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Megan N. Houston, Victoria E. Hodson, Kelda K.E. Adams and Johanna M. Hoch

Clinical Scenario:

Hamstring tightness is common among physically active individuals. In addition to limiting range of motion and increasing the risk of muscle strain, hamstring tightness contributes to a variety of orthopedic conditions. Therefore, clinicians continue to identify effective methods to increase flexibility. Although hamstring tightness is typically treated with common stretching techniques such as static stretching and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, it has been suggested that whole-body-vibration (WBV) training may improve hamstring flexibility.

Clinical Question:

Can WBV training, used in isolation or in combination with common stretching protocols or exercise, improve hamstring flexibility in physically active young adults?

Summary of Key Findings:

Of the included studies, 4 demonstrated statistically significant improvements in hamstring flexibility in the intervention group, and 1 study found minor improvements over time in the intervention group after treatment.

Clinical Bottom Line:

There is moderate evidence to support the use of WBV training to improve hamstring flexibility in physically active young adults.

Strength of Recommendation:

There is grade B evidence that WBV training improves hamstring flexibility in physically active adults. The Centre of Evidence Based Medicine recommends a grade of B for level 2 evidence with consistent findings.