A. A. J. Rajaratne

Abstracts

2 Assessment of Hamstring, Lower Back and Upper Body Flexibility in War Disabled Individuals in Sri Lanka North and East Region

Authors: A. A. J. Rajaratne, Esther Liyanage, Indrajith Liyanage

Abstract:

During the 30 year civil war in Sri Lanka, a large number of individuals were injured and disabled. These disabilities have reduced their daily physical activities which may cause reduction in flexibility of upper limb, shoulder girdle, lower back and lower limb. Muscle flexibility is important for a healthy lifestyle. The main objective of the study was to assess the upper limb, shoulder girdle and lower back, hamstring flexibility of the intact lower limb in disabled individuals in the North and Eastern parts of Sri Lanka. Back saver sits and reach test and shoulder scratch test described in FITNESS GRAM was used in the study. A total of 125 disabled soldiers with lower limb disabilities were recruited for the study. Flexibility of the lower back and hamstring muscles of uninjured lower limb was measured using back saver sit and reach test described by Wells and Dillon (1952). Upper limb and shoulder girdle flexibility was assessed using shoulder stretch test. Score 0-3 was given according to the ability to reach Superior medial angle of the opposite scapula, top of the head or the mouth. The results indicate that 31 (24.8%) disabled soldiers have lower limb flexibility less than 8, 2 (1.6 % ) have flexibility of 8, 2 (1.6 %) have flexibility of 8.5, 11 ( 8.8% ) have flexibility of 9, 14 (11.2 %) have flexibility of 9.5, 23 (18.4 %) have flexibility of 10, 17 (13.6 %) have 10.5 flexibility, 13 (10.4%) have 11 flexibility, 2 (1.6%) have 11.5 flexibility, 10 (8 %) have flexibility of 12 and 3 (2.34 %) have flexibility of 12.5. Six disabled soldiers (4.8%) have upper limb flexibility of 2 and remaining 95.2% have normal upper limb flexibility (score 3). A reduction in the flexibility of muscles in lower body and lower limbs was seen in 25% disabled soldiers which could be due to reduction in their daily physical activities.

Keywords: Rehabilitation, Disability, Quality of Life, Flexibility

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1 Effectiveness of Impairment Specified Muscle Strengthening Programme in a Group of Disabled Athletes

Authors: A. L. I. Prasanna, E. Liyanage, S. A. Rajaratne, K. P. A. P. Kariyawasam, A. A. J. Rajaratne

Abstract:

Maintaining or improving the muscle strength of the injured body part is essential to optimize performance among disabled athletes. General conditioning and strengthening exercises might be ineffective if not sufficiently intense enough or targeted for each participant’s specific impairment. Specific strengthening programme, targeted to the affected body part, are essential to improve the strength of impaired muscles and increase in strength will help reducing the impact of disability. Methods: The muscle strength of hip, knee and ankle joints was assessed in a group of randomly selected disabled athletes, using the Medical Research Council (MRC) grading. Those having muscle strength of grade 4 or less were selected for this study (24 in number) and were given and a custom made exercise program designed to strengthen their hip, knee or ankle joint musculature, according to the muscle or group of muscles affected. Effectiveness of the strengthening program was assessed after a period of 3 months. Results: Statistical analysis was done using the Minitab 16 statistical software. A Mann-Whitney U test was used to compare the strength of muscle group before and after exercise programme. A significant difference was observed after the three month strengthening program for knee flexors (Left and Right) (P =0.0889, 0.0312) hip flexors (left and right) (P=0.0312, 0.0466), hip extensors (Left and Right) (P=0.0478, 0.0513), ankle plantar flexors (Left and Right) (P=0.0466, 0.0423) and right ankle dorsiflexors (P= 0.0337). No significant difference of strength was observed after the strengthening program in the knee extensors (left and right), hip abductors (left and right) and left ankle dorsiflexors. Conclusion: Impairment specific exercise programme appear to be beneficial for disabled athletes to significantly improve the muscle strength of the affected joints.

Keywords: Physiotherapy, Rehabilitation Sciences, muscle strengthening programme, disabled athletes

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