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Biomechanics, Volume 4, Issue 1 (March 2024) – 11 articles

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54 pages, 1086 KiB  
Systematic Review
Gait Biomechanical Parameters Related to Falls in the Elderly: A Systematic Review
by Jullyanne Silva, Tiago Atalaia, João Abrantes and Pedro Aleixo
Biomechanics 2024, 4(1), 165-218; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics4010011 - 5 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1456
Abstract
According to the World Health Organization, one-third of elderly people aged 65 or over fall annually, and this number increases after 70. Several gait biomechanical parameters were associated with a history of falls. This study aimed to conduct a systematic review to identify [...] Read more.
According to the World Health Organization, one-third of elderly people aged 65 or over fall annually, and this number increases after 70. Several gait biomechanical parameters were associated with a history of falls. This study aimed to conduct a systematic review to identify and describe the gait biomechanical parameters related to falls in the elderly. MEDLINE Complete, Cochrane, Web of Science, and CINAHL Complete were searched for articles on 22 November 2023, using the following search sentence: (gait) AND (fall*) AND ((elder*) OR (old*) OR (senior*)) AND ((kinematic*) OR (kinetic*) OR (biomechanic*) OR (electromyogram*) OR (emg) OR (motion analysis*) OR (plantar pressure)). This search identified 13,988 studies. From these, 96 were selected. Gait speed, stride/step length, and double support phase are gait biomechanical parameters that differentiate fallers from non-fallers. Fallers also tended to exhibit higher variability in gait biomechanical parameters, namely the minimum foot/toe clearance variability. Although the studies were scarce, differences between fallers and non-fallers were found regarding lower limb muscular activity and joint biomechanics. Due to the scarce literature and contradictory results among studies, it is complex to draw clear conclusions for parameters related to postural stability. Minimum foot/toe clearance, step width, and knee kinematics did not differentiate fallers from non-fallers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gait and Balance Control in Typical and Special Individuals)
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12 pages, 1490 KiB  
Article
Investigating Biomechanical Postural Control Strategies in Healthy Aging Adults and Survivors of Stroke
by Lara A. Thompson, Roni A. Romero Melendez and Ji Chen
Biomechanics 2024, 4(1), 153-164; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics4010010 - 5 Mar 2024
Viewed by 581
Abstract
As the aging populations, both nationwide and worldwide, rapidly increase, falls leading to unintentional injury and death subsequently increase. Thus, developing an understanding of biomechanical postural control strategies used to maintain balance in aging healthy adults, and those that have suffered stroke, are [...] Read more.
As the aging populations, both nationwide and worldwide, rapidly increase, falls leading to unintentional injury and death subsequently increase. Thus, developing an understanding of biomechanical postural control strategies used to maintain balance in aging healthy adults, and those that have suffered stroke, are critical. Here, we were interested in how one’s body segments stabilize relative to one another, and in space, in order to maintain balance. To accomplish this goal, we studied 30 healthy individuals and 8 survivors of stroke between 60 and 85 years old, both before and after several weeks of sensory training. Motion capture data were acquired to assess participants’ body kinematics during walking: forward (easiest), forward-tandem, backward, and backward-tandem walking (most challenging). Deviations (via the observation of the absolute angle with deviations, or AADs) of the head, thorax, and lumbar areas relative to an earth vertical reference, as well as how one body segment stabilized in space or relative to the inferior body segment (via the observation of anchoring indices, or AIs), were explored. The results provide metrics (AADs and AIs) that can assess aging posture. Further, the results show an initial indication that, for aging individuals, training could lead to improved head and body stabilization in space. Full article
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9 pages, 1279 KiB  
Article
Influence of the Stick Grasping in Sprint and Change of Direction Performance in Elite Youth Rink Hockey Players
by Jordi Arboix-Alió, Guillem Trabal, Bernat Buscà, Dani Moreno-Galcerán, Bernat de Pablo, Hugo Sarmento and Vasco Vaz
Biomechanics 2024, 4(1), 144-152; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics4010009 - 1 Mar 2024
Viewed by 544
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the influence of stick grasping on the performance of elite youth rink hockey players in 10 m linear sprints and 180° change of direction (COD) tasks. Forty-nine rink hockey players (age = 18.40 ± 2.12 year; body mass [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the influence of stick grasping on the performance of elite youth rink hockey players in 10 m linear sprints and 180° change of direction (COD) tasks. Forty-nine rink hockey players (age = 18.40 ± 2.12 year; body mass = 73.52 ± 6.02 kg; height = 1.82 ± 0.07 m; BMI = 23.61 ± 1.69; sports experience = 6.42 ± 1.41 years; 4.89 ± 0.68 years’ post-peak height velocity) participated in this cross-sectional study. Measurements included 10 m sprint time and COD 180° performance with and without stick grasping. Results revealed non-significant differences when carrying a stick in the 10 m linear sprint (1.90 s ± 0.08 with stick vs. 1.89 s ± 0.08 without stick; p = 0.71; d = 0.05), neither did COD 180° for the left limb (2.75s ± 0.11 with stick vs. 2.76 s ± 0.11 without stick; p = 0.91; d = 0.02). However, for the right limb, significantly better performance in COD 180° was found when players held the stick (2.72 s ± 0.11 with stick vs. 2.75 s ± 0.09 without stick; p = 0.03; d = 0.32). These findings imply that the distinctive biomechanics and requirements of rink hockey, especially the lateral movements inherent in skating, might alleviate the negative impacts associated with implement grasping observed in other sports. This study highlights that stick grasping did not hinder COD ability and may even have a facilitating effect on certain movements, emphasizing the importance of considering sport-specific biomechanics in rink hockey performance analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Locomotion Biomechanics and Motor Control)
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21 pages, 1420 KiB  
Review
Does Producing Scientific Articles Lead to Paralympic Podiums?
by Francine Pilon and François Prince
Biomechanics 2024, 4(1), 123-143; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics4010008 - 1 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1118
Abstract
The Olympic/Paralympic Games are world events that promote countries and their participants, and more particularly, those winning medals. The potential link between a country’s scientific productivity and its podium wins remains unknown for the Paralympic Games. This study aimed to (1) quantify the [...] Read more.
The Olympic/Paralympic Games are world events that promote countries and their participants, and more particularly, those winning medals. The potential link between a country’s scientific productivity and its podium wins remains unknown for the Paralympic Games. This study aimed to (1) quantify the link between the production of Paralympic scientific articles and the medals won by countries during Summer/Winter Paralympic Games between 2012 and 2022, and (2) select the five most important articles published for all Paralympic sports. A bibliographic search of the Web of Science, PubMed, and Google Scholar databases was conducted. From the 1351 articles identified, 525 fulfilled the inclusion/exclusion criteria. The results showed a greater (7x) production of scientific articles relating to the Summer Paralympics compared to those relating to the Winter Paralympics. For the Summer Paralympics, there was a strong correlation (r = 0.79) between the number of medals and the number of scientific articles produced by a given country, while a low correlation (r = 0.12) was observed for the Winter Paralympics. Biomechanics-related articles represent almost 50% of the overall Paralympic publications. In conclusion, there is a strong link between scientific productivity and the number of medals won for the 2012–2022 Paralympic Games. Parasport Federations are strongly encouraged to promote the publication of more Paralympic research articles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sports Biomechanics)
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14 pages, 2517 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Compression Garments on Biomechanical and Physiological Factors
by Andrew Craig-Jones, Daniel R. Greene, Jonathan J. Ruiz-Ramie, James W. Navalta and John A. Mercer
Biomechanics 2024, 4(1), 109-122; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics4010007 - 23 Feb 2024
Viewed by 884
Abstract
To the purpose of this study was to compare muscle oscillation, muscle activation time, and oxygen consumption while wearing compression pants vs. a control garment during running. Methods. Eleven injury-free and recreationally active participants (26.73 ± 12.74 years) were recruited for this study. [...] Read more.
To the purpose of this study was to compare muscle oscillation, muscle activation time, and oxygen consumption while wearing compression pants vs. a control garment during running. Methods. Eleven injury-free and recreationally active participants (26.73 ± 12.74 years) were recruited for this study. Participants ran in full-leg compression pants (COMP) and a loose-fitting control garment (CON). Participants ran for 6 min at three submaximal speeds: preferred speed (PS), preferred speed minus 10% (PS − 10%), and preferred speed plus 10% (PS + 10%). The muscle activity of the leg was measured through electromyography (EMG). Muscle oscillation (MO) was measured with accelerometers attached to the thigh and shank. The rate of oxygen consumption (V.O2) and heart rate (HR) were recorded during each condition. MO was assessed over the 0–60 Hz range by averaging power across 10 Hz bins per leg segment. EMG data was processed to identify the activation time. Following each condition, a belief score was recorded. Dependent variables were each compared between conditions using 2 (garment) × 3 (speed) repeated measure ANOVAs (α = 0.05). The relationship between the belief score and dependent variables (compression-control) was analyzed using Pearson’s product-moment correlation (α = 0.05). Results. MO was lower with the full-leg compression pants vs. the control garment (p < 0.05). The muscle activation time for each muscle was shorter while wearing the full-leg compression pants (p < 0.05). Neither the V.O2, RPE, SF, nor the HR were influenced by the garments (p > 0.05). There was no significant correlation between changes in the dependent variables and belief. Conclusion. Wearing compression pants resulted in reduced MO and activation time; however, these changes did not translate into a reduction in V.O2. Full article
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25 pages, 12181 KiB  
Article
Two Repetitions May Be Enough! Reliability of Movement Timing in Physical Fitness Exercises Performed by Young, Trained Adults Using Inertial Sensors
by Analina Emmanouil, Elissavet Rousanoglou and Konstantinos Boudolos
Biomechanics 2024, 4(1), 84-108; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics4010006 - 19 Feb 2024
Viewed by 592
Abstract
This study aimed to determine the minimum number of repetitions for a high reliability of movement timing in fundamental physical fitness exercises using inertial sensors. Fifteen young men and fifteen women performed eight exercises (two-leg hop, forward lunge, squat, sit-up, shoulder abduction, hip [...] Read more.
This study aimed to determine the minimum number of repetitions for a high reliability of movement timing in fundamental physical fitness exercises using inertial sensors. Fifteen young men and fifteen women performed eight exercises (two-leg hop, forward lunge, squat, sit-up, shoulder abduction, hip abduction, back extension, and push-up) (preferred tempo, 3 trials, 20 repetitions per trial). The movement timing (cycle of movement in seconds and its phases in seconds and %tcycle) was tested for intra- and inter-trial reliability (SPSS 28.0, p ≤ 0.05). Just two repetitions were adequate for excellent intra- and inter-trial relative reliability (ICCs ≥ 0.75, isolated exceptions only for durations expressed as %tcycle, in only three out of the eight exercises: hip abduction, back extension, and push-up), as well as for high absolute intra- and inter-trial reliability (average SEM% at 5.9%, respectively, and 6.8% and average MDC95% at 13.7% and 15.9%, respectively, which was consistently higher than the upper boundary limit of SEM%, and a rather low CV% ranging from 1.5% to 4.9% and averaging at 3.1%). A total of four repetitions, excluding the initial and the final one, appears adequate for high overall reliability of movement timing in the eight physical fitness exercises examined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Gait and Posture Biomechanics)
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21 pages, 3491 KiB  
Article
Inertial Sensing of the Abdominal Wall Kinematics during Diaphragmatic Breathing in Head Standing
by Elissavet Rousanoglou, Apostolina Foskolou, Analina Emmanouil and Konstantinos Boudolos
Biomechanics 2024, 4(1), 63-83; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics4010005 - 2 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 558
Abstract
Head standing (HS) in concurrence with diaphragmatic breathing is an atypical deviation from daily activity, yet commonly practiced. The study aimed at the inertially sensed effect of diaphragmatic versus normal breathing on the abdomen wall kinematics during HS. Twenty-eight men and women maintained [...] Read more.
Head standing (HS) in concurrence with diaphragmatic breathing is an atypical deviation from daily activity, yet commonly practiced. The study aimed at the inertially sensed effect of diaphragmatic versus normal breathing on the abdomen wall kinematics during HS. Twenty-eight men and women maintained HS and erect standing (ES) under normal and diaphragmatic breathing. An inertial sensor (LORD MicroStrain®, 3DM-GX3®-45, 2 cm above the umbilicus, 100 Hz, MicroStrain, Williston, VT, USA) recorded the 3D abdomen wall angular displacement (AD) (bandpass filter (0.1–0.5 Hz)). ANOVAs (p ≤ 0.05, SPSS 28.0) were applied to the extracted variables (AD path: magnitude, individual variability-%CVind, and diaphragmatic to normal ratio). Reliability measures (ICC and %SEM) and the minimal detectable change (%MDC90) were estimated. Diaphragmatic breathing increased the AD path (p ≤ 0.05) with the diaphragmatic to normal ratio being lower in HS (p ≤ 0.05). The similar AD time series (cross-correlations at p ≤ 0.05) and the ICCs (>0.80) indicated excellent reliability with the similar across conditions %CVind (p ≤ 0.05), further enhancing reliability. The %MDC90 was consistently higher than the %SEM upper boundary, indicating the differences as “real” ones. The results contribute to the limited data concerning a widely practiced atypical deviation from daily activity, as HS in concurrence with diaphragmatic breathing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inertial Sensor Assessment of Human Movement)
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13 pages, 593 KiB  
Article
Lower Limb Cross-Over Effects on Postural Control: Impact of Proximal and Distal Muscle Fatigue
by Morteza Farivar, Sara Harris, Anton Agana and Adam C. King
Biomechanics 2024, 4(1), 50-62; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics4010004 - 2 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 687
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the cross-over influence of lower limb fatigue on postural control. Using two experiments, cross-over fatigue was investigated using a proximal (Experiment 1—single-leg squat) and distal (Experiment 2—calf raise) muscle group. In Experiment 1, 15 healthy [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to examine the cross-over influence of lower limb fatigue on postural control. Using two experiments, cross-over fatigue was investigated using a proximal (Experiment 1—single-leg squat) and distal (Experiment 2—calf raise) muscle group. In Experiment 1, 15 healthy young participants underwent a single-leg standing task on both the right and left leg, with variations of having eyes open or closed and on stable or unstable surfaces, performing each task for 30 s. For Experiment 2, 20 individuals performed single-leg balance testing for the right and left leg and stable and unstable surfaces. Center-of-pressure data were collected during the balance tasks and were analyzed with linear (standard deviation) and nonlinear (detrended fluctuation analysis) metrics. The results lacked significant differences (p > 0.05) for cross-over fatigue effects on the non-exercised limb, which exhibited similar levels of postural sway between the pre- and post-fatigue balance tests. These tasks may have lacked an appropriate level of duration or intensity to cause a significant effect of central fatigue on the nervous system. The findings underscore the need to better understand how a specific fatiguing task during unilateral rehabilitation may alter postural control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Gait and Posture Biomechanics)
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16 pages, 649 KiB  
Systematic Review
Outcomes and Safety with Utilization of Metallic Midfoot Wedges in Foot and Ankle Orthopedic Surgery: A Systematic Review of the Literature
by Grayson M. Talaski, Anthony Baumann, Bshara Sleem, Kempland C. Walley, Albert T. Anastasio, Ken Gall and Samuel B. Adams
Biomechanics 2024, 4(1), 34-49; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics4010003 - 17 Jan 2024
Viewed by 956
Abstract
The use of midfoot wedges for the correction of flatfeet disorders, such as progressive collapsing foot disorder, has increased greatly in recent years. However, the wedge material/composition has yet to be standardized. Metallic wedges offer advantages such as comparable elasticity to bone, reduced [...] Read more.
The use of midfoot wedges for the correction of flatfeet disorders, such as progressive collapsing foot disorder, has increased greatly in recent years. However, the wedge material/composition has yet to be standardized. Metallic wedges offer advantages such as comparable elasticity to bone, reduced infection risk, and minimized osseous resorption, but a comprehensive review is lacking in the literature. Therefore, the objective of this systematic review was to organize all studies pertaining to the use of metallic wedges for flatfoot correction to better understand their efficacy and safety. This systematic review adhered to PRISMA guidelines, and articles were searched in multiple databases (PubMED, SPORTDiscus, CINAHL, MEDLINE, and Web of Science) until August 2023 using a defined algorithm. Inclusion criteria encompassed midfoot surgeries using metallic wedges, observational studies, and English-language full-text articles. Data extraction, article quality assessment, and statistical analyses were performed. Among 11 included articles, a total of 444 patients were assessed. The average follow-up duration was 18 months. Radiographic outcomes demonstrated that patients who received metallic wedges experienced improvements in lateral calcaneal pitch angle and Meary’s angle, with an enhancement of up to 15.9 degrees reported in the latter. Success rates indicated superior outcomes for metallic wedges (99.3%) compared to bone allograft wedges (89.9%), while complications were generally minor, including hardware pain and misplacement. Notably, there were no infection complications due to the inert nature of the metallic elements. This review summarizes the effectiveness, success rates, and safety of metallic wedges for flatfoot correction. Radiographic improvements and high success rates highlight their efficacy. Minor complications, including pain and mispositioning, were reported, but the infection risk remained low. Our results demonstrate that metallic midfoot wedges may be a viable option over allograft wedges with proper planning. Future research should prioritize long-term studies and standardized measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Gait and Posture Biomechanics)
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20 pages, 4660 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Different Self-Selected Walking Speeds on Muscle Synergies in Transfemoral Amputees during Transient-State Gait
by Pouyan Mehryar, Mohammad Shourijeh, Tahmineh Rezaeian, Aminreza Khandan, Neil Messenger, Rory O’Connor, Farzam Farahmand and Abbas Dehghani-Sanij
Biomechanics 2024, 4(1), 14-33; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics4010002 - 11 Jan 2024
Viewed by 772
Abstract
Facing above-knee amputation poses a significant hurdle due to its profound impact on walking ability. To overcome this challenge, a complex adaptation strategy is necessary at the neuromuscular level to facilitate safe movement with a prosthesis. Prior research conducted on lower-limb amputees has [...] Read more.
Facing above-knee amputation poses a significant hurdle due to its profound impact on walking ability. To overcome this challenge, a complex adaptation strategy is necessary at the neuromuscular level to facilitate safe movement with a prosthesis. Prior research conducted on lower-limb amputees has shown a comparable amount of intricacy exhibited by the neurological system, regardless of the level of amputation and state of walking. This research investigated the differences in muscle synergies among individuals with unilateral transfemoral amputations during walking at three different speeds of transient-state gait. Surface electromyography was recorded from eleven male transfemoral amputees’ intact limbs (TFA), and the concatenated non-negative matrix factorization technique was used to identify muscle synergy components, synergy vectors (S), and activation coefficient profiles (C). Results showed varying levels of correlation across paired-speed comparisons in TFA, categorized as poor (S1), moderate (S3 and S4), and strong (S2). Statistically significant differences were observed in all activation coefficients except C3, particularly during the stance phase. This study can assist therapists in understanding muscle coordination in TFA during unsteady gait, contributing to rehabilitation programs for balance and mobility improvement, and designing myoelectric prosthetic systems to enhance their responsiveness to trips or falls. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Neuromuscular Deficit on Gait)
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13 pages, 721 KiB  
Article
Intra-Day and Inter-Day Reliability and Usefulness of Performance, Kinetic and Kinematic Variables during Drop Jumping in Hurling Players
by Luke Atkins, Colin Coyle, Jeremy Moody, Rodrigo Ramirez-Campillo and Paul J. Byrne
Biomechanics 2024, 4(1), 1-13; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics4010001 - 10 Jan 2024
Viewed by 844
Abstract
The aim of this study was to estimate the intra-day and inter-day reliability and usefulness of performance (Jump height (JH), ground contact time (GCT) and reactive strength index (RSI)), kinetic (force, power, eccentric rate of force development [E-RFD] and leg stiffness [LS]) and [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to estimate the intra-day and inter-day reliability and usefulness of performance (Jump height (JH), ground contact time (GCT) and reactive strength index (RSI)), kinetic (force, power, eccentric rate of force development [E-RFD] and leg stiffness [LS]) and kinematic (velocity) variables during drop jumping (DJ) in hurling players. Seventeen (n = 17; mean ± SD; age = 23.35 ± 5.78 years, height = 178.35 ± 6.30 cm, body mass = 78.62 ± 8.06 kg) male club-level hurling players completed two maximal DJs from 0.20, 0.30, 0.40, 0.50 and 0.60 m drop heights on three testing days separated by 5–9 days of rest. Reliability was assessed using the coefficient of variation percentage (CV% ≤ 15%) and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC > 0.70). For intra-day reliability, GCT (0.40 m, 0.50 m and 0.60 m), peak force (absolute and relative) (0.40 m and 0.50 m) and leg stiffness (0.40 m and 0.50 m) were found to be unreliable (ICC = 0.32–0.68 and CV% = 3.67–11.83%) from those specific drop heights. All other variables were found to be reliable (ICC = 0.72–0.98 and CV% = 1.07–14.02%) intra-day. All variables were found to be reliable (ICC = 0.72–0.96 and CV% = 2.57–14.68%) inter-day except for relative peak force and absolute and relative eccentric RFD (0.30 m and 0.40 m) (ICC = 0.68–0.90 and CV% = 7.76–16.47%). Practitioners have multiple reliable DJ performance, kinetic and kinematic variables for performance testing and training purposes. Full article
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