Publications by authors named "Christian Bonello"

4 Publications

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Prevalence and pain distribution of anterior knee pain in college basketball players.

J Athl Train 2021 Jul 30. Epub 2021 Jul 30.

1La Trobe Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Centre; College of Science, Health and Engineering; La Trobe University; Australia.

Context: Causes of anterior knee pain (AKP) in jumping athletes include patellofemoral pain and patellar tendinopathy. Differential diagnosis of AKP is challenging, with variation in clinical presentations. No previous research has used pain location to describe AKP in basketball athletes.

Objectives: To describe the prevalence and pain distribution of AKP in college basketball. To report the prevalence of focal inferior pole pain using two outcome measures.

Design: Cross-sectional study Setting: University and college basketball facilities in Alberta, Canada.

Patients Or Other Participants: 242 collegiate basketball athletes Main Outcome Measure(s): The single leg decline squat test (SLDS) was used to capture pain location using pain mapping (dichotomised into focal/diffuse) and pain severity (numerical rating scale). The Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre Knee questionnaire (OSTRC-Knee) and adapted version for patellar tendinopathy (OSTRC-P) were used to report the prevalence of anterior knee pain (AKP) and patellar tendinopathy respectively. Focal inferior pole pain during the SLDS was used to classify patellar tendinopathy.

Results: Of the 242 players (138 women, 104 men), 146 (60%) reported pain with the SLDS [unilateral n=64, (26%); bilateral n=82 (34%)]. 101 (43%) reported knee pain using the OSTRC-Knee. Pain mapping captured variability in pain location. Diffuse pain was more prevalent [left 70%; right 72%] than focal pain [left 30%; right 28%]. There was low prevalence of patellar tendinopathy with either outcome measure; OSTRC-P [n=21, 8.7%] and inferior pole pain during the SLDS [n=25, 10.3%] Conclusions: Diffuse AKP was common in Canadian basketball players, however pain mapped to the inferior pole of the patella was not. Few players reported tendinopathy using the OSTRC-P, suggesting that patellar tendinopathy was not a primary knee pain presentation in this jumping cohort. Pain location rather than presence or severity of pain alone may better describe the clinical presentations of AKP in jumping athletes.
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July 2021

Nearly 40% of adolescent athletes report anterior knee pain regardless of maturation status, age, sex or sport played.

Phys Ther Sport 2021 Sep 27;51:29-35. Epub 2021 Jun 27.

La Trobe University Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Centre, La Trobe University, Bundoora, VIC, Australia; Monash Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Cabrini Institute, Monash University, Clayton, VIC, Australia; Cabrini Institute, Cabrini Health, Malvern, VIC, Australia.

Objective: To report point prevalence of anterior knee pain (AKP) in adolescent athletes by (1) maturation status, (2) chronological age, (3) sex, and (4) primary sport.

Design: Cross-sectional.

Methods: Male and female participants aged 11-15 years were recruited from specialised sports programs for basketball, volleyball, Australian Rules Football and tennis. Standing height, sitting height, and body mass were measured and used to calculate maturity status. Past injury history, self-reported physical activity, and Victorian Institute of Sport Assessment Questionnaire Patellar Tendon (VISA-P) questionnaires were completed. Anterior knee pain was defined as any pain experienced on the anterior surface of the knee and recorded using a visual analogue scale (VAS). A single leg decline squat (SLDS) was performed for provocation of AKP.

Results: Two hundred and seventeen male and female adolescent athletes participated in this study. Twenty participants were excluded from data analysis. Point prevalence of AKP was 39% (N = 76). Average self-reported physical activity/week was 7.9 ± 4.1 h of their specialised sport and 2.0 ± 2.0 h of other physical activity/week. Maturation status, chronological age, sex nor primary sporting program was statistically significant in explaining the presence or absence of AKP.

Conclusion: Due to the right-skewed maturation sample, the authors cannot state conclusively that maturation status was not associated with AKP. Nearly 40% of this cohort reported AKP during a pain provocation test. The presence of AKP was not explained by maturation status, age, sex or primary sport program. Given the chronic nature of AKP and future morbidity reported, this high prevalence provides rationale for intervention or prevention studies targeting younger athletes.
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September 2021

Does isometric exercise result in exercise induced hypoalgesia in people with local musculoskeletal pain? A systematic review.

Phys Ther Sport 2021 May 19;49:51-61. Epub 2020 Sep 19.

La Trobe Sports and Exercise Medicine Research Centre, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia. Electronic address:

Objective: The aim of this review was to investigate if exercise induced hypoalgesia (EIH) occurs following isometric muscle contraction in people with local musculoskeletal symptoms.

Design: Systematic review.

Data Sources: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL & SportDiscus electronic databases were searched (inception to April 2020).

Eligibility Criteria: Two authors independently evaluated eligibility. Randomised controlled and crossover (repeated measures) trials that measured the effects of isometric exercise in participants with localised musculoskeletal pain during, and up to 2 hours after isometric exercise were included. Other inclusion criteria included comparison to another intervention, or comparison to healthy controls. Primary outcomes were experimentally induced pain thresholds and secondary outcomes included measures of pain sensitivity from clinical testing.

Results: 13 studies with data from 346 participants were included for narrative synthesis. EIH was reported in some upper and lower limb studies but there were no consistent data to show isometric exercises were superior to comparison interventions.

Conclusion: There was no consistent evidence for EIH following isometric exercise in people with musculoskeletal pain. These findings are different to those reported in asymptomatic populations (where EIH is consistently demonstrated) as well as conditions associated with widespread symptoms such as fibromyalgia (where isometric exercise may induce hyperalgesia). Although well tolerated when prescribed, isometric exercise did not induce EIH consistently for people seeking care for local musculoskeletal symptoms. The variance in the dose, location of contraction and intensity of protocols included in this review may explain the inconsistent findings. Further work is required to better understand endogenous analgesia in musculoskeletal pain conditions.
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May 2021

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy Immediately Affects Achilles Tendon Structure and Widespread Pressure Pain Thresholds in Healthy People: A Repeated-Measures Observational Study.

Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2019 09;98(9):806-810

From the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Pond Cres, Ma Liu Shui, Hong Kong (HTL); and La Trobe Sport & Exercise Medicine Research Centre, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia (SD, MG, CB, JC, ER).

Objective: Extracorporeal shockwave therapy is a common clinical treatment for tendinopathy, yet negative effects on tendon structure have been shown in animal studies. This study aimed to investigate the effect of extracorporeal shockwave therapy in healthy participants (i.e., no Achilles tendon pain or pathology).

Design: This study examined the effect of three bouts of weekly extracorporeal shockwave therapy for 3 wks in 13 healthy participants. Outcomes measures assessed were as follows: (a) Achilles tendon structure, quantified using ultrasound tissue characterization (before and 3 hrs after extracorporeal shockwave therapy), (b) pressure pain thresholds, over the Achilles tendon and common extensor tendon origin (before, immediately after, and 3 hrs after extracorporeal shockwave therapy), and (c) hop pain (before and immediately after extracorporeal shockwave therapy).

Results: There was a significant reduction in echo type I (P < 0.05) and increase in echo type II (P < 0.05) at 3 hrs after the first extracorporeal shockwave therapy session that recovered to baseline levels before week 2. There were no significant changes in ultrasound tissue characterization echo pattern observed in subsequent sessions. There were increased pressure pain thresholds immediately after extracorporeal shockwave therapy at the common extensor tendon origin but no significant change at the Achilles tendon. Pressure pain thresholds returned to baseline at 3 hrs after extracorporeal shockwave therapy. There were no significant changes in pressure pain threshold in subsequent sessions.

Conclusions: Extracorporeal shockwave therapy resulted in transient changes to tendon structure and widespread hyperalgesia.
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September 2019