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Description

Subtle, often subclinical, declines in optimal sensory, motor, and cognitive functions predispose the older person to fall, the athlete to injury, and the worker to back pain. In addition to impact on mobility and function, subclinical decrements in these critical neuromuscular and neurocognitive functions can be markers of early disease. Yet, they can be difficult to detect. Therefore, identifying such subtle impairments is an important clinical challenge that, if met, will allow specific targeting of strategies for prevention or treatment. To address this unmet need, we will teach simple clinical (bedside) techniques that allow more precise assessment of neuromuscular and cognitive elements which influence fall risk, sport-related injury and concussion, and back pain. Following a background lecture, participants will rotate through four small group stations which will feature: 1) assessment of distal sensory function and its relationship to the gold standard of laboratory-based foot/ankle proprioceptive thresholds; 2) reaction time (simple and complex components) and its relationship to concussion and fall risk; 3) subclinical core and hip strength deficits and their relationship to laboratory-based hip strength, back pain and sport injury; 4) electrodiagnostic measures of distal neuromuscular function and their relationship to postural stability and early diagnosis of neuropathy.

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