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Matjaž Vogrin, Miloš Kalc and Teja Ličen

Context: It has been recently demonstrated that tissue flossing around the ankle joint can be effectively used to improve ankle range of motion, jump, and sprint ability. However, there is a lack of studies investigating the acute effects of tissue flossing applied using different wrapping pressures. Objective: To investigate the acute effects of tissue flossing and the degree of floss band pressure, around the upper thigh on knee range of motion, strength, and muscle contractile characteristics. Design: Crossover design in 3 distinct sessions. Setting: University laboratory. Participants: A total of 19 recreationally trained volunteers (age 23.8[4.8] y) participated in this study. Intervention: Active knee extension and flexion performed for 3 sets of 2 minutes (2-min rest between sets with wrapped upper thigh). Individualized wrapping pressures were applied to create conditions of high and moderate vascular occlusion, while a loose band application served as a control condition. Main Outcome Measures: Participants were assessed for active straight leg raise test; tensiomyography displacement and contraction time for rectus femoris, vastus medialis, and biceps femoris muscles; and maximum voluntary contractions for knee extensors and flexors for pre, after, and 30 minutes after applying the floss band. Results: There was a statistically significant increase in maximum voluntary contractions for knee extensors and a significant shortening in rectus femoris contraction time for the moderate condition, which was associated with small to medium effects in favor of the moderate condition. There were no statistically significant changes observed between control and high conditions. The active straight leg raise test was unaffected regardless of intervention. Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that tissue flossing around the upper thigh might have a localized as well as pressure-sensitive response, thereby improving neuromuscular function of the knee extensors.

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Holly M. Bush, Justin M. Stanek, Joshua D. Wooldridge, Stephanie L. Stephens and Jessica S. Barrack

Context: Limited dorsiflexion (DF) range of motion (ROM) is commonly observed in both the athletic and general populations and is a predisposing factor for lower extremity injury. Graston Technique® (GT) is a form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM), used commonly to increase ROM. Evidence of the long-term effects of GT on ROM is lacking, particularly comparing the full GT protocol versus IASTM alone. Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of 6 sessions of the GT or IASTM compared with a control (CON) group for increasing closed-chain DF ROM. Design: Cohort design with randomization. Setting: Athletic training clinic. Patients or OtherParticipants: A total of 23 physically active participants (37 limbs) with <34° of DF. Participants’ limbs were randomly allocated to the GT, IASTM, or CON group. Intervention: Participants’ closed-chain DF ROM (standing and kneeling) were assessed at baseline and 24–48 hours following their sixth treatment. Participants in the CON group were measured at baseline and 3 weeks later. The intervention groups received 6 treatments during a 3-week period, whereas the CON group received no treatment. The GT group received a warm-up, instrument application, stretching, and strengthening of the triceps surae. The IASTM group received a warm-up and instrument application. Main Outcome Measures: Closed-chain DF was assessed with a digital inclinometer in standing and kneeling. Results: A significant difference between groups was found in the standing position (P = .03) but not in kneeling (P = .15). Post hoc testing showed significant improvements in DF in standing following the GT compared with the control (P = .02). Conclusions: The GT significantly increases ankle DF following 6 treatments in participants with DF ROM deficits; however, no differences were found between GT and IASTM. The GT may be an effective intervention for clinicians to consider when treating patients with DF deficits.

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Alyssa Dittmer, David Tomchuk and David R. Fontenot

Context: Rounded shoulder posture is a common problem in the athletic population. Recently Kinesio tape has been utilized to improve balance, proprioception, and posture. However, the literature has been unable to provide definitive answers on the efficacy of Kinesio tape use. Objective: To determine the immediate effect of the limb rotational Kinesio tape application on the dynamic balance and proprioception of the shoulder measured by the Y-Balance Upper Quarter Test (YBT-UQ) in male collegiate athletes. Design: Cross-sectional. Setting: Sports medicine research laboratory.Participants: Nineteen healthy male collegiate National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics athletes (including rodeo, baseball, football, and soccer) with a mean age of 19.8 (1.4) years. Interventions: Subjects were randomized into Kinesio tape and non-Kinesio tape groups. The limb rotational Kinesio tape application was applied to the Kinesio tape group, while the non-Kinesio tape group received no intervention. Each group performed the YBT-UQ, which requires reaching in 3 directions in a push-up position, before and after the randomized intervention on a single day. Main Outcome Measures: The variables of interest included the maximum reach distance in each of the 3 directions and the composite score for both trials between the Kinesio tape and non-Kinesio tape groups. Each score was normalized against the subject’s limb length. Results: No statistically significant improvements in any YBT-UQ scores were observed following either the Kinesio tape or non-Kinesio tape intervention. Conclusions: Applying the limb rotational Kinesio tape technique did not improve immediate YBT-UQ scores in a male collegiate athletic population with rounded shoulder posture. The use of Kinesio tape to improve immediate closed kinetic chain function in male collegiate athletes with rounded shoulder posture cannot be supported.