Acute systematic and variable postural adaptations induced by an orthopaedic shoe lift in control subjects. (1/443)

A small leg length inequality, either true or functional, can be implicated in the pathogenesis of numerous spinal disorders. The correction of a leg length inequality with the goal of treating a spinal pathology is often achieved with the use of a shoe lift. Little research has focused on the impact of this correction on the three-dimensional (3D) postural organisation. The goal of this study is to quantify in control subjects the 3D postural changes to the pelvis, trunk, scapular belt and head, induced by a shoe lift. The postural geometry of 20 female subjects (X = 22, sigma = 1.2) was evaluated using a motion analysis system for three randomised conditions: control, and right and left shoe lift. Acute postural adaptations were noted for all subjects, principally manifested through the tilt of the pelvis, asymmetric version of the left and right iliac bones, and a lateral shift of the pelvis and scapular belt. The difference in the version of the right and left iliac bones was positively associated with the pelvic tilt. Postural adaptations were noted to vary between subjects for rotation and postero-anterior shift of the pelvis and scapular belt. No notable differences between conditions were noted in the estimation of kyphosis and lordosis. The observed systematic and variable postural adaptations noted in the presence of a shoe lift reflects the unique constraints of the musculoskeletal system. This suggests that the global impact of a shoe lift on a patient's posture should also be considered during treatment. This study provides a basis for comparison of future research involving pathological populations.  (+info)

A chest wall restrictor to study effects on pulmonary function and exercise. 1. Development and validation. (2/443)

Chest wall-restrictive loading reduces a person's ability to expand the chest wall during inhalation and results in decrements in lung capacities, resting pulmonary function, and ultimately, exercise performance. Chest wall restriction is observed in some forms of skeletal and pulmonary diseases (e.g., scoliosis) as well as in occupational situations (e.g., bulletproof vests). We have designed a constant-pressure chest wall-restrictive device that provides a quantifiable and reproducible load on the chest. This paper describes the device and the initial pulmonary function tests conducted. Ten subjects participated in this study. Subjects wore the restrictive device while performing pulmonary function tests at four externally added restrictive loads on three separate occasions. A two-way repeated-measures multivariate analysis of variance revealed significant decreases in forced expiratory vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1.0) at each load while the ratio of FEV1.0 to FVC (FEV1.0%) was maintained. No significant differences in any variable were found across time or between the seated and standing position. These results indicate that this chest wall-restrictive device provides a quantifiable added inspiratory load in the breathing cycle that results in reproducible decrements in pulmonary function representative of those seen in some restrictive pulmonary disease and occupational situations.  (+info)

A chest wall restrictor to study effects on pulmonary function and exercise. 2. The energetics of restrictive breathing. (3/443)

Chest wall restriction, whether caused by disease or mechanical constraints such as protective outerwear, can cause decrements in pulmonary function and exercise capacity. However, the study of the oxygen cost associated with mechanical chest restriction has so far been purely qualitative. The previous paper in this series described a device to impose external chest wall restriction, its effects on forced spirometric volumes, and its test-retest reliability. The purpose of this experiment was to measure the oxygen cost associated with varied levels of external chest wall restriction. Oxygen uptake and electromyogram (EMG) of the external intercostals were recorded during chest restriction in 10 healthy males. Subjects rested for 9 min before undergoing volitional isocapnic hyperpnea for 6 min. Subjects breathed at minute ventilations (V.I) of 30, 60, and 90 liters/min with chest wall loads of 0, 25, 50 and 75 mm Hg applied. Frequency of breathing was set at 15, 30, and 45 breaths per minute with a constant tidal volume (VT) of 2 liters. Oxygen uptake was measured continuously at rest and throughout the hyperventilation bouts, while controlling V.I and VT. Integrated EMG (IEMG) from the 3rd intercostal space was recorded during each minute of rest and hyperventilation. Two-way ANOVA with repeated measures revealed that chest wall loading and hyperpnea significantly increased V.O2 values (p < 0.01). External intercostal IEMG levels were significantly increased (p < 0.05) at higher restrictive load (50 and 75 mm Hg) and at the highest minute ventilation (90 liters/min). These data suggest that there is a significant and quantifiable increase in the oxygen cost associated with external chest wall restriction which is directly related to the level of chest wall restriction.  (+info)

Non-velocity-related effects of a rigid double-stopped ankle-foot orthosis on gait and lower limb muscle activity of hemiparetic subjects with an equinovarus deformity. (4/443)

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: This study investigated the non-velocity-related effects of a 1-bar rigid ankle-foot orthosis on the gait of hemiparetic subjects, with particular emphasis on the muscle activity of the paretic lower limb. METHODS: Twenty-one hemiparetic subjects who had been using an ankle-foot orthosis for equinovarus deformity for <1 week participated. Patients walked cued by a metronome at a comparable speed with and without the orthosis. Dependent variables were basic, limb-dependent cycle parameters, gait symmetry, vertical ground reaction forces, sagittal ankle excursions, and kinesiological electromyogram of several lower limb muscles. RESULTS: The use of the caliper was associated with more dynamic and balanced gait, characterized by longer relative single-stance duration of the paretic lower limb, better swing symmetry, better pivoting over the stationary paretic foot, and better ankle excursions (P<0.05). The functional activity of the paretic quadriceps muscles increased, while the activity of the paretic tibialis anterior muscle decreased (P<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The orthosis led to a more dynamic and balanced gait, with enhanced functional activation of the hemiparetic vastus lateralis muscle. The study further supports the functional benefits of a rigid ankle-foot orthosis in hemiparetic subjects as an integral part of a comprehensive rehabilitation approach. However, the reduced activity in the tibialis muscle may lead to disuse atrophy and hence long-term dependence on the orthosis.  (+info)

Lumbar vertebral angles and back muscle loading with belts. (5/443)

The study examined belt effects on the change of lumbosacral angle (LSA) and back muscle activity in postures of standing, erect sitting, and slump sitting. We thought that the resulting changes of LSA and back muscle activity when wearing belts with different mechanical characteristics should be different. Eighteen healthy male subjects participated in this study. Though we failed to identify a significant belt effect on the back muscle EMG, the radiographic data revealed an interactive effect of postures and belts on the change of LSA. In standing, the belts increased LSA by increasing almost every lumbar vertebral angle. In erect sitting, the lumbar belt had no effect but the pelvic belt decreased LSA through a decrease in the L1/L3. While sitting slump with a trunk flexion of 15 degrees, both belts increased LSA by restricting the movement of the pelvis. Belt effect on LSA was accompanied with a change of pelvic angle. Significant correlation was found between the backward rotation angles of the pelvis and the angles of LSA (r = 0.692, p < 0.0001), also between the decrease of pelvic angles and the increase of back muscle EMG (r = -0.4, p = 0.017). A change in LSA and pelvic angle after wearing a belt along with posture change seems lead to an increase of the myoelectric activities on the back.  (+info)

Lumbar spine stability can be augmented with an abdominal belt and/or increased intra-abdominal pressure. (6/443)

The increased intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) commonly observed when the spine is loaded during physical activities is hypothesized to increase lumbar spine stability. The mechanical stability of the lumbar spine is an important consideration in low back injury prevention and rehabilitation strategies. This study examined the effects of raised IAP and an abdominal belt on lumbar spine stability. Two hypotheses were tested: (1) An increase in IAP leads to increased lumbar spine stability, (2) Wearing an abdominal belt increases spine stability. Ten volunteers were placed in a semi-seated position in a jig that restricted hip motion leaving the upper torso free to move in any direction. The determination of lumbar spine stability was accomplished by measuring the instantaneous trunk stiffness in response to a sudden load release. The quick release method was applied in isometric trunk flexion, extension, and lateral bending. Activity of 12 major trunk muscles was monitored with electromyography and the IAP was measured with an intra-gastric pressure transducer. A two-factor repeated measures design was used (P < 0.05), in which the spine stability was evaluated under combinations of the following two factors: belt or no belt and three levels of IAP (0, 40, and 80% of maximum). The belt and raised IAP increased trunk stiffness in all directions, but the results in extension lacked statistical significance. In flexion, trunk stiffness increased by 21% and 42% due to 40% and 80% IAP levels respectively; in lateral bending, trunk stiffness increased by 16% and 30%. The belt added between 9% and 57% to the trunk stiffness depending on the IAP level and the direction of exertion. In all three directions, the EMG activity of all 12 trunk muscles increased significantly due to the elevated IAP. The belt had no effect on the activity of any of the muscles with the exception of the thoracic erector spinae in extension and the lumbar erector spinae in flexion, whose activities decreased. The results indicate that both wearing an abdominal belt and raised IAP can each independently, or in combination, increase lumbar spine stability. However, the benefits of the belt must be interpreted with caution in the context of the decreased activation of a few trunk extensor muscles.  (+info)

Patellofemoral pain syndrome: a review and guidelines for treatment. (7/443)

Managing patellofemoral pain syndrome is a challenge, in part because of lack of consensus regarding its cause and treatment. Contributing factors include overuse and overload of the patellofemoral joint, biomechanical problems and muscular dysfunction. The initial treatment plan should include quadriceps strengthening and temporary activity modification. Additional exercises may be incorporated as dictated by the findings of the physical examination. Footwear should be closely evaluated for quality and fit, and the use of arch supports should be considered.  (+info)

Long-term follow-up in diabetic Charcot feet with spontaneous onset. (8/443)

OBJECTIVE: To assess the long-term results after Charcot breakdown with spontaneous onset in diabetic feet. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: This study was retrospective. A total of 115 patients (140 feet), 107 with acute deformity and 8 with chronic Charcot deformity, were followed for a median of 48 months (range 6-114). The routine treatment for acute cases was a weight-off regimen with crutches and foot protection with therapeutic shoes until skin temperature had normalized followed by increased weightbearing and the use of bespoke shoes or modification of conventional shoes. RESULTS: The incidence of Charcot deformity was 0.3%/year in the diabetic population investigated. About half of the patients were active in their jobs. Major complications were encountered in 5 (4%) of the patients that required surgical intervention: arthrodesis for unstable malaligned ankles in 3 subjects (1 bilaterally) and major amputation in 2 subjects for unstable ankle and pressure sores. Minor complications were recorded in 43% of subjects: new attacks of Charcot breakdown in 41 patients (36%) and/or foot ulceration in 43 patients (37%) that required minor surgical procedures for 11 patients. All healed except in 2 patients: 1 patient died before the Charcot fractures had healed, and 1 patient died with an unhealed ulcer. No patient lost the ability to walk independently. CONCLUSIONS: Major surgical procedures in only 4% were particularly related to patients with Charcot deformities in the ankle. Minor complications were recorded in about half of the patients. Lifelong foot care is required for diabetic patients with Charcot feet.  (+info)