Background: In previous studies, changes in postural alignment were found when the slope was changed during walking. Downhill walking straightens the trunk by shifting the line of gravity backward.
Objects: This study investigated the effect of the downhill treadmill walking exercise (DTWE) on thoracic angle and thoracic erector spinae (TES) activation in subjects with thoracic kyphosis.
Methods: A total of 20 subjects with thoracic kyphosis were recruited for this study. All the subjects performed the DTWE for 30 minutes. A surface EMG and 3D motion capture system were used to measure TES activation and thoracic angle before and after the DTWE. Paired t-tests were used to confirm the effect of the DTWE (p<.05).
Results: Both the thoracic angle and TES activation had significantly increased after the DTWE compared to the baseline (p<.05). An increase in the thoracic angle indicates a decrease in kyphosis.
Conclusion: The DTWE is effective for thoracic kyphosis patients as it decreases their kyphotic posture and increases the TES activation. Future longitudinal studies are required to investigate the long-term effects of the DTWE.
Background: Improvement of the lumbo-pelvic stability can reduce the compensatory action of the erector spinae (ES) during prone hip extension (PHE). Furthermore, the application of abdominal drawing-in (ADI) maneuver increases the action of gluteus maximus (GM) and decreases the action of ES during PHE by improving the lumbo-pelvic stability. However, the post-ADI exercise effects on PHE, not the real-time application of ADI maneuver, has not been studied.
Objects: This study is aimed at investigating the post-ADI exercise effects on the muscle activities of GM and ES during PHE.
Methods: A total of 24 female adults participated in the study, and they were divided into two groups: Those with normal abdominal muscles (n1=12) and those with weak abdominal muscles (WA) (n2=12). Before the intervention, the subjects’ GM and ES muscle activities during PHE were measured. Subsequently, the two groups were asked to perform the ADI exercise for 10 minutes. After the ADI exercise, the GM and ES activities were equally measured during PHE.
Results: The comparison result of the ES muscle activities before intervention shows a significant difference between the two groups (p<.05); the WA group showed higher muscle activities than the normal group. For the within-group comparison, the muscle activities of the ES in the WA group significantly decreased after the ADI exercise (p<.05). For the GM muscle activity, no significant difference was observed in all comparisons (p>.05). For the changes in muscle activities before and after the ADI exercise, a significant difference exists between the two groups only for the changes in ES activities (p<.05); WA group exhibits higher changes than the normal group. By contrast, no significant difference exists between the two groups for the changes in GM activities (p>.05).
Conclusion: After the ADI exercise, the compensatory action of ES in the female adults with WC is implied to decrease during PHE.
Background: High-heeled shoes can change spinal alignment and feet movement, which leads to muscle fatigue and discomfort in lumbopelvic region, legs, and feet while walking.
Objects: This study aimed to identify the effects of different shoe heel heights on the walking velocity and electromyographic (EMG) activities of the lower leg muscles during short- and long-distance walking in young females.
Methods: Fifteen young females were recruited in this study. The experiments were performed with the following two different shoe heel heights: 0 ㎝ and 7 ㎝. All participants underwent an electromyographic procedure to measure the activities and fatigue levels of the tibialis anterior (TA), medial gastrocnemius (MG), rectus femoris (RF), and hamstring muscles with each heel height during both short- and long-distance walking. The walking velocities were measured using the short-distance (10-m walk) and long-distance (6-min walk) walking tests.
Results: Significant interaction effects were found between heel height and walking distance conditions for the EMG activities and fatigue levels of TA and MG muscles, and walking velocity (p<.05). The walking velocity and activities of the TA, MG, and RF muscles appeared to be significantly different between the 0 ㎝ and 7 ㎝ heel heights during both short- and long-distance walking (p<.05). Significant difference in the fatigue level of the MG muscle were found between the 0 ㎝ and 7 ㎝ heel heights during long-distance walking. In addition, walking velocity and the fatigue level of the MG muscle at the 7 ㎝ heel height revealed significant differences in the comparison of short- and long-distance walking (p<.05).
Conclusion: These findings indicate that higher shoe heel height leads to a decrease in the walking velocity and an increase in the activity and fatigue level of the lower leg muscles, particularly during long-distance walking.
Background: Spontaneous use of the upper extremities on the affected side of patients with stroke is a meaningful indicator of recovery and may vary by the age or dominant hand of patients. No prior study has reported changes in actual amount of use test (AAUT) and motor activity log (MAL)-28 according to age and handedness in healthy adults, and AAUT inter-rater reliability for assessment of healthy adults.
Objects: This study aimed to (1) research the differences in AAUT and MAL-28 according to age and handedness in healthy adults, and (2) determine the inter-rater reliability of the AAUT.
Methods: Seventy healthy adults participated in this study. The MAL-28 was assessed by dividing 61 subjects into young right-handed (n1=20), young left-handed (n2=21), and older right-handed (n3=20) groups. The AAUT was assessed by dividing 63 subjects into young right-handed (n1=25), young left-handed (n2=18), and older right-handed (n3=20) groups. Student’s t-test and the Wilcoxon signedrank test were used for statistical analysis.
Results: The Amount of Use (AOU) scale values for each group showed no significant differences between age groups and handedness groups in the MAL-28 (p>.05). The AAUT AOU scale value showed significant differences regarding dominant handedness in the AAUT (p<.05), but no significant differences according to age (p>.05). (2) Inter-rater reliability of the AAUT was excellent, except few items (item 9, 11, and 12).
Conclusion: Although both the MAL-28 and the AAUT measured how much participants used their dominant arms in healthy subjects, the AAUT only showed significantly higher dominant arm use in left hander than the right hander. In addition, the inter-rater reliability of the AAUT was excellent. Current results can be utilized as a basic information when clinicians develop rehabilitation strategies, and AAUT was shown to be a reliable evaluation tool for measurement of upper extremity use in Korean adults, based on the reliability demonstrated by this study.
Background: Fall-related injuries in older adults are a major health problem, and the risks and mechanisms of these injuries should be affected by race, culture, living environment, and/or economic status.
Objects: Research articles have been systematically reviewed to understand fall-related injuries in older adults in South Korea.
Methods: 128 published research papers have been found through the Korea Citation Index and the Korean Studies Information Service System, and reviewed in various perspectives, including incidents, fall death rates, medical costs, causes, injury sites and types, locations where falls occurred, prevention strategies, scholarly fields interested in fall injuries, and the role of physical therapy.
Results: Fall-related injuries were found to be more common in women than in men, and the number of incidents increased with age, with the highest rate found in individuals over 85 years old. Risk of fall injury was associated with education level, comorbidities, and fear of falling. Common places where falls occurred included the bathroom, living room, stairs, and hallway. Common types of injury included bruises, fractures, and sprains in the lower extremities. Intervention strategies included exercise programs, education, and protective clothing. Scholarly fields interested in fall-related injuries in older adults included medicine, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, physical education, pharmacology, oriental medicine, biomedical engineering, design, clothing, and textiles. Physical therapy intervention using proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation has been used to improve one’s balance.
Conclusion: Any movement during the activities of daily living can lead to a fall. Physical therapists are highly educated to analyze human movements and should be involved in more research and practices to solve fall-related injuries in older adults.
Background: After stroke, in order to improve gait function, it is necessary to increase the muscle strength and to enhance the propriocetive function of the lower extremity.
Objects: This study aimed to compare the effects of open kinetic chain (OKC) versus closed kinetic chain (CKC) isokinetic exercise of the hemiparetic knee using the isokinetic equipment on lower extremity sensorimotor function and gait ability in patients with chronic stroke.
Methods: Thirty participants with chronic hemiplegia (> 6 months post-stroke) were randomly divided into 2 equal groups: CKC group and OKC group. Patients from both groups attended conventional physiotherapy sessions 3 times a week for 6 weeks. Additionally, subjects from the CKC group performed isokinetic exercise using the CKC attachment, while those from the OKC group performed isokinetic exercise using the OKC attachment. The isokinetic knee and ankle muscles strength, position sense of the knee joint, and spatiotemporal gait parameters were measured before and after interventions.
Results: The knee muscles peak torque/body weight (PT/BW) and hamstring/quadriceps (H/Q) ratio significantly increased in both groups (p<.01). In particular, ankle plantarflexors PT/BW, position sense of the knee, gait velocity, and spatial gait symmetry significantly improved in the CKC group (p<.01, p<.05, p<.01, and p<.01, respectively).
Conclusion: CKC isokinetic exercise can be an effective therapeutic intervention for the improvement of sensorimotor function of the lower extremity and gait functions, such as gait velocity and symmetry. CKC position in isokinetic strength training is effective to improve functional ability in patients with chronic stroke.
Background: Forward head posture (FHP) is a postural alignment of the cervical vertebrae that leads to increased gravitational load on cervical segmental motions. The overhead arm lift test assesses the ability to actively dissociate and control low cervical flexion and move the shoulders through overhead flexion.
Objects: The purpose of this study was to explore muscle activities in the upper trapezius (UT), serratus anterior (SA), sternocleidomastoid (SCM), and lower trapezius (LT) alongside changes in head position during the overhead arm lift test in individuals with FHP.
Methods: Fifteen subjects with forward head posture and fifteen subjects with normal subjcects were enrolled in this study. The patients performed the overhead arm lift test, and muscle activities of the UT, SCM, SA, and LT were measured using surface electromyography and by evaluating changes in head position. Independent t-tests were used to detect significant differences between the two groups and Cohen’s d was calculated to measure the size of the mean difference between the groups.
Results: The FHP group demonstrated significantly increased muscle activity of the UT (32.46±7.64), SCM (12.79±4.01), and LT (45.65±10.52) and significantly decreased activity in the SA (26.65±6.15) than the normal group. The change in head position was significantly higher in the FHP group (6.66±2.08) than the normal group. Effect sizes for all parameters assessed were large between the two groups.
Conclusion: The subjects with excessive FHP displayed were unable to fix their heads in position during the overhead arm lift test. The overhead arm lift test can thus be used in clinical settings to confirm control of the neck in these subjects.
Background: Knee osteoarthritis (OA) diagnosis using Kellgren-Lawrence scores is commonly used to help decision-making during assessment of the severity of OA with assessment of pain, function and muscle strength. The association between Kellgren-Lawrence scores and functional/clinical outcomes remains controversial in patients with knee OA.
Objects: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between Kellgren-Lawrence scores and knee pain associated with OA, function during daily living and sports activities, quality of life, and knee muscle strength in patients with knee OA.
Methods: We recruited 66 patients with tibiofemoral knee OA and determined knee joint Kellgren-Lawrence scores using standing anteroposterior radiographs. Self-reported knee pain, daily living function, sports/recreation function, and quality of life were measured using the knee injury and OA outcome score (KOOS). Knee extensors and flexors were assessed using a handheld dynamometer. We performed Spearman’s rank correlation analyses to evaluate the relationships between Kellgren-Lawrence and KOOS scores or muscle strength.
Results: Kellgren-Lawrence scores were significantly negatively correlated with KOOS scores for knee pain, daily living function, sports/recreation function, and quality of life. Statistically significant negative correlations were found between Kellgren-Lawrence scores and knee extensor strength but not flexor strength.
Conclusion: Higher Kellgren-Lawrence scores were associated with more severe knee pain and lower levels of function in daily living and sports/recreation, quality of life, and knee extensor strength in patients with knee OA. Therefore, we conclude that knee OA assessment via self-reported KOOS and knee extensor strength may be a cost-effective alternative to radiological exams.