Background: Thoracic spine self-mobilization exercise is commonly used to manage patients with neck pain. However, no previous studies have investigated the effects of thoracic spine self-mobilization exercise alone in patients with chronic neck pain.
Objects: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of thoracic self-mobilization using a tool on cervical range of motion (ROM), disability level, upper body posture, pain and fear-avoidance beliefs questionnaire (FABQ) in patients with chronic neck pain.
Methods: The subjects were 49 patients (21 males, 28 females) with chronic neck pain. The subjects were randomly divided into an experimental group (EG, n = 23) and control group (CG, n = 26). For the EG, thoracic self-mobilization was applied. We placed a tool (made with 2 tennis balls) under 3 different vertebral levels (T1-4, T5-8, T9-12) of the thoracic spine and the subjects performed crunches, which included thoracic flexion and extension in supine position. Five times × 3 sets for each levels, twice a week, for 4 weeks. Cervical pain, disability, upper body posture, FABQ results, and ROM were evaluated at baseline, after 4 weeks of intervention, and at 8 weeks of follow-up. Assessments included the quadruple visual analogue scale (QVAS); Northwick Park neck pain questionnaire (NPQ); craniovertebral angles (CVA), forward shoulder angle (FSA) and kyphosis angle (KA) measurements for upper body posture; FABQ and cervical ROM testing.
Results: The EG showed a statistically significant improvement after intervention in the QVAS (–51.16%); NPQ (–53.46%); flexion (20.95%), extension (25.32%), left rotation (14.04%), and right rotation (25.32%) in the ROM of the cervical joint; KA (–7.14%); CVA (9.82%); and FSA (–4.12%).
Conclusion: These results suggest that, for patients with chronic neck pain, thoracic selfmobilization exercise using a tool (tennis balls) is effective to improve neck pain, disability level, the ROM, and upper body posture.
Background: As technology has progressed, various robot-assisted devices have been developed to reduce therapists’ labor and assist in therapy. However, due to their many limitations, it is more practical to use traditional mechanical devices. The grahamizer is one such traditional mechanical device used clinically to rehabilitate the upper extremities. No study has yet established the efficacy of the grahamizer in individuals with stroke.
Objects: This study investigated the immediate change in arm reaching after the use of a grahamizer.
Methods: Twenty-two stroke survivors participated in this study (11 males and 11 females). The reaching of the more-affected arm was measured three times using the three-dimentional electromagnetic motion tracking system “trakSTAR”. After the first measurement, the subjects performed 500 rotatory arm exercises using the grahamizer. To assess the grahamizer’s effect, the subjects were remeasured in the same way.
Results: There were significant increases in the reaching distance (p < 0.05) and movement smoothness (p < 0.05) of the more-affected arm after using the grahamizer.
Conclusion: Our study confirms that using the grahamizer is beneficial in the rehabilitation for improving movement of the more-affected arm in stroke survivors.
Background: Stretch-oriented home exercise programs are often used as treatments for patients with adhesive capsulitis; however, there is lack of research on home exercise programs to strengthen rotator cuffs.
Objects: The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of home exercise programs for rotator cuff strengthening on pain, range of motion (ROM), disability level, and quality of life in patients with adhesive capsulitis.
Methods: Twenty-two patients with adhesive capsulitis volunteered to participate in this study. The subjects were randomly divided into an experimental group (n = 11) and control group (n = 11). For the experimental group, manual therapy and home exercise programs for rotator cuff strengthening were applied for 6 weeks; for the control group, only manual therapy was applied for 6 weeks. Shoulder pain (quadruple visual analogue scale, QVAS), ROM, disability (shoulder pain and disability index-Korean version, SPADI), and quality of life (world health organization quality of life scale-Korean version, WHOQOL-BREF) were evaluated at baseline, after 3 weeks, and after 6 weeks of intervention. The changes in the measurement variables were analyzed by using repeated measure analysis of variance.
Results: Significant differences were observed between the experimental group and control group in the QVAS; SPADI-pain scores; SPADI-disability scores; SPADI-total scores; flexion, abduction, internal and external rotation ROM of the glenohumeral joint; and WHOQOLBREF total, overall, physical health, and psychological scores. All groups displayed statistically significant improvements as observed in the QVAS, SPADI, flexion, abduction, external and internal rotation ROM of the glenohumeral joint, and WHOQOL-BREF.
Conclusion: Home exercise programs for rotator cuff strengthening had a positive impact on shoulder pain, shoulder ROM, disability level, and quality of life in patients with adhesive capsulitis. Therefore, we propose the use of home exercise programs for rotator cuff strengthening in the exercise rehabilitation of patients with adhesive capsulitis.
Background: To prevent or reduce the risk of strain injury, various approaches, including stretching techniques are currently being used. The effect of proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) and static stretching on flexibility has been demonstrated; however, it is not clear which one is superior.
Objects: This study aimed to evaluate the differences between the effects of PNF and static stretching performed at various intensities on muscle flexibility.
Methods: The maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) of the hamstrings using the PNF stretching technique was performed in the P100 group, while 70% of the MVIC was performed in the P70 group. The MVIC value obtained during the PNF stretching in both groups was used as a reference for setting the intensity of static stretching. Static stretching was performed at 130% (S130), 100% (S100), and 70% of the MVIC (S70). The active knee extension (AKE) values, defined as the knee flexion angle were measured before stretching (baseline), immediately after stretching (post), and at 3 minutes, 6 minutes, and 15 minutes.
Results: PNF stretching produce a greater improvement in flexibility compared with static stretching. Specifically, the ΔAKE was significantly higher in the S100 and S70 groups than in the P100 group at Post. In the comparison of ΔAKE over time in each group, the ΔAKE at Post showed a significant decrease compared to the value at Baseline in the S130 group; however, no significant difference was observed at 6 minutes while a significant increase was noted at 15 minutes.
Conclusion: This study found that PNF stretching is more effective than static stretching with respect to increasing and maintaining the flexibility of muscles. In addition, the increase in flexibility at maximal intensity was similar to that observed at submaximal intensity during both PNF and static stretching.
Background: Posterior shoulder tightness, which is a problem mainly seen in patients with shoulder impingement syndrome, disrupts the scapulohumeral rhythm between the humerus and scapulae.
Objects: The aim of this study was to compare the effects of joint mobilization and stretching on shoulder muscle activity and internal rotation range of motion (ROM) of the glenohumeral joint in patients with impingement syndrome with posterior shoulder tightness.
Methods: The research subjects included 22 in-patients with impingement syndrome with posterior shoulder tightness. They were randomly divided into two groups: one group (12 patients) was treated with joint mobilization and the other group (10 patients) was treated with stretching for the posterior shoulder tightness. Each treatment was performed five times a week for two weeks, and there were 15 sessions for each treatment. The ROM of the internal rotation and muscle activities of shoulder joint were evaluated pretest and posttest in each group. Electromyography data were collected from the upper, middle, and lower trapezius and serratus anterior during shoulder abduction of 90°, 120°, and 150°.
Results: Both the joint mobilization and stretching groups showed significant decreases in muscle activity in the upper, middle, and lower trapezius on the posttest (p < 0.05). There was a significant difference in serratus anterior at 150° (p < 0.05), but there was no significant difference between group in post-hoc analysis (p > 0.025). The internal rotation ROM was significantly increased in the stretching group compared to that in the joint mobilization group (p < 0.025).
Conclusion: This study found that both joint mobilization and stretching for posterior shoulder tightness were effective in muscle activity during arm abduction, also in order to increase internal rotation ROM of shoulder joint, stretching was effective in patients with impingement syndrome with posterior tightness.
Background: A backpack is available equipment for moving some objects. Most studies have found that the appropriate weight limit of backpack for students is between 10% to 15% of their body weight (BW). However, Some students should carry a backpack heavier than 15% of BW. Therefore, It is associated with abnormal shoulder and neck posture on students.
Objects: This study tested the effects that various amounts of weight carried by university students in their backpacks had on their cervical posture and electromyography of neck muscle.
Methods: The subjects consisted of 12 students (6 male, 6 female) in university. There were three loading conditions tested: no backpack, a backpack that weighed 10% and 15% of the student’s BW. The dependent variables were the craniovertebral angle (tragus to C7) and the neck muscle activities (sternocleidomastoid, upper trapezius). All 12 subjects were asked to walk while wearing a backpack for 5 minutes and were then instructed to rest for 2 minutes.
Results: When assessing the craniovertebral angle, the results of this study were significantly decreased in the order of 0%, 10%, and 15%. And then, there were significantly increased electromyography of neck muscles that comparison of the weight of 10% and 15% on 0%. It was found that as the weight of the backpack increased, the craniovertebral angle decreased (p < 0.05) and the muscle activities increased (upper trapezius p = 0.012, sternocleidomastoid p = 0.013).
Conclusion: Our study recommended that some students shouldn’t carry on over the 15% backpack of own weight, and also they should distribute backpack load to equal on body for optimal posture.
Background: Pregnancy-related low back pain (PLBP) has fewer systematic guidelines than pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain, previous studies have not evaluated physical therapy for this ailment in Korea.
Objects: We aimed to provide a detailed account of clinical decision making by Korean physiotherapists while treating PLBP.
Methods: In total, 955 questionnaires were distributed mainly in places of continuing education held by the Korean Physical Therapy Association from April to July 2019. The same questionnaire was posted on a website used by physiotherapists. We collected subject information, a specific Vignette typically represent symptoms of PLBP, and responses to multiple questions about decision making, subjective recognition and interest level in the field of women’s health physiotherapy (WHPT).
Results: The overall response rate was 56% (n = 537); of these, responses to 520 questionnaires were analyzed. Most respondents chose various combinations of physical therapy methods. There were significant differences in subjective recognition levels of WHPT according to gender (p < 0.05), age (p < 0.01), education level (p < 0.01), and clinical experience (p < 0.05). There were significant differences in interest according to gender (p < 0.01) and education level (p < 0.01). With respect to the types of treatment, significant differences were noted in selective rates for “manual therapy”, “pain control”, and “supportive devices” based on gender. Manual therapy tended to be chosen more with increasing age and clinical experience. With increased education level, there were fewer choices for the use of pain control.
Conclusion: This is the first data on how Korean physiotherapists manage PLBP patients using the vignette method. We were able to recognize the Korean physical therapist's decision on PLBP patients, and observed statistically significant correlations. This may aid in developing future research and education plans in the WHPT field.
Background: Stroke recovery is a long and complex process. Successful stroke recovery seems to be strongly associated with patients’ high motivation and committed participation. Patients’ motivation is a key determinant of successful rehabilitation outcomes, but it is difficult in defining and measuring. Patients’ participation is defined as the degree or extent to which subjects take part in rehabilitation activities and can be measured by observable behavior.
Objects: The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of patients’ level of participation in rehabilitation on functional outcomes in patients with stroke.
Methods: Forty post-stroke inpatients participated in this study. The level of rehabilitation participation was measured by the Hopkins Rehabilitation Engagement Rating Scale (HRERS). Other measures used for the evaluation were the Rivermead Mobility Index (RMI) and Korean version of the Modified Barthel Index (K-MBI). Overall measurements were made at early intervention and late intervention. Spearman correlation and multiple regression were used to measure the relationships between HRERS, RMI, and K-MBI.
Results: The correlation found between HRERS total scores at early intervention and RMI total scores of late intervention was above moderate (r = 0.607, p < 0.01). RMI total scores at early intervention (p < 0.000), HRERS total scores at early intervention (p < 0.001), and disease duration (p < 0.003) were significant predictors of RMI total scores at late intervention.
Conclusion: The level of participation at early intervention was associated with improvement in mobility. The level of mobility at early intervention, disease duration, and patients’ participation at early intervention were important determinants of functional outcome. These findings suggest that patients’ participation should be encouraged in order to achieve successful stroke recovery.
Background: Neck pain can be caused by any structure in the neck, such as intervertebral discs, ligaments, muscles, facet joints, dura mater, and nerve roots. The hyoid bone is a structure that is also related to head and neck posture, neck movement and pain, but there are no studies on hyoid deviation, neck pain, and range of motion (ROM).
Objects: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of fascia relaxation and mobilization of the hyoid bone on the ROM, pain, and lateral deviation of the hyoid bone.
Methods: Twenty-five patients with neck pain identified by the lateral motion test (10 males [35.13 ± 7.67 years, 172.69 ± 3.90 cm, 78.77 ± 6.96 kg] and 15 females [35.13 ± 10.05 years, 161.11 ± 4.09 cm, 52.59 ± 2.98 kg]) was chosen randomly. Baseline values for pain, neck ROM, and lateral deviation in the hyoid bone were recorded using a visual analogue scale (VAS), goniometer, and tape measure. Then, each patient was treated with hyoid fascia relaxation and mobilization, and all results were recorded after intervention. Comparison of the results before and after intervention was analyzed using paird t-test (p < 0.05).
Results: Right rotation, extension, VAS, and rotational asymmetry statistically significant differences (p < 0.05). Right rotation and extension increased ROM, rotational asymmetry ratio and VAS decreased. However, there was no significant difference in flexion, left rotation, center point (p > 0.05).
Conclusion: Fascia relaxation and hyoid mobilization could improve the ROM of cervical extension, asymmetry of the cervical rotation and neck pain.
Background: Flat-footed persons with collapsed medial longitudinal arch lose flexibility after skeletal maturity, resulting in several deformities and soft tissue injuries. Although arch support taping is usually applied in the clinic to support the collapsed arch, research on the use of different types of tape for more efficient arch support in flat-footed persons is lacking.
Objects: The purpose of this study was to examine three conditions (barefoot, kinesio tape, and dynamic tape) and compare their effects on static and dynamic balance in persons with asymptomatic flexible flatfoot.
Methods: Twenty-two subjects (9 females and 13 males) with asymptomatic flexible flatfoot participated in this study. The subjects performed the Y-balance test to measure the composite reach score. The subjects also performed a 30-second standing test to measure the center of pressure (COP) path length and a walking test to measure anteroposterior and lateral variability using the Zebris FDM system. One-way repeated-measures analysis of variance compared the three conditions applied to the subjects’ feet for each balance variable.
Results: The composite reach score significantly increased following the application of dynamic tape compared with barefoot and that of kinesio tape compared with barefoot. There was no significant difference in the COP path length during standing among the three conditions. Anteroposterior and lateral variability during walking significantly with dynamic tape application compared with barefoot.
Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that, in persons with asymptomatic flexible flatfoot, application of kinesio tape and dynamic tape may be effective in increasing the composite reach score in Y-balance test, whereas application of dynamic tape may be effective in reducing anteroposterior and lateral variability during walking.
Background: Bridging exercises are used to enhance the functional stability of the lumbopelvic region in clinical settings. Although most of the studies on bridging exercises have compared the complete activation of the trunk muscles, some recent studies have examined the functional stability of the trunk and the lumbopelvic region and assessed the appropriate recruitment of the local and global muscles during different task levels.
Objects: The purpose of this study was to investigate the changes in muscle thickness in the transverse abdominis (TrA), internal oblique (IO), and external oblique (EO) muscles during a common bridging exercise on an unstable surface and to determine whether these changes differ based on the surface used.
Methods: Twenty-five healthy young adults (8 males, 17 females) were recruited. The subjects were randomly assigned to either the exercise progression with a sling bridge group or the ball bridging exercise progression group, each with three stages of increasing difficulty. Each position was measured three times with an ultrasonic diagnostic imaging system, and the mean values were recorded for analysis.
Results: No significant differences were observed between the TrA, IO, or EO muscle thickness ratios between the sling and ball exercise groups (p > 0.05). There were also no significant differences in the EO muscle thickness ratios between the tasks irrespective of whether the sling or ball was used. However, the TrA and IO thickness ratios in both groups were significantly greater during stages 2 and 3 compared to stage 1.
Conclusion: The results suggest that the use of slings and balls during bridging exercises is effective in activating the deep abdominal muscles.