Background: Flexion-relaxation phenomenon (FRP) was a term which refers to a sudden onset of myoelectric silence in the erector spinae muscles of the back during standing full forward flexion. Hamstring muscle length may be related to specific pelvic and trunk movements. Many studies have been done on the FRP of the erector spinae muscles. However, no studies have yet investigated the influence of hamstring muscle flexibility on the FRP of the hamstring muscle and lumbopelvic kinematics during forward bending. Objects: The purpose of this study was to examine the flexion-relaxation ratio (FRR) of the hamstring muscles and lumbopelvic kinematics and compare them during forward bending in subjects with different hamstring muscle flexibility. Methods: The subjects of two different groups were recruited using the active knee extension test. Group 1-consisted of 13 subjects who had a popliteal angle under 30°; Group 2-consisted of 13 subjects who had a popliteal angel above 50°. The kinematic parameters during the trunk bending task were recorded using a motion analysis system and the FRRs of the hamstring muscles were calculated. Differences between the groups were identified with an independent t-test. Results: The subjects with greater hamstring length had significantly less lumbar spine flexion movement and more pelvic flexion movement. The subjects with greater pelvic flexion movement had a higher rate of flexion relaxation during full trunk bending (p<.05). Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that differences in hamstring muscle flexibility might cause changes in people’s hamstring muscle activity and lumbopelvic kinematics.
Background: Methods for exercising serratus anterior (SA) and upper trapezius (UT) muscles are important for the recovery of patients with various shoulder disorders, yet the efficacy of closed or open kinetic chain exercises have not yet been evaluated. Objects: The purpose of this study was to compare the activation of the SA and UT muscles during scapular protraction considering both closed and open kinetic chain exercises. Methods: Thirty subjects were randomly divided into experimental groups (closed kinetic chain exercise) and control groups (open kinetic chain exercise) in which scapular protraction was performed at 90° or 125° shoulder flexion. Electromyographic activity data were collected from the SA and UT muscles per position and exercise method. Results: Separate mixed 2-way analysis of variance showed significant differences in the activation of the SA (F1,28=6.447, p=.017) and the UT (F1,28=35.450, p=.001) muscles between the groups at 90° and 125° shoulder flexion. Also, the SA/UT ratio measures at 90° and 125° shoulder flexion significantly differed between the groups (F1,28=15.457, p=.001). That is, the closed chain exercise was more effective than open chain exercise for strengthening the SA muscle and controlling the UT muscle, 125° of shoulder joint was more effective than 90°. Conclusion: The findings suggest that scapular protraction with shoulder 125° flexion at the closed kinetic chain exercise may be more effective in increasing SA muscle activation and decreasing UT muscle activation as well as increasing the SA/UT ratio than open kinetic chain exercise.
Background: Rasch analysis has the advantage of placing both the items and the person along a single ratio scale and calibrates person ability and item difficulty onto an interval scale by logits. Therefore, Rasch analysis has been recommended as a better method for evaluating functional outcome questionnaires than traditional analyses. Objects: The aim of current study was to investigate item fit, item difficulty, rating scale, and separation index of the Korean version of the Fullerton Advanced Balance (KFAB) scale using Rasch analysis. Methods: In total, 93 patients with stroke (male=58, female=35) participated in this study. To investigate the item fit, difficulty, rating scale, and separation index of the KFAB scale, Rasch analysis was completed by the Winsteps software program. Results: In this study, all items of the KFAB scale were included in the Rasch model. The most difficult item was ‘standing with feet together and eyes closed’, and the easiest item was ‘two-footed jump’. The rating scale was a 4-point scale instead of the original 5-point scale. Person and item separation indices showed high values that can identify a person with a wide range of balance ability. Conclusion: The KFAB scale appears to be a reliable and valid tool to assess balance function in patients with stroke. Furthermore, the scale was found to discriminate among stroke patients of varying balance abilities.
Background: The serratus anterior (SA) muscle is one of the important muscles in the upward rotation of the scapula when the arm is raised. Insufficient muscle activity of the SA can cause deformation of the shoulder rhythm resulting in shoulder pathology. Objects: This study intends to compare SA and upper trapezius (UT) activity during the conventional wall-slide and push-up plus exercises for SA muscle strengthening and the scapular upward rotation (SUR) exercise. Methods: A total of 30 subjects participated in this study, and we measured the muscle activity of the SA and UT muscles during the wall-slide, push-up plus and SUR exercises. The one-way repeated ANOVA was used to compare SA and UT muscle activities during the 3 exercises. Results: During the SUR exercise, SA muscle activity was 79.88% maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC), which was significantly higher than its activity during the other 2 exercises. The UT muscle activity was 47.53 %MVIC during the SUR exercise, indicating a significantly higher UT muscle activity than during the other 2 exercises. Conclusion: These findings suggest that the SUR exercise can maximize SA muscle activity to strengthen the SA while keeping UT muscle activity at an appropriate level.
Background: To improve muscle flexibility, static stretch is the most common type and is considered safe and effective for improving overall flexibility of muscles. During the stretch, the intensity is more likely to be determined by the degree of an athlete’s pain and practitioner’s skills rather than quantitative measures of stretch. It is necessary to determine the optimal intensity for the stretch. Objects: The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between hand held dynamometer (HHD) and verbal rating scale (VRS) in comparison of the effects of continuance time on active (walking) and inactive (sitting) movement after static stretch. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted with a sample (n=62) recruited from a university. Participants were randomly assigned to 2 different groups (n=31 for each group) based on participants’ positions either remaining in sitting or freely walking around for a series of re-assessments. Data was collected at pre-warm up, pre-stretch, post-stretch, and additional assessments at the time of 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 20 and 30 minutes after the stretch. Results: Relationship between VRS and HHD scores represents very weak correlation (Spearman’s p=-.16, p>.05). Pearson’s correlation analysis was conducted following the logarithmic transformation of the two scores. Pearson’s correlation after the transformation still showed a very low relationship and a poor linear relationship between the two scores (Pearson’s r=-.18, p>.05). Conclusion: The optimal intensity for stretch cannot be solely determined by the subjective pain perception. The objective measurement such as HHD could be used in conjunction with the pain perception.
Background: The MLA is supported by both the abductor hallucis (ABH) and the extrinsic muscles. Insufficient muscular support may lower the MLA when the body’s weight is applied to the foot. The short foot exercise (SFE) is effective in increasing the height of the MLA for people with flat feet. Most of the research related to the SFE has simply evaluated the efficiency of the exercise using enhanced ABH electromyography (EMG) activation. Since the tibialis anterior (TA), peroneus longus (PER), and ABH are all involved in supporting the MLA, a new experiment design examining the EMG of the selected muscles during SFE should be applied to clarify its effect. Objects: Therefore, this study aimed to clarify the effect of the SFE in different ankle position on the MLA angle and the activation of both the intrinsic and extrinsic muscles and to determine the optimal position. Methods: 20 healthy subjects and 12 subjects with flat feet were recruited from Yonsei University. The surface EMG and camera were used to collect muscle activation amplitude of TA, PER, and ABH and to capture the image of MLA angle during SFE. The subjects performed the SFE while sitting in three different ankle positions—neutral (N), dorsiflexion (DF) at 30 degrees, and plantar flexion (PF) at 30 degrees. Results: ABH EMG amplitudes were significantly greater in N and DF than in PF (p<.05). Muscle activation ratio of TA to ABH was the lowest in PF (p<.05). MLA angle in both groups significantly decreased in PF (p<.01). The TA and ABH was activated at the highest level in DF. However, in PF, subjects significantly activated the ABH and PER with relatively low activation of TA. Conclusion: Therefore, researchers need to discuss which SFE condition most effectively use the arch support muscle for flat foot.
Background: Light touch cue is a sensory input that could potentially help in the control of posture. The immediate stimulatory effect of light touch cues using a cane during gait is associated with postural stability. This strategy can help post-stroke individuals regain their ability to perform the sit-to-stand (STS) transfer safely. Objects: The effects of light grip on postural control during the STS transfer in post-stroke subjects were investigated. Methods: Eleven participants (6 men, 5 women) with hemiplegia due to stroke were recruited in the study. The subjects with hemiparesis performed STS transfer in three randomly assigned conditions (1) without a cane (2) light grip with a cane (3) strong grip with a cane. Results: The difference in weight-bearing distribution between the left and right feet, when the subjects were instructed to stand up, was 52.73±2.13% without a cane, 42.75±3.26% with a strong grip, and 43.00±2.55% with a light grip (p<.05). The rate of rise in force indicates the peak power provided by subjects during their STS transfers. The rate of rise in force was statistically significantly lower without a cane than that with a light grip or a strong grip (p<.05). The subjects’ centers of pressure sway on the mediolateral side during STS transfers statistically significantly declined with a light grip or a strong grip when compared to those without a cane (p<.05). Conclusion: When the subjects with hemiparesis used a cane during STS transfers, their duration, center of pressure sway, and difference in weight-bearing distribution were all reduced. The subjects also exhibited similar results during STS transfers with a cane gripped lightly. This result may provide guidelines for the use of assistive devices when patients with hemiparesis practice STS transfers in clinical settings.
Background: Scapular downward rotation syndrome (SDRS) is a common scapular alignment impairment that causes insufficient upward rotation and muscle imbalance, shortened levator scapulae (LS) and rhomboid, and lengthened serratus anterior (SA) and trapezius. A modified shrug exercise (MSE), performing a shrug exercise with the shoulders at 150° abduction, is known as an effective exercise to increase scapular stabilizer muscle activation. Previous studies revealed that scapular exercise are more effective when combined with trunk stabilization exercises in decreasing scapular winging and increasing scapular stabilizer muscle activation. Objects: The purpose of our study was to clarify the effect of MSE with or without trunk stabilization exercises in subjects with SDRS. Methods: Eighteen volunteer subjects (male=10, female=8) with SDRS were recruited for this experiment. All subjects performed MSE under 3 different conditions: (1) MSE, (2) MSE with an abdominal draw-in maneuver (ADIM), and (3) MSE with an abdominal expansion maneuver (AEM). The muscle thickness of the lower trapezius (LT) and the SA were measured using an ultrasonography in each condition. Electromyography (EMG) data were collected from the LT, LS, SA, and upper trapezius (UT) muscle activities. Data were statistically analysed using one-way repeated analysis of variance at a significance level of .05. Results: The muscle thickness of the LT and the SA were the significant different in the MSE, MSE with ADIM (MSE+ADIM) and MSE with AEM (MSE+AEM) conditions (p<.05) In both LT and SA, the order of thick muscle thickness was MSE+AEM, MSE+ADIM, and MSE alone. No significant differences were found in the EMG activities of the SA, UT, LS, and LT in all condition. Conclusion: In conclusion, MSE is more beneficial to people with SDRS when combined with trunk stabilization exercises by increased thickness of scapular stabilizer muscles.
Background: Abdominal bracing exercise (ABE) and abdominal hollowing exercise (AHE) improve the lumbar flexibility and pulmonary function in various patients, yet the efficacy of ABE or AHE have not yet been evaluated. Objects: The purpose of this study was to compare the lumbar flexibility and pulmonary function during both ABE and AHE in healthy adults. Methods: The study included 40 healthy adults, who were randomly divided into the experimental group and control group, each with 20 subjects. All subjects performed ABE (experimental group) and AHE (control group). The lumbar flexibility such as trunk flexion test (sitting and standing position) and schober test and pulmonary function such as the spirometer including forced vital capacity (FVC) and force expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and chest circumference measurement (middle and lower chest) were measured, respectively. Two-way repeated analysis of variance was used to compare the lumbar flexibility and pulmonary function, respectively. Results: No significant effects of lumbar flexibility were observed on trunk flexion test from the sitting position (P=.478) and standing position (P=.096) in the ABE than in the AHE. However, the length of ABE was longer significantly than it of AHE (P=.024). No significant effects of lung function were observed on the FVC (P=.410) and FEV1 (P=.072) in the ABE group than in the AHE group. And also, no significant effects of chest circumference measurement were observed on the inspiration (P=.468) and expiration (P=.563) in middle chest circumference and inspiration (P=.104) and expiration (P=.346) in lower chest circumference. Conclusion: This study indicated that the ABE is only more effective in lumbar flexibility by lumbar length difference than AHE in healthy adults.
Background: Shoulder external rotation exercises are commonly used to improve the stabilizing ability of the infraspinatus. Although the side-lying wiper exercise (SWE) is the most effective shoulder external rotation exercise to maximize infraspinatus activity, the effect of adduction force on the infraspinatus and posterior deltoid has not been demonstrated. Objects: This study was conducted to investigate whether horizontal adduction force increases infraspinatus activity and decreases posterior deltoid activity. Methods: Twenty-eight healthy subjects (male: 21, female: 7; age=23.5±1.8 years; height=170.1±7.4 ㎝; weight=69.4±9.6 ㎏) were recruited. Subjects were asked to perform the SWE under two conditions: (1) general SWE and (2) SWE with adduction force using pressure biofeedback. Surface electromyography (EMG) signals of the infraspinatus and posterior deltoid were recorded during SWE. Paired t-tests were used to compare the EMG activity of the infraspinatus and posterior deltoid between the two conditions. Results: Posterior deltoid muscle activity was significantly decreased following SWE with adduction force (7.53±4.52%) relative to general SWE (11.68±8.42%) (p<.05). However, there was no significant difference in the infraspinatus muscle activity between the SWE with adduction force (28.33±12.16%) and the general SWE (26.54±13.69%) (p>.05). Conclusion: Horizontal adduction force while performing SWE is effective at decreasing posterior deltoid activity.