Roller Massage: Difference in Knee Joint Range of Motion and Pain Perception Among Experienced and Nonexperienced Individuals After Following a Prescribed Program

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context: Roller massage (RM) is a popular myofascial intervention. To date, no research has investigated the effects of RM on experienced and nonexperienced individuals and if there are differences between a prescribed RM program and a self-preferred program. Objective: The main objective was to measure the effects of a prescribed RM program with a foam roller on knee passive range of motion (ROM) and pressure pain threshold (PPT) among experienced and nonexperienced individuals. A secondary objective was to determine if there are differences between a prescribed RM program and a self-preferred program in experienced individuals. Design: Pretest and posttest observational study. Setting: University kinesiology laboratory. Participants: A total of 60 healthy adults (age = 26 [5.3] y) were allocated into 3 groups of 20 subjects: experienced, nonexperienced, and control. The experienced and nonexperienced groups followed a prescribed 2-minute RM intervention. The control group did their own 2-minute self-preferred program. Main Outcome Measures: Knee passive ROM and PPT. Results: For the experienced and nonexperienced, the between-group analysis revealed a statistically significant difference for ROM and PPT (P < .001). Within-group analysis revealed a posttest knee passive ROM increase of 8° for experienced and 7° for the nonexperienced. For PPT, there was a posttest increase of 180 kPa for the experienced and 169 kPa for the nonexperienced. For the prescribed versus self-preferred program, the between-group analysis (experienced vs control) revealed a statistically significant difference (P < .001). The within-group analysis revealed a posttest knee passive ROM increase of 8° for the prescribed and 5° for the self-preferred program. For PPT, there was a posttest increase of 180 kPa for the prescribed program and 137 kPa for the self-preferred program. Conclusion: These findings suggest that experienced and nonexperienced individuals have similar responses to a prescribed RM program. A prescribed RM program may produce better outcomes than a self-preferred program.

Cheatham is with California State University Dominguez Hills, Carson, CA. Stull is with the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Chandler, AZ.

Cheatham (Scheatham@csudh.edu) is corresponding author.
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