Effects of a Novel Neurodynamic Tension Technique on Muscle Extensibility and Stretch Tolerance: A Counterbalanced Crossover Study

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Context: Neurodynamic tension affects hamstring extensibility and stretch tolerance and is considered important in hamstring injury management. Neurodynamic tension was postulated to affect segmental muscle extensibility and stretch tolerance and potentially also to demonstrate extrasegmental and contralateral effects. Objectives: To assess the effects of a novel sciatic-tibial neurodynamic tension technique, the modified long sit slump (MLSS), on segmental, extrasegmental, and contralateral muscle extensibility and stretch tolerance. Study Design: Counterbalanced crossover study. Setting: University research laboratory. Participants: 13 healthy and active subjects (mean ± SD age 24 ± 8 y; BMI, 23.1 ± 2.8 kg/m2). Intervention: MLSS application (5 s, 5 repetitions, 3 sets) on 2 occasions with a 3-wk washout period, and either stance- or skill-leg treated in a counterbalanced manner. Main Outcome Measures: Segmental and extrasegmental muscle extensibility was measured using passive straight-leg raise (PSLR) and prone knee bend (PKB) at pre-, immediately post-, and 1 h postintervention. Stretch-intensity ratings were measured using a simple numerical rating scale (SNRS). Results: MLSS significantly increased PSLR and PKB bilaterally (P < .001). The effect for PSLR was greater in the ipsilateral leg compared to the contralateral leg (baseline to 1 h post: +9° ± 6° and +5° ± 5°, respectively, P < .001) but not for PKB (baseline to 1 h post: ipsilateral leg +5° ± 5°, contralateral leg +5° ±  4°). For both PSLR and PKB the effect of the first session was retained at the start of the second session 3 wk later. SNRS data were consistent with increased stretch tolerance. Conclusions: Application of a novel sciatic-tibial neurodynamic tension technique, the MLSS, increases muscle extensibility and stretch tolerance segmentally, extrasegmentally and contralaterally. Level of Evidence: 2C outcomes research.

Pietrzak and Vollaard are with the Dept of Health, University of Bath, Bath, United Kingdom.

Pietrzak (maxpie@hotmail.com) is corresponding author.
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