Background and Purpose:
The potential adverse effects of static stretching on athletic performance are well documented, but still appears to be controversial, especially as they relates to sprinting. The prevalence of this practice is demonstrated by the number of competitive and recreational athletes who regularly engage in stretching immediately prior to sprinting with the mindset of optimizing their performance. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of acute static, dynamic, and ballistic stretching, and no stretching of the iliopsoas muscle on 40‐yard sprint times in 18‐37 year‐old non‐competitive, recreational runners.
Twenty‐five healthy recreational runners (16 male and 9 female) between the ages of 24 and 35 (Mean = 26.76 yrs., SD = 2.42 yrs.) completed this study. A repeated measures design was used, which consisted of running a 40‐yard sprint trial immediately following each of 4 different stretching conditions aimed at the iliopsoas muscle and lasting 1 minute each. The 4 conditions were completed in a randomized order within a 2‐week time period, allowing 48‐72 hours between each condition. Prior to each 40‐yard sprint trial, a 5‐minute walking warm‐up was performed at 3.5 mph on a treadmill. The subject then ran a baseline 40‐yard sprint. After a 10‐minute self‐paced walk, each subject performed one of the 4 stretching conditions (ballistic, dynamic, static, and no stretch) and then immediately ran a timed 40‐yard sprint.
There was a significant interaction between stretching conditions and their effects on sprint times, F(3,72) = 9.422, p<.0005. To break down this interaction, simple main effects were performed with 2 repeated measures ANOVAs and 4 paired t‐tests using a Bonferroni corrected alpha (α = .0083). There were no significant differences between the 4 pre‐condition times, p = 0.103 (Greenhouse‐Geisser) or the post‐condition times, p = 0.029. In the no stretch condition, subjects improved significantly from pre‐ to post‐ sprint times (p<0.0005). There were no statistically significant differences in pre‐ and post‐stretch condition sprint times among the static (p = 0.804), ballistic (p = 0.217), and dynamic (p = 0.022) stretching conditions.
Sprint performance may show greatest improvement without stretching and through the use of a walking generalized warmup on a treadmill. These findings have clinically meaningful implications for runners who include iliopsoas muscle stretching as a component of the warm‐up.
Level of Evidence:
Recreational runners; sprinting; stretching; warm‐up
Successful production of a written product for submission to a peer‐reviewed scientific journal requires substantial effort. Such an effort can be maximized by following a few simple suggestions when composing/creating the product for submission. By following some suggested guidelines and avoiding common errors, the process can be streamlined and success realized for even beginning/novice authors as they negotiate the publication process. The purpose of this invited commentary is to offer practical suggestions for achieving success when writing and submitting manuscripts to The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy and other professional journals.
Journal submission; scientific writing; strategies and tips
The use of an evidence‐based approach to practice requires “the integration of best research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values”, where the best evidence can be gathered from randomized controlled trials (RCTs), systematic reviews and meta‐analyses. Furthermore, informed decisions in healthcare and the prompt incorporation of new research findings in routine practice necessitate regular reading, evaluation, and integration of the current knowledge from the primary literature on a given topic. However, given the dramatic increase in published studies, such an approach may become too time consuming and therefore impractical, if not impossible. Therefore, systematic reviews and meta‐analyses can provide the “best evidence” and an unbiased overview of the body of knowledge on a specific topic. In the present article the authors aim to provide a gentle introduction to readers not familiar with systematic reviews and meta‐analyses in order to understand the basic principles and methods behind this type of literature. This article will help practitioners to critically read and interpret systematic reviews and meta‐analyses to appropriately apply the available evidence to their clinical practice.
evidence‐based practice; meta‐analysis; systematic review
Research is designed to answer a question or to describe a phenomenon in a scientific process. Sports physical therapists must understand the different research methods, types, and designs in order to implement evidence‐based practice. The purpose of this article is to describe the most common research designs used in sports physical therapy research and practice. Both experimental and non‐experimental methods will be discussed.
Research design; research methods; scientific process
Acromioclavicular injuries are quite common and approaches to early management of those that are described as a Type III are controversial. The Rockwood Type III classification implies complete disruption of the acromioclavicular and coracoclavicular ligaments, resulting in inferior positioning of the scapula and, thus, the glenohumeral complex while the clavicle appears more superiorly prominent. Clinical management can include surgical or conservative techniques. This case report outlines the decision making process related to this type of injury, as applied in the diagnosis and management of 61 year‐old recreational athlete.
Level of Evidence
5 (Single Case report)
Acromioclavicular injury; functional outcomes; shoulder separation; Type III management
Determine the reliability of two different modified (MOD1 and MOD2) testing methods compared to a standard method (ST) for testing trunk flexion and extension endurance.
Twenty‐eight healthy individuals (age 26.4 ± 3.2 years, height 1.75 ± m, weight 71.8 ± 10.3 kg, body mass index 23.6 ± 3.4 m/kg2).
Trunk endurance time was measured in seconds for flexion and extension under the three different stabilization conditions. The MOD1 testing procedure utilized a female clinician (70.3 kg) and MOD2 utilized a male clinician (90.7 kg) to provide stabilization as opposed to the ST method of belt stabilization.
No significant differences occurred between flexion and extension times. Intraclass correlations (ICCs3,1) for the different testing conditions ranged from .79 to .95 (p <.000) and are found in Table 3. Concurrent validity using the ST flexion times as the gold standard coefficients were .95 for MOD1 and .90 for MOD2. For ST extension, coefficients were .91 and .80, for MOD1 and MOD2 respectively (p <.01).
These methods proved to be a reliable substitute for previously accepted ST testing methods in normal college‐aged individuals. These modified testing procedures can be implemented in athletic training rooms and weight rooms lacking appropriate tables for the ST testing.
Level of Evidence:
Core; stabilization; trunk endurance
Levels of evidence allow clinicians to appreciate the quality of a particular research paper quickly. The levels are generally set out in a hierarchical order, which is based largely upon the experimental design. While there are ideal designs for studies examining the effects of interventions, risk factors for a clinical condition or diagnostic testing, in most instances researchers have had to make compromises and these subsequently decrease the quality of their work. This paper provides information concerning how those compromises relate to subsequent levels that are given to a piece of research. It also provides an understanding of issues related to evaluating papers, and suggest ways in which the reader might discern how relevant a paper might be to one's clinical practice.
levels of evidence; research design; study quality
In the design of scientific studies it is essential to decide on which scientific questions one aims to answer, just as it is important to decide on the correct statistical methods to use to answer these questions. The correct use of statistical methods is crucial in all aspects of research to quantify relationships in data. Despite an increased focus on statistical content and complexity of biomedical research these topics remain difficult for most researchers. Statistical methods enable researchers to condense large spreadsheets with data into means, proportions, and difference between means, risk differences, and other quantities that convey information. One of the goals in biomedical research is to develop parsimonious models ‐ meaning as simple as possible. This approach is valid if the subsequent research report (the article) is written independent of whether the results are “statistically significant” or not. In the present paper we outline the considerations and suggestions on how to build a trial protocol, with an emphasis on having a rigorous protocol stage, always leading to a full article manuscript, independent of statistical findings. We conclude that authors, who find (rigorous) protocol writing too troublesome, will realize that they have already written the first half of the final paper if they follow these recommendations; authors simply need to change the protocols future tense into past tense. Thus, the aim of this clinical commentary is to describe and explain the statistical principles for trial protocols in terms of design, analysis, and reporting of findings.
analysis; research design; statistics
Injury rates for softball players are similar to baseball players yet information regarding risk factors, pitching, and physical characteristics for high school windmill softball pitchers is limited. This information is needed to guide prevention, training, and rehabilitation efforts. The purpose of this study was to report descriptive data regarding the physical characteristics and pitching volume experienced by high school softball pitchers during one academic season. A secondary aim was to track and describe upper extremity injuries suffered by high school softball pitchers throughout the course of the 2009 season.
Twelve uninjured female softball pitchers (13‐18y) from 5 Greenville, South Carolina high schools participated. Prior to the 2009 season, the pitchers' shoulder internal, external, total arc of rotation and horizontal adduction PROM was measured. During the 10‐week season, aggregate pitch counts (pitch volume) and occurrence of upper extremity injury were tracked for each pitcher.
Mean preseason internal, external, and total arc of rotation PROM was observed to be similar between the pitchers' dominant and non‐dominant shoulders. The PROM measures of horizontal abduction (HA) appear to demonstrate a side‐to‐side difference with less HA on the dominant arm of the pitchers who were examined. Subjects threw in an average of 10.1 games (±4.9) during the season. Six pitchers threw in 60% or more of the team's games and 3 of 12 pitchers pitched less than 25% of games. Pitchers averaged 61.8 pitches per game (±31.5) and 745.8 (±506.4) per season. Pitch count data did not appear to be different between injured and non‐injured pitchers.
Knowledge of pitch volume can be used to prepare windmill softball pitchers for the seasonal stresses, guide establishment of goals when recovering from injury, or assist in training for an upcoming season. Further research is needed to examine larger samples of pitchers over multiple seasons and years.
Level of Evidence:
Pitch count; shoulder; softball
Both forefoot strike shod (FFS) and barefoot (BF) running styles result in different mechanics when compared to rearfoot strike (RFS) shod running. Additionally, running mechanics of FFS and BF running are similar to one another. Comparing the mechanical changes occurring in each of these patterns is necessary to understand potential benefits and risks of these running styles. The authors hypothesized that FFS and BF conditions would result in increased sagittal plane joint angles at initial contact and that FFS and BF conditions would demonstrate a shift in sagittal plane joint power from the knee to the ankle when compared to the RFS condition. Finally, total lower extremity power absorption will be least in BF and greatest in the RFS shod condition.
The study included 10 male and 10 female RFS runners who completed 3‐dimensional running analysis in 3 conditions: shod with RFS, shod with FFS, and BF. Variables were the angles of plantarflexion, knee flexion, and hip flexion at initial contact and peak sagittal plane joint power at the hip, knee, and ankle during stance phase.
Running with a FFS pattern and BF resulted in significantly greater plantarflexion and significantly less negative knee power (absorption) when compared to shod RFS condition. FFS condition runners landed in the most plantarflexion and demonstrated the most peak ankle power absorption and lowest knee power absorption between the 3 conditions. BF and FFS conditions demonstrated decreased total lower extremity power absorption compared to the shod RFS condition but did not differ from one another.
BF and FFS running result in reduced total lower extremity power, hip power and knee power and a shift of power absorption from the knee to the ankle.
Alterations associated with BF running patterns are present in a FFS pattern when wearing shoes. Additionally, both patterns result in increased demand at the foot and ankle as compared to the knee.
barefoot running; biomechanics; running; strike pattern
Manuscripts have been subjected to the peer review process prior to publication for over 300 years. Currently, the peer review process is used by almost all scientific journals, and The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy is no exception. Scholarly publication is the means by which new work is communicated and peer review is an important part of this process. Peer review is a vital part of the quality control mechanism that is used to determine what is published, and what is not. The purpose of this commentary is to provide a description of the peer review process, both generally, and as utilized by The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. It is the hope of the authors that this will assist those who submit scholarly works to understand the purpose of the peer review process, as well as to appreciate the length of time required for a manuscript to complete the process and move toward publication.
Peer review; quality control; research publication
Medial shin pain (MSP) is a common complaint that may stop an athlete from running. No previous study has identified deficits in pelvic, hip or knee motion as potential contributing factors to MSP. The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences in kinematics during running between uninjured athletes and those with MSP. Secondary analyses investigated differences in limbs between groups and differences between sexes.
This case-control study investigated fourteen runners aged 18–40 years old with a history of unilateral MSP and fourteen runner controls. Three dimensional lower quarter kinematics were captured as runners ran on a treadmill. Specifically, peak hip internal rotation (IR), frontal plane pelvic tilt (PT) excursion, and knee flexion were examined.
Groups were similar in age, mass, height, and training mileage. Subjects with a history of MSP demonstrated significantly greater frontal plane PT (P = 0.002, Effect size = 0.55) and peak hip IR (P = 0.004, Effect size = 0.51); and less knee flexion (P = 0.02, Effect size = 0.46) than the control group. No significant difference was found in kinematics of the MSP group during their involved side stance phase as compared to their non-involved side.
Runners with MSP displayed greater PT excursion, peak hip IR, and decreased knee flexion while running as compared to a control group. These results should help guide treatment for the running athlete that experiences MSP.
Level of Evidence:
Exercise related leg pain; running; overuse injuries; shin splints
Shoulder dysfunction and injury are common in throwing athletes. Loss of internal rotation has been correlated to shoulder pathologies. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of a stretching protocol on passive internal rotation. The purpose of this study was assess the effects of a stretching protocol on passive internal rotation motion in the throwing shoulders of collegiate baseball players.
Pre-Post, intervention, using a within subjects comparison of a convenience sample.
Glenohumeral internal rotation and external rotation of the throwing and non-throwing shoulders of NCAA Division I baseball players were measured using a universal goniometer. Determinations were made as to the degree of Glenohumeral Internal Rotation Deficit (GIRD) in the throwing shoulder. A daily (5 days per week), 12-week posterior capsule stretching program was administered. Post-stretching internal rotation and external rotation measures were again obtained. The coaches and athletic trainers of the included team monitored the players for shoulder injuries and innings of training/competition lost due to shoulder injuries during the 12 week intervention.
A significant increase in range of motion was found for dominant arm internal rotation (IR) and total range of motion (TOT) following the stretching program. No statistically significant improvement in range of motion was found for external rotation (ER), non-throwing arm internal rotation (NDIR), non-throwing arm external rotation (NDER), and non-throwing arm total motion (NDTOT).
Implementation of a posterior capsule stretching program may be helpful to facilitate increased passive internal rotation range of motion at the glenohumeral joint. Further research should be performed using a control group not receiving the stretching program in order to more completely establish the impact of stretching on measures of passive glenohumeral range of motion.
Level of Evidence:
GIRD; glenohumeral internal rotation; stretching
Swiss ball training is recommended as a low intensity modality to improve joint position, posture, balance, and neural feedback. However, proper training intensity is difficult to obtain during Swiss ball exercises whereas strengthening exercises on machines usually are performed to induce high level of muscle activation.
To compare muscle activation as measured by electromyography (EMG) of global core and thigh muscles during abdominal crunches performed on Swiss ball with elastic resistance or on an isotonic training machine when normalized for training intensity.
42 untrained individuals (18 men and 24 women) aged 28–67 years participated in the study. EMG activity was measured in 13 muscles during 3 repetitions with a 10 RM load during both abdominal crunches on training ball with elastic resistance and in the same movement utilizing a training machine (seated crunch, Technogym, Cesena, Italy). The order of performance of the exercises was randomized, and EMG amplitude was normalized to maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) EMG.
When comparing between muscles, normalized EMG was highest in the rectus abdominis (P<0.01) and the external obliques (P<0.01). However, crunches on Swiss ball with elastic resistance showed higher activity of the rectus abdominis than crunches performed on the machine (104±3.8 vs 84±3.8% nEMG respectively, P<0.0001). By contrast, crunches performed on Swiss ball induced lower activity of the rectus femoris than crunches in training machine (27±3.7 vs 65±3.8% nEMG respectively, P<0.0001) Further, gender, age and musculoskeletal pain did not significantly influence the findings.
Crunches on a Swiss ball with added elastic resistance induces high rectus abdominis activity accompanied by low hip flexor activity which could be beneficial for individuals with low back pain. In opposition, the lower rectus abdominis activity and higher rectus femoris activity observed in machine warrant caution for individuals with lumbar pain. Importantly, both men and women, younger and elderly, and individuals with and without pain benefitted equally from the exercises.
abdominal crunch; elastic resistance; electromyographic activity; exercise ball
A reduction in the maximal force output of muscles following pre-performance stretching has been reported. Several studies have suggested that localized vibration may enhance or replace stretching for gaining flexibility. It is important to know if localized vibration may also compromise muscle output. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the immediate effects of localized hamstring vibration on hamstrings (HAM) and quadriceps (QUAD) performance.
Thirty asymptomatic participants, 19 female and 11 male, mean age 25.4 years (±SD 2.7) received either five minutes of localized vibration to the right hamstrings at 30 Hz and 6 mm amplitude, or sham. One week later, each participant received the alternate treatment. Following treatments, right (R) and left (L) isometric HAM and QUAD strength was measured twice by handheld dynamometer and maximal horizontal hop distance of each lower extremity was measured by single leg hop test (SLH). Treatment outcomes were compared using paired t-tests. Treatment order effect was measured by independent T-test. Pre-study intrarater reliability for dynamometry was established using ICC(3,2).
Mean (±SD) values for strength following vibration were 58.7 kg (15.7), 60.4 kg (14.0), 45.5 kg (14.2), 45.8 kg (13.2) for R QUAD, L QUAD, R HAM, L HAM respectively. SLH mean values were R SLH 153.8 cm (35 cm) and L SLH 155.4 cm (36 cm). There were no significant differences in means between vibration and sham treatment for any outcomes on either leg (p-values ranged .412-.971); p<.001 for all comparisons. Order had no significant effect (p-values .370–1.0). Intrarater ICCs were .888, .762, .884, .960 for R HAM, L HAM, R QUAD, L QUAD.
Unilateral application of localized vibration to the hamstrings at a duration previously reported to increase flexibility did not diminish the isometric performance of the hamstrings or quadriceps of either leg.
Level of Evidence:
hamstring; muscle performance; vibration
Anterior knee pain (AKP), also known as patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS), is believed to be common in young, active females. A prevalence rate of 25% has been commonly cited in the literature. However, this rate may be more anecdotal than empirical. The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence of AKP in females 18 to 35 years of age.
Three cohorts of females, totaling 724 participants between 18 and 35 years of age participated in this study. The mean age of participants was 24.17 years (SD: 2.34), mean height was 165.10 cm (SD: 7.26), mean weight was 65.46 kg (SD: 14.10), and mean BMI was 23.95 kg/m2 (SD: 4.86). Participants completed the Anterior Knee Pain Questionnaire (AKPQ), a functional outcome tool developed to document symptoms of AKP and progress in patients during rehabilitation.
The mean score on the AKPQ for the left lower extremity was 93.38 (SD: 10.00) and 93.16 (SD: 11.37) for the right lower extremity. Using a cutoff score of 83 on the AKPQ, 85 of 724 subjects were classified as having AKP in the left lower extremity for a prevalence of 12% (95% CI = 9%-14%) while 94 subjects were classified with AKP in the right lower extremity for a prevalence of 13% (95% CI = 11%-15%).
The estimated prevalence of AKP in this sample of 18–35 year old females of 12–13% is much less than the commonly cited value of 25%. The results may provide a better representation of subjects with AKP.
Level of Evidence:
Anterior knee pain; Anterior Knee Pain Questionnaire (AKPQ); functional limitations; prevalence
The purpose of this study was to systematically review the literature for functional performance tests with evidence of reliability and validity that could be used for a young, athletic population with hip dysfunction.
A search of PubMed and SPORTDiscus databases were performed to identify movement, balance, hop/jump, or agility functional performance tests from the current peer-reviewed literature used to assess function of the hip in young, athletic subjects.
The single-leg stance, deep squat, single-leg squat, and star excursion balance tests (SEBT) demonstrated evidence of validity and normative data for score interpretation. The single-leg stance test and SEBT have evidence of validity with association to hip abductor function. The deep squat test demonstrated evidence as a functional performance test for evaluating femoroacetabular impingement. Hop/Jump tests and agility tests have no reported evidence of reliability or validity in a population of subjects with hip pathology.
Use of functional performance tests in the assessment of hip dysfunction has not been well established in the current literature. Diminished squat depth and provocation of pain during the single-leg balance test have been associated with patients diagnosed with FAI and gluteal tendinopathy, respectively. The SEBT and single-leg squat tests provided evidence of convergent validity through an analysis of kinematics and muscle function in normal subjects. Reliability of functional performance tests have not been established on patients with hip dysfunction. Further study is needed to establish reliability and validity of functional performance tests that can be used in a young, athletic population with hip dysfunction.
Level of Evidence:
2b (Systematic Review of Literature)
Functional Testing; hip; reliability; validity
Background and Purpose:
Distal biceps brachii tendinosis is a relatively uncommon clinical diagnosis seen by physical therapists. As a result, there is little evidence guiding clinical decisions regarding best practice or effective treatment options to restore individuals to their previous level of function. The purpose of this case report is to describe the use of eccentric training as the primary intervention in the rehabilitation of a patient with distal biceps tendinosis.
A 41-year-old male electrician and collegiate wrestling coach presented to a university outpatient physical therapy clinic with a two month duration of pain in the right antecubital space which occurred when the patient was performing close-grip body weight curl ups for the first time. Sharp pain was noted in the right arm during the lowering phase of the exercise. Following the examination, distal biceps tendinosis appeared to be the likely diagnosis. The patient was educated in eccentric exercise principles and was prescribed eccentric loading exercises for the distal biceps brachii tendon in two different positions of elbow flexion.
The patient was seen in physical therapy for three visits over the course of four weeks. Following eccentric training, the patient reported decreased pain, demonstrated increased right elbow flexion and forearm supination strength, was no longer tender to palpation of the distal biceps tendon and showed clinically significant improvement in QuickDASH scores.
Given the lack of available research on the rehabilitation of distal biceps tendinosis, eccentric training showing benefits with other upper quarter tendinoses and the positive outcomes in this case, it may be appropriate for physical therapists to employ eccentric training for patients with distal biceps tendinosis.
Level of Evidence:
5 (Single case report)
distal biceps; eccentric exercise; tendinosis
Clients presenting with ulnar-sided wrist pain can provide diagnostic and management challenges for physical therapists. Symptoms in this region may originate from multiple structures. Integration of clinical examination and diagnostic imaging results is often required for optimal decision-making and patient management. To obtain the most informative imaging results, practitioners need an understanding of injury patterns and their detection by various imaging modalities. This case describes a mature golfer who presented with persistent ulnar-sided wrist pain and was eventually determined to have a fracture of the hook of the hamate accompanied by neighboring soft tissue involvement also contributing to his symptom complex. His history and the diagnostic process are detailed along with a brief discussion of his subsequent management post-operatively.
Level of Evidence:
5 (Single Case Report)
wrist pain; hamate fracture; golf injury
Currently, the popular approach to post-concussion management of the athlete relies upon the use of a multidisciplinary team of healthcare providers, all typically coordinated by a physician. That core team is often supplemented by nurses, psychotherapists, coaches, teachers, the athletic director, and, of course, family members. However, access to such a model is frequently limited by financial, geographical, and numerous other factors. In the absence of such resources, a thorough clinical evaluation and management by an available, ongoing healthcare provider, quite often the sports physical therapist, becomes necessary.
The authors recommend that the professional who coordinates the athlete's post-concussion healthcare should focus efforts upon a comprehensive assessment and tailored treatment plan specific to the athlete's post-concussive symptoms. Assessment of both pre-morbid function and post-injury physical, cognitive, psychosocial, emotional, and behavioral issues, including the patient's support system, can assist the clinician with identifying specific constraints to sport, academic, social, and vocational activity participation. Hence, the assessment provides structure to the athlete's individualized treatment plan. Successful specialized interventions that address the multi-faceted impairments of sport related concussion frequently require knowledge of resources in a variety of other healthcare professions, in order to facilitate appropriate and necessary treatment referrals.
Initial assessment should be followed by repeat monitoring throughout treatment, and spanning a variety of environments, in order to ensure the athlete's full recovery prior to return, not only to sport participation, but also to involvement in social, academic, and/or employment related life activities.
Level of Evidence:
evaluation; rehabilitation; sport concussion
Most athletic events present potential for abdominal trauma for their participants. The responsibility of the “most medical” professional at the event is to have the knowledge to recognize, treat, and properly manage these injuries. As these injuries are very different in nature from orthopedic injuries, the dangers presented are also very different, and can include outcomes as serious as organ failure and death. Because of these differing risks, many professionals are uneasy about proper treatment, especially on the sidelines. However, with a few key points about mechanism of injury, monitoring changes in vital signs, and careful assessment of presenting symptoms, most abdominal injuries can be properly managed on the sidelines.
Level of Evidence:
abdominal trauma; emergency response; herniation; organ damage; rupture
This study investigated the intrarater reliability and concurrent validity of active shoulder mobility measurements using a digital inclinometer and goniometer.
Two investigators used a goniometer and digital inclinometer to measure shoulder flexion, abduction, internal and external rotation on 30 asymptomatic participants in a blinded repeated measures design.
Excellent intrarater reliability was present with Intraclass Correlation Coefficients (ICC- 3,k) for goniometry ≥ 0.94 and digital inclinometry ≥ 0.95. The concurrent validity between goniometry and digital inclinometry was good with ICC (3,k) values of ≥ 0.85. The 95% limits of agreement suggest that the difference between these two measurement instruments can be expected to range from 2° to 20°.
The results cautiously support the interchangeable use of goniometry and digital inclinometer for measuring shoulder mobility measurements. Although reliable, clinicians should consider the 95% limits of agreement when using these instruments interchangeably as clinically significant differences are likely to be present.
Level of evidence:
Goniometry; inclinometry; reliability; shoulder; validity
Back ground and Purpose:
Hamstring injury is a common occurrence in sport and there has been limited success in reducing this rate of recurrence to date.
Description of Topic with Related Evidence:
High speed running requires eccentric strength when the hamstring muscles are in a lengthened state. The lengthened state occurs when the hip is in flexion and the lower leg moves into extension, thus lengthening the two joint hamstring muscle over both articulations upon which they act. There is evidence to suggest that athletes who have sustained a hamstring strain lack strength when the muscle is utilized during performance in a lengthened state.
To examine the risk factors contributing to such a high recurrence rate and propose a unique rehabilitation strategy addressing these factors in order to decrease the rate of reinjury.
Discussion/Relation to Clinical Practice:
Failing to increase an athlete's eccentric strength in a lengthened position after a hamstring injury may predispose an athlete to subsequent reinjury. Incorporating lengthened state eccentric training may help reduce the rate of reinjury.
Level of Evidence:
Hamstring strain; lengthened state eccentrics
The authors speculated that there may be an increased incidence of low back pain (LBP) in NCAA Division III female field hockey (FH) players. FH players may experience LBP for a variety of reasons including trauma from collisions or falls. Excluding these types of direct trauma, FH players may experience LBP due to excessive stress to spinal structures related to the forward flexed posture that predominates in field hockey. The authors speculated that because of the postural stresses inherent to field hockey there may be an increased incidence of LBP in this population. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to survey NCAA Division III female FH players and an age matched control group to determine if field hockey participation results in an increased incidence of LBP. The anticipated finding of an increased incidence of LBP would provide a rationale for the development of prophylactic interventions for this population.
Subjects: Female NCAA Division III FH players (n=90) ranging in age from 18–24 years old who participated in the 2008 season were surveyed in regards to the incidence of LBP. A female age-matched control group from Misericordia University (n=98) without a history of field hockey participation was also surveyed. Both groups of subjects completed a voluntary pen and paper survey on the incidence of LBP not related to menstruation. Questions included but were not limited to; whether a significant episode of LBP had been experienced, the mechanism or injury, the duration and nature/location of symptoms. Responses from both groups were anonymous and confidential.
There was no difference in the incidence of LBP between the female FH players and the control group (p=0.951). The incidence of LBP was 56% (50/90) in the female FH players and 55% (54/98) in the controls. There was no difference in pain characteristics including pain referral patterns between the 2 groups. However, survey responses revealed a similar mean age of onset of LBP for both groups (16.23 +/- 1.80 years of age for FH players and 16.45 +/- 2.12 years of age for controls).
The data did not support the authors' speculation of a higher incidence of LBP in NCAA Division III female FH players compared to female age-matched controls. This suggests postures associated with field hockey do not appear to significantly increase the incidence of LBP in this population. However, the data revealed that females from both surveyed groups experienced an onset of LBP at a mean age of sixteen.
Level of Evidence:
field hockey; low back pain
While various techniques have been developed to assess the postural control system, little is known about the relationship between single leg static and functional balance. The purpose of the current study was to determine the relationship between the performance measures of several single leg postural stability tests.
Forty six recreationally active college students (17 males, 29 females, 21±3 yrs, 173±10 cm) performed six single leg tests in a counterbalanced order: 1) Firm Surface-Eyes Open, 2) Firm Surface-Eyes Closed, 3) Multiaxial Surface-Eyes Open, 4) Multiaxial Surface-Eyes Closed, 5) Star Excursion Balance Test (posterior medial reach), 6) Single leg Hop-Stabilization Test. Bivariate correlations were conducted between the six outcome variables.
Mild to moderate correlations existed between the static tests. No significant correlations existed involving either of the functional tests.
The results indicate that while performance of static balance tasks are mildly to moderately related, they appear to be unrelated to functional reaching or hopping movements, supporting the utilization of a battery of tests to determine overall postural control performance.
Level of Evidence: