Movement and muscle function in individuals with visual impairments
Ray, Christopher Travis
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The purpose of this investigation was to assess movement and muscle function in adults with visual impairments compared to an age and sex matched control group. Fifteen Individuals with visual impairment (38.07 ± 13.40) and fifteen matched individuals without visual impairment (38.13 ± 13.16) performed mobility measures consisting of a NeuroCom Sit-To-Stand, NeuroCom Walk Across, NeuroCom Forward Lunge, Thirty Second Sit-To-Stand, and a Timed Up and Go. In addition an Isokinetic assessment of muscular strength, power, and work were conducted, along with root mean squared electromyography (rmsEMG) was used as an indicator of motor unit recruitment. The measures were compared across groups and the relationship between components of muscle strength and movement function was studied. Five of the twelve movement measures resulted in significant differences (p < .05) for the visually impaired group. Significant differences (p < .05) were found on all measures of muscular function, motor unit recruitment yielded no significant group differences. A high correlation was found between muscular function and movement. Based on the data analyses, it was concluded that individuals with visual impairment make adaptations in mobility in order to maintain stability, as seen by the speed of movement and length of movement as it pertains to the individuals’ center of gravity. Strength, power, and total work are deficient when compared to sighted peers and are areas that are recommended for remediation.