The manual muscle test (MMT) has been offered as a chiropractic assessment tool that may help diagnose neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction. We contend that due to the number of manipulative practitioners using this test as part of the assessment of patients, clinical guidelines for the MMT are required to heighten the accuracy in the use of this tool.
To present essential operational definitions of the MMT for chiropractors and other clinicians that should improve the reliability of the MMT as a diagnostic test. Controversy about the usefulness and reliability of the MMT for chiropractic diagnosis is ongoing, and clinical guidelines about the MMT are needed to resolve confusion regarding the MMT as used in clinical practice as well as the evaluation of experimental evidence concerning its use.
We expect that the resistance to accept the MMT as a reliable and valid diagnostic tool will continue within some portions of the manipulative professions if clinical guidelines for the use of MMT methods are not established and accepted. Unreliable assessments of this method of diagnosis will continue when non-standard MMT research papers are considered representative of the methods used by properly trained clinicians.
Practitioners who employ the MMT should use these clinical guidelines for improving their use of the MMT in their assessments of muscle dysfunction in patients with musculoskeletal pain.
Myofascial release (MFR) is a manual therapeutic technique used to release fascial restrictions, which may cause neuromusculoskeletal and systemic pathology.
This case report describes the use of sustained release MFR techniques in a patient with a primary diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and a secondary diagnosis of collagenous colitis. Changes in pain, cervical range of motion, fatigue, and gastrointestinal tract function, as well as the impact of RA on daily activities, were assessed.
A 54-year-old white woman presented with signs and symptoms attributed to RA and collagenous colitis. Pre and post measurements were taken with each treatment and during the interim between the initial and final treatment series. The patient recorded changes in pain, fatigue, gastrointestinal tract function, and quality of life. Cervical range of motion was assessed. Six sustained release MFR treatment sessions were provided over a 2-week period. Following an 8-week interim, two more treatments were performed.
The patient showed improvements in pain, fatigue, gastrointestinal tract function, cervical range of motion, and quality of life following the initial treatment series of six sessions. The patient maintained positive gains for 5 weeks following the final treatment, after which her symptoms returned to near baseline measurements. Following two more treatments, positive gains were achieved once again.
In a patient with RA and collagenous colitis, the application of sustained release MFR techniques in addition to standard medical treatment may provide short-term and long-term improvements in comorbid symptoms and overall quality of life.
Myofascial release; rheumatoid arthritis; inflammatory bowel disease; manual therapy
The purpose of this study is to discuss a chiropractic case of management and resolution of breast-feeding difficulties.
The case involves an 8-day-old baby unable to breast-feed since 4 days old. Initial examination revealed cervical, cranial, and sacral restrictions. She was diagnosed with craniocervical syndrome by a doctor of chiropractic.
Intervention and Outcome
Following history and examination, the infant received gentle chiropractic manipulation based on clinical findings. Immediate improvement and complete resolution of the nursing problems were observed after 3 treatments over 14 days.
The results of this case suggest that neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction may influence the ability of an infant to suckle successfully and that intervention via chiropractic adjustments may result in improving the infant's ability to suckle efficiently.
Manipulation; Chiropractic; Infant; Lactation; Breast-feeding
Ischaemic heart disease (IHD) can be excluded in the majority of patients with unspecific chest pain. The remainder have what is generally referred to as non-cardiac chest pain, which has been associated with gastrointestinal, neuromusculoskeletal, pulmonary, and psychiatric causes.
To assess morbidity and mortality following a new diagnosis of non-specific chest pain in patients without established IHD.
Design of study
Population-based cohort study with nested case-control analysis.
UK primary care practices contributing to the General Practice Research Database.
Patients aged 20–79 years with chest pain who had had no chest pain consultation before 2000 and no IHD diagnosis before 2000 or within 2 weeks after the index date were selected from the General Practice Research Database. The selected 3028 patients and matched controls were followed-up for 1 year.
The incidence of chest pain in patients without established IHD was 12.7 per 1000 person-years. In the year following the index date, patients who had chest pain but did not have established IHD were more likely than controls to receive a first IHD diagnosis (hazard ratio [HR] = 18.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 11.6 to 28.6) or to die (HR = 2.3, 95% CI = 1.3 to 4.1). Patients with chest pain commonly had a history of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD; odds ratio [OR] = 2.0, 95% CI = 1.5 to 2.7) or went on to be diagnosed with GORD (risk ratio 4.5, 95% CI = 3.1 to 6.4).
Patients with chest pain but without established IHD were found to have an increased risk of being diagnosed with IHD. Chest pain in patients without established IHD was also commonly associated with GORD.
chest pain; gastro-oesophageal reflux disease; mortality; myocardial ischaemia; primary healthcare
The purpose of this study was to investigate whether professional drivers of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) with neck pain have a different array of neuromusculoskeletal disorders in the neck and upper extremities than a referent group with neck pain from the general population. It is hypothesized that exposure to shock-type vibration and unfavorable working postures in ATVs have the capacity to cause peripheral nervous lesions.
This study was based on a case series analyzed according to a case-case comparison design. The study population consisted of 60 male subjects, including professional drivers of forest machines (n = 15), snowmobiles (n = 15), snowgroomers (n = 15) and referents from the general population (n = 15) all of whom had reported neck pain in a questionnaire and underwent an extensive physical examination of the neck and upper extremities. Based on symptom history, symptoms and signs, and in some cases chemical, electroneurographical and radiological findings, subjects were classified as having a nociceptive or neuropathic disorder or a mix of these types.
The occurrence of asymmetrical and focal neuropathies (peripheral nervous lesion), pure or in a mix with a nociceptive disorder was common among cases in the ATV driver groups (47%–79%). This contrasted with the referents that were less often classified as having asymmetrical and focal neuropathy (27%), but instead had more nociceptive disorders. The difference was most pronounced among drivers of snowgroomers, while drivers of forest machines were more frequently classified as having a nociceptive disorder originating in the muscles.
This study found a high prevalence of assymetrical and focal neuropathies among drivers with pain in the neck, operating various ATVs. It seems as if exposure to shock-type whole-body vibration (WBV) and appurtenant unfavorable postures in ATVs may be associated to peripheral nervous lesions.
The following paper sets out to examine three issues: primary health care, chiropractic care, and the challenges to both in the next decade. The current crisis of primary health within the health care system provides chiropractic with an opportunity to choose between functioning as primary care or primary contact care. Chiropractic has seldom met its potential, or its own rhetoric, with regard to holistic health care which would make the case for being primary health care much stronger. There have been numerous social and political factors that have influenced this but part of the problem is that chiropractic has failed to clearly articulate itself as primary health care, and in some instances, has denied that it was. New opportunities and challenges will force chiropractors to resolve the issue of whether chiropractic is a general model of health care, or a form of health specialty (the neuromusculoskeletal practitioner verses the primary health practitioner).
chiropractic; manipulation; health care
The purpose of this study is to examine the perceptions of the value of five orthopedic tests (straight leg raise, Braggard’s test, Kemp’s test, Valsalva maneuver, and Patrick’s fabere test) in the diagnosis of specific neuromusculoskeletal conditions among the chiropractic faculty at a large chiropractic college.
This is an observational study that employed a survey of 41 academic and clinic faculty members with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree.
Of the 12 posed questions, only five demonstrated statistically significant consistency (positive straight leg raise for the presence of disc pathology, positive Valsalva maneuver for the presence of disc pathology, negative Valsalva maneuver to rule out disc pathology, negative Braggard’s test to rule out the presence of disc pathology, and positive Patrick’s fabere test for the presence of hip joint pathology). Subgroup analysis demonstrated that the school of graduation may be the only predictor of consistency.
There were strong indications that faculty members were not consistent in their perception of the value for common orthopedic tests for diagnosing specific conditions. In an evidence-based model of education, there should be a consensus among academic and clinical faculty in order for the students to learn, integrate, and apply in practice what they have learned in the classroom. Active intervention in the academic process is required to accomplish necessary change.
Chiropractic; Diagnosis; Evidence-Based Practice; Physical Examination
Neuromusculoskeletal models are a common method to estimate muscle forces. Developing accurate neuromusculoskeletal models is a challenging task due to the complexity of the system and large inter-subject variability. The estimation of muscles force is based on the mechanical properties of tendon-aponeurosis complex. Most neuromusculoskeletal models use a generic definition of the tendon-aponeurosis complex based on in vitro test, perhaps limiting their validity. Ultrasonography allows subject-specific estimates of the tendon-aponeurosis complex’s mechanical properties. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of subject-specific mechanical properties of the tendon-aponeurosis complex on a neuromusculoskeletal model of the ankle joint. Seven subjects performed isometric contractions from which the tendon-aponeurosis force-strain relationship was estimated. Hopping and running tasks were performed and muscle forces were estimated using subject-specific tendon-aponeurosis and generic tendon properties. Two ultrasound probes positioned over the muscle-tendon junction and the mid-belly were combined with motion capture to estimate the in vivo tendon and aponeurosis strain of the medial head of gastrocnemius muscle. The tendon-aponeurosis force-strain relationship was scaled for the other ankle muscles based on tendon and aponeurosis length of each muscle measured by ultrasonography. The EMG-driven model was calibrated twice - using the generic tendon definition and a subject-specific tendon-aponeurosis force-strain definition. The use of subject-specific tendon-aponeurosis definition leads to a higher muscle force estimate for the soleus muscle and the plantar-flexor group, and to a better model prediction of the ankle joint moment compared to the model estimate which used a generic definition. Furthermore, the subject-specific tendon-aponeurosis definition leads to a decoupling behaviour between the muscle fibre and muscle-tendon unit in agreement with previous experiments using ultrasonography. These results indicate the use of subject-specific tendon-aponeurosis definitions in a neuromusculoskeletal model produce better agreement with measured external loads and more physiological model behaviour.
To detail the presentation of three health care workers diagnosed with sudden acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) who later presented to a CMCC teaching clinic with neuromusculoskeletal sequelae and underwent conservative treatments. This case series aims to inform practitioners of the potential pathogenesis of these neuromuscular complaints and describes their treatment in a chiropractic practice.
Three patients presented with a variety of neurological, muscular and joint findings. Conservative treatment was aimed at decreasing hypertonic muscles, increasing joint mobility, and improving ability to perform activities of daily living.
Intervention and Outcome:
The conservative treatment approach utilized in these cases involved spinal manipulative therapy, soft tissue therapy, modalities, and rehabilitation. Outcome measures included subjective pain ratings, disability indices, and return to work.
Three patients previously diagnosed with SARS presented with neuromusculoskeletal complaints and subjectively experienced intermittent relief of pain and improvement in disability status after conservative treatments.
SARS; neuromusculoskeletal; manipulative therapy; SRAS; neuromusculosquelettique; thérapie manuelle
Mobility impairments due to injury or disease have a significant impact on quality of life. Consequently, development of effective treatments to restore or replace lost function is an important societal challenge. In current clinical practice, a treatment plan is often selected from a standard menu of options rather than customized to the unique characteristics of the patient. Furthermore, the treatment selection process is normally based on subjective clinical experience rather than objective prediction of post-treatment function. The net result is treatment methods that are less effective than desired at restoring lost function. This paper discusses the possible use of personalized neuromusculoskeletal computer models to improve customization, objectivity, and ultimately effectiveness of treatments for mobility impairments. The discussion is based on information gathered from academic and industrial research sites throughout Europe, and both clinical and technical aspects of personalized neuromusculoskeletal modeling are explored. On the clinical front, we discuss the purpose and process of personalized neuromusculoskeletal modeling, the application of personalized models to clinical problems, and gaps in clinical application. On the technical front, we discuss current capabilities of personalized neuromusculoskeletal models along with technical gaps that limit future clinical application. We conclude by summarizing recommendations for future research efforts that would allow personalized neuromusculoskeletal models to make the greatest impact possible on treatment design for mobility impairments.
Musculoskeletal model; Neural control model; Orthopedic surgery; Neurorehabilitation; Biomechanics
Chiropractors in Australia face some challenges that are unique in their history. The value of their primary treatment modality is now widely recognised. The process of professionalisation of this occupation is well advanced. Yet the integration of chiropractic services within the mainstream Australian health care system remains problematic. It is contended in this paper that chiropractors' integration will be facilitated by two genuine and strategic moves by the medically minded segment of, or the entire, profession. One is to abandon metaphysical notions as part of the 'philosophy of chiropractic' and the other is to pursue limited prescription rights allowing chiropractors to play fully the role of the primary contact practitioners of neuromusculoskeletal medicine. This development is deemed to be beneficial and appropriate for the profession as well as the patients served by this profession.
Chiropractic; prescription rights; neuromusculoskeletal; scope of practice
Focal hand dystonia (FHd) is a recalcitrant,
disabling movement disorder, characterized by
involuntary co-contractions of agonists and
antagonists, that can develop in patients who
overuse or misuse their hands. The aim of this
study was to document clinical neuromusculoskeletal
performance and somatosensory
responses (magnetoencephalography) in healthy
controls and in FHd subjects with mild versus
severe hand dystonia. The performance of
healthy subjects (n = 17) was significantly better
than that of FHd subjects (n = 17) on all clinical
parameters. Those with mild dystonia (n = 10)
demonstrated better musculoskeletal skills,
task-specific motor performance, and sensory
discrimination, but the performance of sensory
and fine motor tasks was slower than that of
patients with severe dystonia. In terms of
somatosensory evoked field responses (SEFs),
FHd subjects demonstrated a significant
difference in the location of the hand
representation on the x and y axes, lower
amplitude of SEFs integrated across latency,
and a higher ratio of mean SEF amplitude to
latency than the controls. Bilaterally,. those with
FHd (mild and severe) lacked progressive
sequencing of the digits from inferior to
superior. On the affected digits, subjects with
severe dystonia had a significantly higher ratio
of SEF amplitude to latency and a significantly
smaller mean volume of the cortical hand
representation than those with mild dystonia.
Severity of dystonia positively correlated with
the ratio of SEF mean amplitude to latency
(0.9029 affected, 0.8477 unaffected; p<0.01).
The results of the present study strengthen the
evidence that patients with FHd demonstrate
signs of somatosensory degradation of the hand
that correlates with clinical sensorimotor
dysfunction, with characteristics of the dedifferentiation
varying by the severity of hand
dystonia. If these findings represent aberrant
learning, then effective rehabilitation must
incorporate the principles of neuroplasticity.
Training must be individualized to each patient
to rebalance the sensorimotor feedback loop
and to restore normal fine motor control.
Chronic pain significantly impacts women’s quality of life in the domain of sexual function. Treatment aimed at improving the sexual function of women living with chronic pain is minimal or absent within an interdisciplinary rehabilitation pain program.
To evaluate a cognitive-behavioural treatment group designed to improve the sexual function of women with chronic pelvic pain, daily headache pain and neuromusculoskeletal pain within an interdisciplinary rehabilitation pain program.
Participants were 47 women who attended the treatment group. A physical therapist and a psychologist facilitated the group. The participants completed a modified version of the Sexual Activity Questionnaire pregroup and at one month postgroup, and a Treatment Helpfulness Questionnaire at the final group session.
All 47 women found the treatment group helpful. Sexual function improved as evidenced by significant differences (Wilcoxon signed-rank test, P<0.05) from pregroup to postgroup on measures of enjoyment, lubrication, satisfaction after sexual activity and satisfaction with frequency. Improvements occurred despite no change in pain level during penetration or fatigue level from pregroup to post-group. Treatment helpfulness results showed that women valued the knowledge and skills gained in the group. Qualitative findings suggest that a cognitive shift, and communication and partner involvement may be mechanisms of change for improved sexual function.
The sexual function of women with chronic pain can be significantly enhanced by a cognitive-behavioural treatment group delivered within an interdisciplinary rehabilitation pain program.
Chronic pain; Cognitive-behavioral treatment group; Sexual function
In this study, a neuromusculoskeletal model was built to give insight into the mechanisms behind the modulation of reflexive feedback strength as experimentally identified in the human shoulder joint. The model is an integration of a biologically realistic neural network consisting of motoneurons and interneurons, modeling 12 populations of spinal neurons, and a one degree-of-freedom musculoskeletal model, including proprioceptors. The model could mimic the findings of human postural experiments, using presynaptic inhibition of the Ia afferents to modulate the feedback gains. In a pathological case, disabling one specific neural connection between the inhibitory interneurons and the motoneurons could mimic the experimental findings in complex regional pain syndrome patients. It is concluded that the model is a valuable tool to gain insight into the spinal contributions to human motor control. Applications lay in the fields of human motor control and neurological disorders, where hypotheses on motor dysfunction can be tested, like spasticity, clonus, and tremor.
Spinal reflexes; Biological neural network; Human motor control; Neuromusculoskeletal model; Complex regional pain syndrome
This paper provides an overview of forward dynamic neuromusculoskeletal modeling. The aim of such models is to estimate or predict muscle forces, joint moments, and/or joint kinematics from neural signals. This is a four-step process. In the first step, muscle activation dynamics govern the transformation from the neural signal to a measure of muscle activation—a time varying parameter between 0 and 1. In the second step, muscle contraction dynamics characterize how muscle activations are transformed into muscle forces. The third step requires a model of the musculoskeletal geometry to transform muscle forces to joint moments. Finally, the equations of motion allow joint moments to be transformed into joint movements. Each step involves complex nonlinear relationships. The focus of this paper is on the details involved in the first two steps, since these are the most challenging to the biomechanician. The global process is then explained through applications to the study of predicting isometric elbow moments and dynamic knee kinetics.
Hill model; EMG; tendon; musculotendon complex; pennation angle
Back and neck pain are very common, disabling and recurrent disorders in the general population and the knowledge of long-term effect of treatments are sparse. The aim of this study was to compare the long-term effects (up to one year) of naprapathic manual therapy and evidence-based advice on staying active regarding non-specific back and/or neck pain. Naprapathy, a health profession mainly practiced in Sweden, Finland, Norway and in the USA, is characterized by a combination of manual musculoskeletal manipulations, aiming to decrease pain and disability in the neuromusculoskeletal system.
Subjects with non-specific pain/disability in the back and/or neck lasting for at least two weeks (n = 409), recruited at public companies in Sweden, were included in this pragmatic randomized controlled trial. The two interventions compared were naprapathic manual therapy such as spinal manipulation/mobilization, massage and stretching, (Index Group), and advice to stay active and on how to cope with pain, provided by a physician (Control Group). Pain intensity, disability and health status were measured by questionnaires.
89% completed the 26-week follow-up and 85% the 52-week follow-up. A higher proportion in the Index Group had a clinically important decrease in pain (risk difference (RD) = 21%, 95% CI: 10-30) and disability (RD = 11%, 95% CI: 4-22) at 26-week, as well as at 52-week follow-ups (pain: RD = 17%, 95% CI: 7-27 and disability: RD = 17%, 95% CI: 5-28). The differences between the groups in pain and disability considered over one year were statistically significant favoring naprapathy (p ≤ 0.005). There were also significant differences in improvement in bodily pain and social function (subscales of SF-36 health status) favoring the Index Group.
Combined manual therapy, like naprapathy, is effective in the short and in the long term, and might be considered for patients with non-specific back and/or neck pain.
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN56954776.
Geriatric care has assumed a more dominant position in the health care delivery system. This article discusses the results of a literature search on geriatric chiropractic care with the ultimate goal of promoting a“best practice” approach. Fifty nine articles were found that discussed geriatric chiropractic education (N = 3), demographic and epidemiological studies (N = 9), case studies (N = 25), clinical trials (N = 4) and clinical guidelines (N = 18). The literature revealed that chiropractic pedagogy has recognized the importance of geriatric education, and epidemiological studies reported an increase in utilization rates of chiropractic care by older persons, along with greater acceptance within the medical community. Most older persons sought out chiropractic care for neuromusculoskeletal (NMS) conditions, with several studies reporting the successful resolution of these conditions with spinal manipulative therapy as well as an eclectic group of other treatment interventions. Many older persons enter a maintenance care program, which they believe to be important to their health. Although the results of this article are encouraging, it underscores the need for continued research, especially in the areas of chiropractic maintenance care and the management of non-NMS conditions.
geriatric; chiropractic; evidence-based medicine
The relationship of muscles to the causes and effects of the pathophysiologic entity referred to as chiropractic subluxation or joint dysfunction is critical. Part I of this paper reviewed the complexities of skeletal muscle in regards to anatomy, active and passive tone, detection of muscle tone, neurophysiology, and how muscle function fits into a variety of subluxation/joint dysfunction models. The concluding part of the review culminates in a hypothesis to describe and explain varying degrees of muscle tone that may be encountered clinically. It is hoped that knowledge of the differing levels of muscle tone and their causes will help the clinician to better determine the underlying cause of a neuromusculoskeletal problem allowing application of necessary and proper intervention.
skeletal muscle; muscle tone; subluxation; joint dysfunction
Chiropractic practitioners with accredited qualifications should have the right to diagnose, the right to operate diagnostic imaging machines, and the right to the title doctor and Yee San. This paper reviews chiropractic practice in Hong Kong as well as laws and provisions of the health professions namely Chiropractors Registration Ordinance, Medical Registration Ordinance, Dentists Registration Ordinance, Radiation Ordinance, and the provisions of codes of practice of Medical Laboratory Technologists and Radiographers. The need for amendments of relevant sections of health laws and provisions, which concern chiropractic rights, chiropractic practice, and clinical research of mechanical neuromusculoskeletal disorders is discussed. Patient privileges relevant to chiropractic practice are proposed. The Chinese title Yee San or Yee and the English title Doctor are generic terms. Hence, legally “Yee San” and “Doctor” should not be coined by medical practitioners and vice versa. Diagnostic imaging and laboratory procedures are essential for differential diagnosis of neuromusculoskeletal disorders, which may indicate or contraindicate the application of manipulation, and hence are essential for chiropractic practice and clinical research. Proposed amendments of the listed sections of the ordinances and provisions are also outlined.
chiropractic; chiropractic legislation and jurisprudence; chiropractic history; doctor; rights; diagnosis; diagnostic imaging; laboratory diagnosis; Hong Kong; doctor title; health laws
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a multi-system disease characterized by persistent hyperglycemia that has both acute and chronic biochemical and anatomical sequelae, with Type-2 DM representing the most common form of the disease. Neuromusculoskeletal sequelae of DM are common and the practicing chiropractor should be alert to these conditions, as some are manageable in a chiropractic office, while others are life and/or limb threatening. This paper reviews the effects of DM on the musculoskeletal system so as assist the chiropractor in making appropriate clinical decisions regarding therapy, understanding contraindications to therapy, referring patients to medical physicians when appropriate and understanding the impact that DM may have on the prognosis for their patients suffering from the myriad musculoskeletal conditions associated with this disease.
diabetes; musculoskeletal; chiropractic
Chiropractic (Greek: done by hand) is a health care profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal system and the effects of these disorders on general health. There is an emphasis on manual techniques, including joint adjustment and/or manipulation, with a particular focus on joint subluxation (World Health Organization 2005) or mechanical lesion and restoring function. The chiropractor's role in wellness care, prevention and treatment of injury or illness is based on education in anatomy and physiology, nutrition, exercise and healthy lifestyle counseling as well as referral to other health practitioners. Depending on education, geographic location, scope of practice, as well as consumer preference, chiropractors may assume the role of primary care for families who are pursuing a more natural and holistic approach to health care for their families.
To present a perspective on current management of the paediatric patient by members of the chiropractic profession and to make recommendations as to how the profession can safely and effectively manage the paediatric patient.
The chiropractic profession holds the responsibility of ethical and safe practice and requires the cultivation and mastery of both an academic foundation and clinical expertise that distinguishes chiropractic from other disciplines.
Research into the effectiveness of chiropractic care for paediatric patients has lagged behind that of adult care, but this is being addressed through educational programs where research is now being incorporated into academic tracks to attain advanced chiropractic degrees.
Studies in the United States show that over the last several decades, chiropractors are the most common complementary and alternative medicine providers visited by children and adolescents. Chiropractors continue to seek integration with other healthcare providers to provide the most appropriate care for their paediatric patients.
In the interest of what is best for the paediatric population in the future, collaborative efforts for research into the effectiveness and safety of chiropractic care as an alternative healthcare approach for children should be negotiated and are welcomed.
A stress fracture represents the inability of the skeleton to withstand repetitive bouts of mechanical loading, which results in structural fatigue, and resultant signs and symptoms of localised pain and tenderness. Reports of stress fractures in female football players are not prevalent; however, they are probably under‐reported and their importance lies in the morbidity that they cause in terms of time lost from participation. By considering risk factors for stress fractures in female football players it may be possible to reduce the impact of these troublesome injuries. Risk factors for stress fractures in female football players include intrinsic risk factors such as gender, endocrine, nutritional, physical fitness and neuromusculoskeletal factors, as well as extrinsic risk factors such as training programme, equipment and environmental factors. This paper discusses these risk factors and their implications in terms of developing prevention and management strategies for stress fractures in female football players.
During posture control, reflexive feedback allows humans to efficiently compensate for unpredictable mechanical disturbances. Although reflexes are involuntary, humans can adapt their reflexive settings to the characteristics of the disturbances. Reflex modulation is commonly studied by determining reflex gains: a set of parameters that quantify the contributions of Ia, Ib and II afferents to mechanical joint behavior. Many mechanisms, like presynaptic inhibition and fusimotor drive, can account for reflex gain modulations. The goal of this study was to investigate the effects of underlying neural and sensory mechanisms on mechanical joint behavior. A neuromusculoskeletal model was built, in which a pair of muscles actuated a limb, while being controlled by a model of 2,298 spiking neurons in six pairs of spinal populations. Identical to experiments, the endpoint of the limb was disturbed with force perturbations. System identification was used to quantify the control behavior with reflex gains. A sensitivity analysis was then performed on the neuromusculoskeletal model, determining the influence of the neural, sensory and synaptic parameters on the joint dynamics. The results showed that the lumped reflex gains positively correlate to their most direct neural substrates: the velocity gain with Ia afferent velocity feedback, the positional gain with muscle stretch over II afferents and the force feedback gain with Ib afferent feedback. However, position feedback and force feedback gains show strong interactions with other neural and sensory properties. These results give important insights in the effects of neural properties on joint dynamics and in the identifiability of reflex gains in experiments.
Reflexes; Afferent feedback; Reflex gains; Sensitivity analysis; System identification
Disorders of the human neuromusculoskeletal system such as osteoarthritis, stroke, cerebral palsy, and paraplegia significantly affect mobility and result in a decreased quality of life. Surgical and rehabilitation treatment planning for these disorders is based primarily on static anatomic measurements and dynamic functional measurements filtered through clinical experience. While this subjective treatment planning approach works well in many cases, it does not predict accurate functional outcome in many others. This paper presents a vision for how patient-specific multibody dynamic models can serve as the foundation for an objective treatment planning approach that identifies optimal treatments and treatment parameters on an individual patient basis. First, a computational paradigm is presented for constructing patient-specific multibody dynamic models. This paradigm involves a combination of patient-specific skeletal models, muscle-tendon models, neural control models, and articular contact models, with the complexity of the complete model being dictated by the requirements of the clinical problem being addressed. Next, three clinical applications are presented to illustrate how such models could be used in the treatment design process. One application involves the design of patient-specific gait modification strategies for knee osteoarthritis rehabilitation, a second involves the selection of optimal patient-specific surgical parameters for a particular knee osteoarthritis surgery, and the third involves the design of patient-specific muscle stimulation patterns for stroke rehabilitation. The paper concludes by discussing important challenges that need to be overcome to turn this vision into reality.
Multibody dynamics; Biomechanics; Musculoskeletal models; Optimization
Objective. To design and implement an assessment model to effectively deliver integrated multidisciplinary team-taught pharmacy courses.
Design. An assessment model was developed for an integrated pharmacotherapeutics course that focused on writing detailed learning objectives and matching them to examination questions. Qualitative assessment of learning objectives, course-embedded quantitative assessment, and objective assessments of examinations by subdiscipline were performed.
Assessment. This model was assessed through course evaluations, faculty and course coordinator perceptions, and faculty and student focus groups, which provided data that facilitated effective integration and identified gaps and overlaps in content. The assessment of the examinations by discipline and the embedded quantitative assessment results identified previously unassessed and poorly performing objectives. Students believed the course contributed significantly to their professional growth and that it was one of the best-integrated courses, based in part on the improved teaching methods.
Conclusions. A systematic assessment model that was developed for the effective delivery of multidisciplinary team-taught courses can be standardized and delivered despite changes in instructors for subsequent course offerings.
integration; assessment model; team teaching; integrated pharmacotherapy