[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to examine, using a plethysmogram of the fingertips, autonomic responses at motor intensities of 30% or 50% of maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) during isometric handgrip exercise (IHG). [Participants and Methods] The participants of this study were 15 healthy persons. The finger volume pulse wave of each participant was measured continuously, using a BACS Advance equipment (TAOS Co.), for a total of 17 minutes: 5 minutes before IHG (Pre), 2 minutes during IHG (IHG), the first 5 minutes after IHG (Post 5), and then the second 5 minutes after IHG (Post 10). To evaluate autonomic nervous system activity, we used the Detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) and Approximate Entropy (ApEn). [Results] During IHG, the pulse rate was significantly higher and the ApEn value was significantly lower than during the other periods of measurement. Compared to other analyzed parameters, ApEn decreased during IHG, but returned to its initial Pre period level during the Post 5 period. The α 1 value derived from the DFA analysis remained at a value of 1 during each measurement time point, indicating the absence of malfunctions in autonomic response. [Conclusion] Isometric handgrip exercise with 30% MVC seemed to be useful for the assessment of autonomic nervous system response.
Virtual reality (VR)-guided exercise therapy using mediVR KAGURA has been reported to improve gait function by extending the arm to spatial targets while sitting. We aimed to investigate toe and trunk–pelvic function and plantar sensation during gait in a postoperative patient with hallux valgus. A 60-year-old woman, whose foot deformities had improved 6 months earlier, participated in the study. The exercise therapy interventions were performed twice weekly for 15 min. This study used an A-B-A design: 1-week pre-phase, 3-week intervention phase, and 2-week post-phase. The plantar pressure distribution and thoracic and pelvic displacements during gait were recorded at the end of each phase. The tactile pressure thresholds of the foot were determined before and after each exercise. The maximum force and impulse under the hallux increased after the intervention. The sensory threshold of the hallux was reduced. The amplitude of the thoracic and pelvic displacement was shortened in lateral and extended in the vertical and progressional directions after the intervention. We found that a 3-week VR-guided exercise improved toe function, plantar sensation, and postural adjustment of the trunk and pelvis during gait in a patient who had undergone surgery for hallux valgus, and the effects continued for 2 weeks.
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