Kinematic Analyses of the Thumb during Simulated Posteroanterior Glide Mobilization.

Kinematic Analyses of the Thumb during Simulated Posteroanterior Glide Mobilization.

Thumb problems are common in some health professionals such as physical therapists. The purpose of this case-control study is to investigate the influence of clinical experience and different mobilization techniques on the kinematics of the thumb. Twenty-three participants without exposure to manual techniques (the Novice Group) and fifteen physical therapists with at least 3 years of orthopedic experience (the Experienced Group) participated. The kinematics of the thumb while performing 3 different simulated posteroanterior (PA) glide mobilization techniques on a load cell was monitored. These 3 techniques were: 1) unsupported, 2) with digital support and 3) with thumb interphalangeal joint supported by the index finger. The amount of forces exerted were 25% to 100% of maximum effort at 25% increments. The main effects of experience and technique on thumb kinematics were assessed. Both experience and technique had main effects on the flexion/extension angles of the thumb joints. Experienced participants assumed a more flexed position at the carpometacarpal (CMC) joint, and the novice participants performed with angles closer to the neutral position (F = 7.593, p = 0.010). Participants’ metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joints were in a more flexed position while performing PA glide with thumb interphalangeal (IP) joint supported by the index as compared to the other two techniques (p < .001).

Negative correlations were generally obtained between the sagittal plane angles of adjacent thumb joints during mobilization/manipulation. Therapists are recommended to treat patient with more stable PA glide mobilization techniques, such as PA glide with thumb interphalangeal joint supported by the index finger, to prevent potential mobilization-related thumb disorders.

Scott BuxtonResearch article posted by: Scott Buxton

My name is Scott and I am currently the editor of physiospot.

Away from the keyboard I am extended scope physiotherapist working in ED and an acute frailty unit specialising in rapid assessment and discharge of acutely unwell frail older people.

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