To control movement, the brain has to integrate proprioceptive information from a variety of mechanoreceptors. The role of proprioception in daily activities, exercise, and sports has been extensively investigated, using different techniques, yet the proprioceptive mechanisms underlying human movement control are still unclear. In the current work we have reviewed understanding of proprioception and the three testing methods: threshold to detection of passive motion, joint position reproduction, and active movement extent discrimination, all of which have been used for assessing proprioception. The origin of the methods, the different testing apparatus, and the procedures and protocols used in each approach are compared and discussed. Recommendations are made for choosing an appropriate technique when assessing proprioceptive mechanisms in different contexts.
Balance control improvement is one of the most important goals in sports and exercise. Better balance is strongly positively associated with enhanced athletic performance and negatively associated with lower limb sports injuries. Proprioception plays an essential role in balance control, and ankle proprioception is arguably the most important. This paper reviews ankle proprioception and explores synergies with balance control, specifically in a sporting context. Central processing of ankle proprioceptive information, along with other sensory information, enables integration for balance control. When assessing ankle proprioception, the most generalizable findings arise from methods that are ecologically valid, allow proprioceptive signals to be integrated with general vision in the central nervous system, and reflect the signal-in-noise nature of central processing. Ankle proprioceptive intervention concepts driven by such a central processing theory are further proposed and discussed for the improvement of balance control in sport.
PurposeThe potential mechanisms of hamstring strain injuries in athletes are not well understood. The study, therefore, was aimed at understanding hamstring mechanics by studying loading conditions during maximum-effort overground sprinting.MethodsThree-dimensional kinematics and ground reaction force data were collected from eight elite male sprinters sprinting at their maximum effort. Maximal isometric torques of the hip and knee were also collected. Data from the sprinting gait cycle were analyzed via an intersegmental dynamics approach, and the different joint torque components were calculated.ResultsDuring the initial stance phase, the ground reaction force passed anteriorly to the knee and hip, producing an extension torque at the knee and a flexion torque at the hip joint. Thus, the active muscle torque functioned to produce flexion torque at the knee and extension torque at the hip. The maximal muscle torque at the knee joint was 1.4 times the maximal isometric knee flexion torque. During the late swing phase, the muscle torque counterbalanced the motion-dependent torque and acted to flex the knee joint and extend the hip joint. The loading conditions on the hamstring muscles were similar to those of the initial stance phase.ConclusionsDuring both the initial stance and late swing phases, the large passive torques at both the knee and hip joints acted to lengthen the hamstring muscles. The active muscle torques generated mainly by the hamstrings functioned to counteract those passive effects. As a result, during sprinting or high-speed locomotion, the hamstring muscles may be more susceptible to high risk of strain injury during these two phases.
Background Traditional Chinese exercise ( TCE ) has widespread use for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease; however, there appears to be no consensus about the benefits of TCE for patients with cardiovascular disease. The objective of this systematic review was to determine the effects of TCE for patients with cardiovascular disease. Methods and Results Relevant studies were searched by PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, the Cochrane Library, the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, and the China National Knowledge Infrastructure. We covered only published articles with randomized controlled trials. The outcome measures included physiological outcomes, biochemical outcomes, physical function, quality of life, and depression. A total of 35 articles with 2249 cardiovascular disease patients satisfied the inclusion criteria. The pooling revealed that TCE could decrease systolic blood pressure by 9.12 mm Hg (95% CI −16.38 to −1.86, P =0.01) and diastolic blood pressure by 5.12 mm Hg (95% CI −7.71 to −2.52, P <0.001). Patients performing TCE also found benefits compared with those in the control group in terms of triglyceride (standardized mean difference −0.33, 95% CI −0.56 to −0.09, P =0.006), 6‐minute walk test (mean difference 59.58 m, 95% CI −153.13 to 269.93, P =0.03), Minnesota Living With Heart Failure Questionnaire results (mean difference −17.08, 95% CI −23.74 to −10.41, P <0.001), 36‐Item Short Form physical function scale (mean difference 0.82, 95% CI 0.32–1.33, P =0.001), and Profile of Mood States depression scale (mean difference −3.02, 95% CI −3.50 to −2.53, P <0.001). Conclusions This study demonstrated that TCE can effectively improve physiological outcomes, biochemical outcomes, physical function, quality of life, and depression among patients with cardiovascular disease. More high‐quality randomized controlled trials on this topic are warranted.
PurposeThe purpose of this study was to explore the effects of an innovative momentum-based dumbbell-training intervention on cognitive function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).Subjects and methodsA total of 45 community-dwelling older adults with MCI were randomly assigned to either a dumbbell-training group (DTG; n=22) or a control group (CG; n=23). Participants in the DTG participated in exercise sessions three times weekly for 12 weeks. The primary outcome measures were cognitive function, including the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS) – Cognitive subscale, Trail Making Test part B, Digit Span Test (DST) – forward, and DST – backward, with secondary outcome measures being Timed Up and Go, functional reach, and the Activities-Specific Balance Confidence Scale.ResultsIn an intent-to-treat analysis, participants in the DTG had significantly improved ADAS – Cognitive subscale scores compared to those in the CG (5.02 points, P=0.012). There was a significant within-group change (improvement) in Trail Making Test part B (33.32 seconds, P<0.001) and DST – backward (0.41 points, P=0.025) scores. No change was observed for the DST – forward measure. Participants in the DTG also improved their functional mobility compared to those in the CG (Timed Up and Go, 0.81 seconds; P=0.043).ConclusionThere is preliminary evidence showing the potential benefit of momentum-based dumbbell training for improving cognitive function in older adults with MCI.
Deteriorating air quality in China has created global public health concerns in regard to health and health-related behaviors. Although emerging environmental regulations address ambient air pollution in China, the level of enforcement and long-term impact of these measures remain unknown. Exposure to air pollution has been shown to lead to multiple adverse health outcomes, including increased rates of heart disease and mortality. However, a lesser-known but increasingly significant concern is the relationship between air pollution and its effects on outdoor exercise. This is especially important in China, which has a culturally rooted lifestyle that encourages participation in outdoor physical activity. This article evaluates the intersection of air pollution and outdoor exercise and provides a discussion of issues related to its public health impact in China, where efforts to promote a healthy lifestyle may be adversely affected by the ambient air pollution that has accompanied rapid economic development and urbanization.
Muscle contusion is one of the most common muscle injuries in sports medicine. Macrophages play complex roles in the regeneration of skeletal muscle. However, the roles of macrophages, especially the mechanisms involved, in the regeneration of muscle contusion are still not fully understood. We hypothesize that the depletion of macrophages impairs skeletal muscle regeneration and that pro-fibrotic factors, inflammation, and oxidative stress may be involved in the process. To test these hypotheses, we constructed a muscle contusion injury and a macrophage depletion model and followed it up with morphological and gene expression analyses. The data showed that fibrotic scars were formed in the muscle of contusion injury, and they deteriorated in the mice of macrophage depletion. Furthermore, the sizes of regenerating myofibers were significantly reduced by macrophage depletion. Pro-fibrotic factors, inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, and oxidative stress-related enzymes increased significantly after muscle injury. Moreover, the expression of these factors was delayed by macrophage depletion. Most of them were still significantly higher in the later stage of regeneration. These results suggest that macrophage depletion impairs skeletal muscle regeneration and that pro-fibrotic factors, inflammation, and oxidative stress may play important roles in the process.
The systematic review demonstrates that CMI is effective for preventing falls in older adults in the short term. However, there is, as yet, little evidence to support claims regarding long-term benefits. Hence, future studies should investigate the long-term effectiveness of CMI in terms of fall prevention in older adults.
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