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Query: "author" (Armin Paravlić) .

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Motor imagery and action observation as appropriate strategies for home-based rehabilitation : ǂa ǂmini-review focusing on improving physical function in orthopedic patients
Armin Paravlić, 2022

Abstract: Dynamic stability of the knee and weakness of the extensor muscles are considered to be the most important functional limitations after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, probably due to changes at the central (cortical and corticospinal) level of motor control rather than at the peripheral level. Despite general technological advances, fewer contraindicative surgical procedures, and extensive postoperative rehabilitation, up to 65% of patients fail to return to their preinjury level of sports, and only half were able to return to competitive sport. Later, it becomes clear that current rehabilitation after knee surgery is not sufficient to address the functional limitations after ACL reconstruction even years after surgery. Therefore, new therapeutic tools targeting the central neural system, i.e., the higher centers of motor control, should be investigated and integrated into current rehabilitation practice. To improve motor performance when overt movement cannot be fully performed (e.g., due to pain, impaired motor control, and/or joint immobilization), several techniques have been developed to increase physical and mental activation without the need to perform overt movements. Among the most popular cognitive techniques used to increase physical performance are motor imagery and action observation practices. This review, which examines the available evidence, presents the underlying mechanisms of the efficacy of cognitive interventions and provides guidelines for their use at home.
Keywords: motor imagery, action observation, virtual reality, rehabilitation, physical functions, mental simulation
DiRROS - Published: 03.03.2022; Views: 127; Downloads: 89
.pdf Fulltext (480,89 KB)

Effect of a warm-up protocol with and without facemask-use against COVID-19 on cognitive function : ǂa ǂpilot, randomized counterbalanced, cross-sectional study
Maamer Slimani, Bianca Miarka, Hela Znazen, Wassim Moalla, Amri Hammami, Armin Paravlić, Nicola Luigi Bragazzi, 2021

Abstract: The present study aimed to verify the effect of a warm-up protocol with and without facemask-use on cognitive function. The sample was composed of 17 healthy, non-smoking physical education students (age = 17.6 years, height = 1.71 m, and body mass = 69.7 kg). They were randomized to perform 15 min of warm-up exercises, while wearing a cloth facemask (EXP) or no mask (CON) on two separate occasions, with at least 48-h separating conditions. Rate of perceived exertion (RPE) and d2 Attention assessment were used to verify cognitive function, using a repeated measures general linear model. The warm-up improved cognitive abilities and the results demonstrated significant differences between the EXP vs. CON groups in post-concentration performance (186.06 % 15.47 EXP-score vs. 178.12 % 13.66 CON-score), post the total number of errors (23.47 % 14.50 EXP-frequency < 29.06 % 13.74 CON-frequency), and in the post RPE (6.0 % 1.37 EXP-index > 4.7 % 0.85 CON-index). Wearing a cloth facemask caused positive effects on cognitive function. This data suggests that wearing a cloth facemask during warm-up may stimulate/improve the cognitive function.
Keywords: pandemic, coronavirus, COVID-19, physical activities, exercises, facemasks, warm-up protocol, cognitive functions, neuropsychological tests
DiRROS - Published: 11.06.2021; Views: 486; Downloads: 296
.pdf Fulltext (320,39 KB)

Lower-limb muscle contractile properties, explosive power and the subjective response of elite soccer players to the Covid-19 lockdown
Armin Paravlić, Boštjan Šimunič, Saša Pišot, Matej Kleva, Kaja Teraž, Matjaž Vogrin, Uroš Marušič, Rado Pišot, 2022

Abstract: The present study examined the effects of the lockdown period on basic anthropometric measures, countermovement jumping performance, skeletal muscle contractile properties derived from tensiomyography (TMG), injury incidence, and self-assessed general well-being in elite soccer players. A total of 266 players were assessed before (PRE) and 32 players were reassessed 11 days after (POST) the COVID-19 period. Significant changes in the TMG parameters were observed POST compared to PRE: contraction time (Tc) increased from 6% to 50% in vastus lateralis [VL] (p = 0.009) and biceps femoris [BF] (p < 0.001), respectively; whereas radial displacement (Dm) increased for 19% in BF (p = 0.036) and 17% in VL (p < 0.001), respectively. Jumping performance remained unchanged from PRE to POST In addition, athletes rated the lockdown period as a positive event and felt psychologically better during the lockdown, primarily because they spent more time with family members and friends. Although there were no differences in any of the variables describing lower limb muscle power following the two-month lockdown, the altered contractile properties of the assessed muscles suggest suboptimal conditioning of the football players.
Keywords: football, male football, power, explosive power, tensiomyography, coronavirus, covid-19, pandemics, lockdown
DiRROS - Published: 06.01.2022; Views: 241; Downloads: 189
.pdf Fulltext (672,26 KB)

Comparison of the field-based intermittent running fitness test 30-15 and the treadmill multistage incremental test for the assessment of cardiorespiratory fitness in elite handball players
Uroš Mohorič, Marko Šibila, Ensar Abazović, Saša Jovanović, Armin Paravlić, 2022

Abstract: The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the physiological parameters indicative of cardiorespiratory fitness obtained during the 30-15 intermittent fitness (30-15IFT) test and the multistage laboratory treadmill endurance (TR) test differ. Nineteen elite handball players were recruited for the current study and assigned in a cross-over manner to one of two tests to be performed 48 h apart at each visit to the testing facility. The results showed that VO2max (percentage difference [PC] = 6.1%; p = 0.004) and maximal running velocity (V) (PC = 19.4%; p < 0.001) were significantly higher for the 30-15IFT test than that obtained during the TR test. Furthermore, the onset of blood lactate accumulation was shown to be significantly higher for all measures considered to predict it during 30-15IFT compared to TR as follows: VO2max (PC = 12.6%; p = 0.001), running speed (PC = 33.9%; p < 0.001), and maximal heart rate (PC = 7.5%; p < 0.001). The current study highlights the importance of sport-specific testing, particularly for measuring individual cardiorespiratory fitness in elite handball players, as TR may underestimate crucial variables used for both diagnostics and training prescription.
Keywords: maximal running speed, aerobic endurance, aerobic incremental field test, laboratory treadmill test
DiRROS - Published: 17.03.2022; Views: 112; Downloads: 100
.pdf Fulltext (3,60 MB)

Tissue flossing around the thigh does not provide acute enhancement of neuromuscular function
Janez Vodičar, Maja Pajek, Vedran Hadžić, Kristina Drole, Jure Segula, Armin Paravlić, 2022

Abstract: Nowadays, various methods are used for acute performance enhancement. The most recent of these is tissue flossing, which is becoming increasingly popular for both performance enhancement and rehabilitation. However, the effects of flossing on athletic performance have not been clearly demonstrated, which could be due to differences in the methodology used. In particular, the rest periods between the end of the preconditioning activity and the performance of the criterion task or assessment tools varied considerably in the published literature. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate the effects of applying tissue flossing to the thigh on bilateral countermovement jump performance and contractile properties of vastus lateralis (VL) muscle. Nineteen recreational athletes (11 males; aged 23.1 ± 2.7 years) were randomly assigned to days of flossing application (3 sets for 2 min of flossing with 2 min rest between sets) with preset experimental pressure (EXP = 95 ± 17.4 mmHg) or control condition (CON = 18.9 ± 3.5 mmHg). The first part of the measurements was performed before and after warm-up consisting of 5 min of cycling followed by dynamic stretching and specific jumping exercises, while the second part consisted of six measurement points after flossing application (0.5, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15 min). The warm-up improved muscle response time (VL = -5%), contraction time (VL = -3.6%) muscle stiffness (VL = 17.5%), contraction velocity (VL = 23.5%), jump height (13.9%) and average power (10.5%). On the contrary, sustain time, half-relaxation time and take-off velocity stayed unaltered. Flossing, however, showed negative effects for muscle response time (F = 18.547, p < 0.001), contraction time (F = 14.899, p < 0.001), muscle stiffness (F = 8.365, p < 0.001), contraction velocity (F = 11.180, p < 0.001), jump height (F = 14.888, p < 0.001) and average power (F = 13.488, p < 0.001), whereas sustain time, half-relaxation time and take-off velocity were unaffected until the end of the study protocol regardless of condition assigned and/or time points of the assessment. It was found that the warm-up routine potentiated neuromuscular function, whereas the flossing protocol used in the current study resulted in fatigue rather than potentiation. Therefore, future studies aimed to investigate the doseresponse relationship of different configurations of preconditioning activities on neuromuscular function are warranted.
Keywords: tensiomyography, countermovement jump, potentation, athletic performance, ischemic precoditioning, functional performance
DiRROS - Published: 03.05.2022; Views: 103; Downloads: 68
.pdf Fulltext (1,02 MB)

The time course of quadriceps strength recovery after total knee arthroplasty is influenced by body mass index, sex, and age of patients
Armin Paravlić, Cécil J. W. Meulenberg, Kristina Drole, 2022

Abstract: Introduction: For patients with osteoarthritis who have undergone total knee arthroplasty (TKA), quadriceps strength is a major determinant of general physical function regardless of the parameters adopted for functional assessment. Understanding the time course of quadriceps strength recovery and effectiveness of different rehabilitation protocols is a must. Therefore, the aim of this study was to: (i) determine the magnitude of maximal voluntary strength (MVS) loss and the time course of recovery of the quadriceps muscle following TKA, (ii) identify potential moderators of strength outcomes, and (iii) investigate whether different rehabilitation practices can moderate the strength outcomes following TKA, respectively. Design: General scientific databases and relevant journals in the field of orthopedics were searched, identifying prospective studies that investigated quadriceps’ MVS pre-to post-surgery. Results: Seventeen studies with a total of 832 patients (39% males) were included. Results showed that in the early post-operative days, the involved quadriceps’ MVS markedly declined, after which it slowly recovered over time in a linear fashion. Thus, the greatest decline of the MVS was observed 3 days after TKA. When compared to pre-operative values, the MVS was still significantly lower 3 months after TKA and did not fully recover up to 6 months following TKA. Furthermore, a meta-regression analysis identified that the variables, time point of evaluation, patient age, sex, and BMI, significantly moderate the MVS of the quadriceps muscle. Conclusion: The analyzed literature data showed that the decrease in strength of the involved quadriceps muscles following TKA is considerable and lasts for several months post-surgery. Therefore, we recommend to specifically target the strengthening of knee extensor muscles, preserve motor control, and apply appropriate nutrition to ensure a holistic quadriceps muscle recovery. Since age, sex, and BMI were found to be moderating factors in patients’ recovery, further research should include specific analyses considering these moderators.
Keywords: knee osteoarthritis, total knee arthroplasty, rehabilitation, functional performance, voluntary activation, obesity, body mass index
DiRROS - Published: 26.05.2022; Views: 97; Downloads: 47
.pdf Fulltext (2,00 MB)

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