were analyzed. Data were analyzed using a multivariate logistic regression analysis using the presence and absence of low back pain within 1 year as the explanatory variable. [Results] Of the 123 volleyball players, 48.0% reported low back pain. The volleyball-specific movements that induced pain were diverse (e.g., spike, serve, and pass) with no common factor. The factors associated with low back pain were an ankle injury within the previous year and years of volleyball experience. [Conclusion] The associations found in this survey indicate that particular attention should be given to more experienced players with a history of ankle injury to manage low back pain in high school volleyball players.
[Purpose] We examined the effect of passive ankle exercise on femoral venous flow in paralyzed, atrophied lower legs of patients with chronic spinal cord injury. [Participants and Methods] Ten males with complete spinal cord injury at the T6–12 levels and ten able-bodied males participated in this study. B-mode muscle ultrasound was performed on the medial gastrocnemius muscle to evaluate muscle atrophy. Doppler ultrasound was used to measure the time-averaged mean velocity in the femoral vein at rest and during passive motion of the ankle. [Results] Mean muscle thickness was significantly reduced in the spinal cord injury group, showing a mean value of 67.2% compared with able-bodied participants. No significant differences were observed in the time-averaged mean velocity at rest between the groups, although they were slightly lower in the spinal cord injury group than in the able-bodied group. During passive motion, no significant difference was observed in the time-averaged mean velocity between the groups, although the mean value in those with spinal cord injury was 65.9% that of the able-bodied group. Time-averaged mean velocity increased in both groups, compared with baseline. [Conclusion] Passive ankle exercise increased time-averaged mean velocity in spinal cord injury, but venous blood velocity was reduced in spinal cord injury compared to the able-bodied group. We believe that significant muscle atrophy affected our results in chronic spinal cord injury.
[Purpose] “Knowledge of results” (KR) is information about the success of an action relative to a goal. A reduced frequency of “knowledge of results” reportedly promotes motor learning more than a high frequency. However, the effect of gradually diminishing or increasing “knowledge of results” pattern has been rarely studied and is controversial. We investigated the effectiveness of diminishing “knowledge of results” pattern in motor learning. [Participants and Methods] Forty-six healthy adults were randomly assigned to either the 100% KR, 50% KR, or faded KR group. Participants were tasked with exerting 60% of their maximum voluntary contraction of their left shoulder flexion muscle in an isometric exercise. Participants practiced the task 20 times a day for 4 days. A pretest and posttest were conducted before and immediately after the acquisition, respectively. Retention tests were conducted 1 day, 1 week, and 2 weeks after the acquisition. [Results] The absolute error was significantly reduced in the posttest in the faded KR and 50% KR cohorts. However, there was no significant difference in the 100% KR group. In the faded KR subjects, the improvement effect was observed up to 1 week following acquisition. [Conclusion] Faded “knowledge of results” productively prolongs the effect of motor learning.
[Purpose] This study aimed to determine the effects of two load escalation methods, such as pedal weight increasing method and pedal speed raising method using a supine ergometer, on the cardiorespiratory system and lower limb muscle activity. [Participants and Methods] The study included 20 healthy adult males (age: 21 ± 1 years). Two different parameters were modulated during exercise intervention. Pedal load progression was applied in the load group (28.9 N, 72.3 N, 101.3 N), and pedal rate progression was applied in the speed group (60 rpm, 80 rpm, 100 rpm). Each group performed 5 minutes of exercise at their respective level of progression, for a total duration of 15 minutes. [Results] Oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide output, and minute ventilation were significantly increased as exercise intensity increased in both groups. Significant differences in muscle activity were found between the highest exercise intensities (101.3 N and 100 rpm). The activities of the biceps femoris and gastrocnemius were significantly higher with exercise at 100 rpm than at 101.3 N. [Conclusion] Increasing the number of revolutions per minute may significantly increase the activity of the lower limb muscles at comparable exercise intensities, despite the low work load.
[Purpose] Central pontine demyelination is a common osmotic demyelination syndrome. Typically, central pontine demyelination shows high signal intensity with demyelination in the mid-pons. Despite severe imaging findings, patients usually recover. This study investigated the integrity of the corticospinal tract (CST) and corticoreticular pathway (CRP) in patients at 12 months after the onset of central pontine demyelination. [Participants and Methods] This retrospective cross-sectional observational study assessed two patients with central pontine demyelination, who were ultimately able to walk without using an aid or orthosis and to use both hands but with mild residual symptoms. All participants underwent diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) at 12 months after onset. [Results] Both patients had mild ataxia at 12 months after onset. The integrity of the CST was restored in both cases, while the integrity of the CRP recovered partially. [Conclusion] The integrity of the CST and CRP at 12 months after the onset of central pontine demyelination was similar in both cases as well as the recovery status of the hand function and ambulation. These results may be useful in planning therapy for patients with central pontine demyelination.
[Purpose] The effect of fitness training on improving walking ability in cerebral palsy is controversial. However, gait training with a wearable robot (hybrid assistive limb) has been reported to improve gait ability in patients with cerebral palsy. For pediatric patients, a smaller, lighter-weight hybrid assistive limb has been newly developed. We describe the immediate effect of this newly developed smaller hybrid assistive limb on the gait ability of a pediatric patient with cerebral palsy and examine its safety and feasibility. [Participant and Methods] An 11-year-old male with spastic cerebral palsy (height, 130 cm; weight, 29.0 kg) who could ambulate using an elbow crutch participated in this study. A single session of hybrid assistive limb training comprising pre-exercise of the hip and knee joints and walking for 20 minutes was conducted. [Results] The intervention immediately improved his gait speed, stride length, and cadence according to the 10-m walking test. Co-contraction of agonist/antagonist muscles during walking improved, and the flexion angle of the right hip during the swing phase increased, which resulted in symmetry of movement of both legs. [Conclusion] Gait training using the new, smaller hybrid assistive limb for a pediatric patient was safe and feasible, and the newly developed hybrid assistive limb has the potential to immediately improve walking ability even among young children with cerebral palsy.