Effect of Acute Static Stretching on Lower Limb Movement Performance Using STABL Virtual Reality System

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context: The effect of acute static stretching (ASS) on the lower limb reaction time (RT) has been recently questioned to decrease the risk of falling and injuries in situations requiring a rapid reaction, as in the cases of balance disturbance. Objective: The main purpose of this study was to detect the effect of ASS on the lower limb RT using a virtual reality device. Design: Two-group control group design. Setting: Research laboratory. Participants: The control and experimental groups were formed randomly from 60 female university students. Intervention: Each participant in the experimental group was tested before and after ASS for the quadriceps, hamstrings, and planter flexor muscles, and compared with the control group with warming-up exercise alone. The stretching program involved warming up in the form of circular running inside the lab for 5 minutes followed by stretching of each muscle group three times, to the limit of discomfort of 45 seconds, with resting period of 15 seconds between stretches. Main Outcome Measures: The measurements included the RT of the dominant lower-extremity using the dynamic stability program STABL Virtual Reality System (model no. DIZ 2709; Motekforce Link). Results: There was a statistically significant reduction (F = 162, P < .05) in posttest RT between the 2 groups and significant decrease in RT after stretching in the experimental group (7.5%; P < .05). Conclusion: ASS of the lower limb muscles tends to decrease the lower limb RT and improve movement performance.

Ameer is with the Department of Biomechanics, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt. Ameer and Muaidi are with the Department of Physical Therapy, College of Applied Medical Sciences, University of Dammam, Al-Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Ameer (Mariam_ameer7@hotmail.com) is corresponding author.
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