The latest medical research on Rehabilitation Medicine

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about rehabilitation medicine gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Effectiveness of custom-made foot orthoses in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a randomized controlled trial.

Clinical Rehabilitation

To determine the effect of custom-made foot orthoses versus placebo insoles on pain, disability, foot functionality, and quality of life.

Double-blinded randomized controlled trial.

University Podiatric Clinical Area.

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Patients were randomly assigned to either group A, which received custom-made foot orthoses, or group B, which received placebo, flat cushioning insoles, for three months.

The primary outcome was foot pain, measured by visual analog scale. Foot functionality, foot-related disability, and quality of life were measured using the Foot Function Index, the Manchester Foot Pain and Disability Index, and 12-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12) questionnaires, respectively, at the beginning and at days 30, 60, and 90.

A total of 53 patients, aged 59.21 ± 11.38 years, received either the custom-made foot orthoses ( N = 28) or the placebo ( N = 25). For the analysis of the data, only participants who had been measured at the four time points (0, 30, 60, and 90 days) were included. In group A, all variables showed statistically significant differences when comparing the initial and final measurements. Pain showed 6.61 ± 2.33 and 4.11 ± 2.66 in group A, at baseline and at 90 days, respectively, and Group B showed 6.16 ± 1.77 and 5.60 ± 2.71 at baseline and at 90 days, respectively. This was the only variable that showed statistically significant difference between groups ( P = 0.048).

The custom-made foot orthoses significantly reduced the participants' foot pain, although they did not have positive effects on disability, foot functionality, and quality of life compared with only cushioning.

Characterizing Spontaneous Motor Recovery Following Cortical and Subcortical Stroke in the Rat.

Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair

Stroke is a leading cause of neurological disability, often resulting in long-term motor impairments due to damage to cortical or subcortical motor areas. Despite the high prevalence of subcortical strokes in the clinical population, preclinical research has primarily focused on investigating and treating cortical strokes. Moreover, while both humans and animals show spontaneous recovery following stroke, little is known about how injury location affects this process.

To capture the heterogeneity of human stroke and examine how stroke location affects spontaneous motor recovery following damage to cortical, subcortical, or a combination of both areas.

Endothelin-1 (ET-1), a potent vasoconstrictor, was used to produce focal infarcts in the forelimb motor cortex (FMC), the dorsolateral striatum (DLS) or both the FMC and DLS in male Sprague-Dawley rats. The spontaneous recovery profile of animals was followed over an 8-week period using a battery of behavioral tasks assessing motor function and limb preference.

All 3 groups showed significant impairments on the Montoya staircase, beam, and cylinder tests following stroke, with the combined group (FMC + DLS) having the largest and most persistent impairments. Importantly, spontaneous recovery was not simply dependent on lesion volume, but on location, and the behavioral test employed.

Stroke location markedly and differentially influences the level of spontaneous functional recovery, which is only captured by using multiple outcome measures. These results illustrate the need for preclinical stroke models to align with the heterogeneity of human stroke, especially with respect to lesion location, size, and outcome measures.

Determinants of Dual-Task Training Effect Size in Parkinson Disease: Who Will Benefit Most?

Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy

Dual-task interventions show positive effects in people with Parkinson disease (PD), but it remains unclear which factors determine the size of these benefits. As a secondary analysis of the DUALITY trial, the aim of this study was to assess the determinants of the effect size after 2 types of dual-task practice.

We randomly allocated 121 participants with PD to receive either integrated or consecutive dual-task training. Dual-task walking performance was assessed during (i) a backward digit span task (digit), (ii) an auditory Stroop task (Stroop), and (iii) a functional mobile phone task. Baseline descriptive, motor, and cognitive variables were correlated with the change in dual-task gait velocity after the intervention. Factors correlated with the change in dual-task gait velocity postintervention (P < 0.20) were entered into a stepwise forward multiple linear regression model.

Lower dual-task gait velocity and higher cognitive capacity (Scales for Outcomes in Parkinson's Disease-Cognition [ScopaCog]) at baseline were related to larger improvements in dual-task gait velocity after both integrated and consecutive dual-task training for all 3 tasks (β[gait] = -0.45, β[ScopaCog] = 0.34, R = 0.23, P < 0.001, for digit; β[gait] = -0.52, β[ScopaCog] = 0.29, R = 0.26, P < 0.001, for Stroop; and β[gait] = -0.40, β[ScopaCog] = 0.30, R = 0.18, P < 0.001, for mobile phone task).

Participants with PD who showed a slow dual-task gait velocity and good cognitive functioning at baseline benefited most from the dual-task training, irrespective of the type of training and type of dual-task outcome.Video Abstract available for more insights from the authors (see Video, Supplemental Digital Content 1, available at:

A High-Intensity Exercise Boot Camp for Persons With Parkinson Disease: A Phase II, Pragmatic, Randomized Clinical Trial of Feasibility, Safety, Signal of Efficacy, and Disease Mechanisms.

Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy

The feasibility, safety, and efficacy of a high-intensity multimodal exercise program (aerobic, strengthening, and balance training) have not been well vetted in persons with Parkinson disease (PD). Thus, the primary aim was to determine whether a high-intensity multimodal exercise boot camp (HIBC) was both feasible and safe in persons with PD. The secondary aim was to determine whether the program would produce greater benefit than a usual care, low-intensity exercise program (UC). An exploratory aim was to determine whether these programs affected putative disease-modifying mechanisms.

Twenty-seven participants (19 men and 8 women) were randomized into 8 weeks of either the HIBC or UC supervised by physical therapists. For feasibility, participation, and meeting, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) exercise guidelines were assessed. For safety, adverse events were monitored. For efficacy, the following outcome domains were assessed before and after participation: balance, motor activity, endurance and fatigue, strength, mental health, and quality of life. For disease-modifying mechanisms, circulating brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its genotype, superoxide dismutase, and cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-6, and interleukin-10) were monitored.

The HIBC was better at attaining CDC guidelines (P = 0.013) and spent more minutes in higher-intensity exercise per week (P < 0.001). There were no differences in adverse events (P = 0.419). The HIBC experienced significant improvements in 7/31 outcomes versus 3/31 in the UC arm. BDNF improved significantly for both groups from pre- to posttests (Ps ≤ 0.041) and an improved anti-inflammatory was observed for both groups.

A high-intensity multimodal exercise boot camp was feasible and safe in persons with PD. Compared with usual care, there were no differences in adverse events. Moreover, the high-intensity multimodal exercise program produced more improvement across more domains than usual care. Our results also suggest a possible link between improvement in outcomes and an improved anti-inflammatory milieu.Video Abstract available for more insights from the authors (see Video, Supplemental Digital Content 1, available at:

Exercise and Parkinson Disease: Comparing Tango, Treadmill, and Stretching.

Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy

Impaired gait, balance, and motor function are common in Parkinson disease (PD) and may lead to falls and injuries. Different forms of exercise improve motor function in persons with PD, but determining which form of exercise is most effective requires a direct comparison of various approaches. In this prospective, controlled trial, we evaluated the impact of tango, treadmill walking, and stretching on gait, balance, motor function, and quality of life. We hypothesized tango and treadmill would improve forward walking and motor symptom severity, and tango would also improve backward walking, balance, and quality of life.

Ninety-six participants (age: 67.2 ± 8.9 years, 42% female) with mild to moderate idiopathic PD were serially assigned to tango, treadmill walking, or stretching (active control group) and attended 1-hour classes twice weekly for 12 weeks. Assessments occurred OFF anti-PD medication before and after the intervention and at follow-up 12 weeks after the intervention.

Forward velocity and backward velocity improved for the treadmill group from baseline to posttest and improvements persisted at follow-up. Backward velocity and motor functioning improved for the stretching group from baseline to posttest, but results did not persist at follow-up. There were no significant changes in the tango group across time points.

Contrary to our hypotheses, only treadmill improved forward walking, while backward walking improved with treadmill and stretching. Future research should examine combinations of exercises with a focus on optimizing dosing and examining whether specific characteristics of people with PD correlate with different types of exercise.Video Abstract available for more insights from the authors (see Video, Supplemental Digital Content 1, available at:

Predicting Motor Sequence Learning in People With Parkinson Disease.

Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy

Skill acquisition (ie, performance changes during practice) occurs in a nonlinear fashion. Despite this, motor learning is typically measured by comparing discrete timepoints. Thus, typical measures of motor learning do not detect skill acquisition characteristics that may be clinically meaningful. Reliable prediction of motor skill learning in people with Parkinson disease (PD) would allow therapists to more effectively individualize practice doses to fit specific patients' needs. The purposes of this study were to (a) characterize postural skill acquisition in people with PD, and identify factors (such as acquisition rate and practice dose to plateau) that predict learning, and (b) investigate whether levodopa medication (L-dopa) status during practice impacted learning.

Twenty-seven adults with PD practiced a postural motor task over 3 days, followed by 2 retention tests. Participants were randomized to practice either ON or OFF L-dopa. Data for repeating and random sequences were each analyzed using nonlinear curve-fitting and mixed-effects regressions. Learning was defined as pretest minus retention test performance.

Participants with less physical impairment demonstrated less learning on the repeating and random sequence tasks compared with participants with more impairment. Participants who improved faster during practice demonstrated less learning on the repeating sequence task compared with participants who improved more slowly. Reaching plateau during practice was not related to learning. L-dopa did not impair learning.

Participants' skill acquisition characteristics were related to learning a postural motor task. Patient-specific factors, such as the rate of skill acquisition, level of physical function, and medication status, may influence how postural motor practice is delivered during balance rehabilitation.Video Abstract available for more insights from the authors (see the Video, Supplemental Digital Content 1, available at:

Factors Associated With Responsiveness to Gait and Balance Training in People With Parkinson Disease.

Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy

Although increasing evidence supports the benefit- of exercise among people with Parkinson disease (PwPD), it is unclear whether a given exercise modality suits all PwPD, given the heterogeneity of the disease. The purpose of this study was to explore factors associated with responsiveness to a highly challenging training intervention that incorporated dual-task exercises.

Forty-seven PwPD (mean age: 73 years; 19 females, Hoehn and Yahr stages 2-3) who had participated in 10 weeks of highly challenging gait and balance training were included. Baseline demographics, disease-related factors, physical and cognitive ability, and perceived health were used for the prediction of percent change in balance performance (the Mini-BESTest) and comfortable gait speed between the pre- and postassessments, using multiple linear regression analyses.

Thirty-five percent of the variance of change in balance performance was explained by General Health Perceptions (β = -0.36), the Timed Up and Go test (β = -0.33), and the single-task performance of a cognitive task (β = -0.24). Forty-nine percent of change in gait speed was explained by gait speed while performing a dual task (β = -0.46), dual-task interference while walking (β = 0.43), time to complete the Timed Up and Go test (β = -0.29), and percent error on a cognitive task (β = -0.25).

The results may suggest that the PwPD with overall lower perceived health, functional mobility, and cognitive functions are the ones most likely to benefit from highly challenging and attention-demanding gait and balance training.Video Abstract available for more insights from the authors (see Video, Supplemental Digital Content 1, available at:

Auditory Cueing for Gait Impairment in Persons With Parkinson Disease: A Pilot Study of Changes in Response With Disease Progression.

Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy

Gait impairments in persons with Parkinson disease (PD) are difficult to manage. Auditory cueing has been shown to be an effective therapy. However, the optimal time to introduce cues with respect to disease stage has not yet been established. This longitudinal study examines the effect of auditory cues on gait characteristics in people with early PD at 2 time points, 3 years apart.

We assessed 25 people with PD from the Incidence of Cognitive Impairment in Cohorts with Longitudinal Evaluation-Parkinson's disease (ICICLE-PD) study. Participants walked with and without an auditory cue set at individual cadence. Characteristics of step velocity, step length, step time, step length variability, and step time variability were collected using an instrumented walkway. In a subset of 9 participants with PD, all assessments were repeated 3 years later. Twenty-nine healthy older adults were assessed at 1 time point to provide comparison data.

At baseline, independent of group, step velocity, step length, and step time improved with auditory cue; however, there was an increase in step time variability, indicating a worsening of gait with the cue. Three years later, in the smaller subset the response to cue was improved, demonstrated by increased step velocity and length but step time variability was no longer increased.

This pilot study indicates that people with early PD have small benefits from auditory cues and the benefit increases as disease progresses. Early in disease the benefit of cue may come at the cost of increased variability. Therefore, the time to introduce an auditory cue in PD rehabilitation may be important to optimize therapeutic effect.Video Abstract available for more insights from the authors (see Video, Supplemental Digital Content 1, available at:

Lower Extremity Muscle Strength and Force Variability in Persons With Parkinson Disease.

Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy

Adequate lower limb strength and motor control are essential for mobility and quality of life. People with Parkinson disease (PD) experience a significant and progressive decline in motor capabilities as part of this neurodegenerative disease. The primary objective of this study was to examine the effect of PD on (1) muscular strength and (2) force steadiness in muscles that are primarily responsible for locomotion and stability.

Thirteen persons with PD and 13 healthy age-matched controls participated. Participants performed maximal and submaximal (5%, 10%, and 20% maximum voluntary contractions) isometric force tasks with the limb stabilized in a customized device. Strength of the hip extensors and flexors, hip abductors and adductors, and ankle plantar flexors and dorsiflexors was quantified based on data obtained from force transducers, with the relevant joint stabilized in standardized positions.

Individuals with PD were weaker and exhibited higher amounts of force variability than controls across the lower extremity. Reduced strength was greatest in the hip flexors (2.0 N/kg vs 2.6 N/kg) and ankle plantar flexors (1.74 N/kg vs 2.64 N/kg) and dorsiflexors (1.9 N/kg vs 2.3 N/kg). Force steadiness was impaired in the hip flexors, ankle plantar flexors, and dorsiflexors.

Reduced maximal force production was concomitant with impaired force control within the muscles that are critical for effective ambulation (hip flexion, ankle dorsiflexion, and ankle plantar flexion). These features should be evaluated when considering contributors to reduced mobility and quality of life.Video Abstract available for more insights from the authors (see Video, Supplemental Digital Content 1, available at:

Effects of kinesiotape on pain and disability in individuals with chronic low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

Clinical Rehabilitation

To explore the effects of kinesiotape on pain and disability in individuals with chronic low back pain.

PubMed, Embase and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched for English language publications from inception to 13 February 2018.

This study was registered in PROSPERO (CRD42018089831). Our key search terms were ((kinesio taping) OR (kinesiotaping) OR (kinesiotape)) AND (low back pain). Randomized controlled trials evaluating the effects of kinesiotape published in English language were included in this review. The reference lists of retrieved studies and relevant reviews were also searched. Quality of the included trials was assessed according to 2015 updated Cochrane Back and Neck Review Group 13-Item criteria.

A total of 10 articles were included in this meta-analysis. A total of 627 participants were involved, with 317 in the kinesiotape group and 310 in the control group. The effects of kinesiotape on pain and disability were explored. While kinesiotape was not superior to placebo taping in pain reduction, either alone ( P = 0.07) or in conjunction with physical therapy ( P = 0.08), it could significantly improve disability when compared to the placebo taping ( P < 0.05).

Since kinesiotape is convenient for application, it could be used for individuals with chronic low back pain in some cases, especially when the patients could not get other physical therapy.

Effect of smartphone application-supported self-rehabilitation for frozen shoulder: a prospective randomized control study.

Clinical Rehabilitation

To evaluate the clinical efficacy of smartphone-assisted self-rehabilitation in patients with frozen shoulder.

A single-center, randomized controlled trial.

Orthopedic department of a university hospital.

A total of 84 patients with frozen shoulder were recruited.

Patients were randomly divided into two groups: a smartphone-assisted exercise group ( n = 42) and a conventional self-exercise group ( n = 42). The study was performed over three months, during which each group performed home-based rehabilitation.

Visual analogue scale for pain and passive shoulder range of motion were assessed at baseline and after 4, 8, and 12 weeks of treatment. Technology Acceptance Model-2 and Usefulness, Satisfaction, and Ease of Use scores were evaluated in the smartphone group.

Initial visual analogue scale for pain of the smartphone group was 6.0 ± 2.2 and ended up with 1.8 ± 2.5 after 12 weeks, whereas the self-exercise group showed 5.8 ± 2.3 for the baseline visual analogue scale for pain and 2.2 ± 1.7 at the end. Significant time-dependent improvements in all measured values were observed in both groups (all Ps < 0.001), but no significant intergroup difference was observed after 4, 8, or 12 weeks of treatment. In the smartphone group, Technology Acceptance Model-2 and Usefulness, Satisfaction, and Ease of Use scores showed high patient satisfaction with smartphone-assisted exercise.

There was no difference between home-based exercise using a smartphone application and a conventional self-exercise program for the treatment of frozen shoulder in terms of visual analogue scale for pain and range of motions.