Does Roller Massage With a Foam Roll Change Pressure Pain Threshold of the Ipsilateral Lower Extremity Antagonist and Contralateral Muscle Groups? An Exploratory Study

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context: Foam rolling is a popular intervention used by allied health professionals and the general population. Current research suggests that foam rolling may have an effect on the ipsilateral antagonist muscle group and produce a cross-over effect in the muscles of the contralateral limb. The purpose of this study was to examine the acute effects of foam rolling to the left quadriceps on ipsilateral antagonist hamstrings and contralateral quadriceps muscle group pressure pain threshold (PPT). Through this research, we sought to gather data to further develop the methodology for future studies of this intervention. Design: A pretest–posttest exploratory study. Setting: University kinesiology laboratory. Participants: 21 healthy adults (age = 27.52 ± 8.9 y). Intervention: Video-guided foam roll intervention on the left quadriceps musculature. Main Outcome Measures: Ipsilateral hamstring (antagonist) and contralateral quadriceps muscle PPT. Results: A significant difference was found between pretest to posttest measures for the ipsilateral hamstrings (t[20] = −6.2, P < 0.001) and contralateral quadriceps (t[20] = −9.1, P < 0.001) suggesting an increase in PPT. Conclusions: These findings suggest that foam rolling of the quadriceps musculature may have an acute effect on the PPT of the ipsilateral hamstrings and contralateral quadriceps muscles. Clinicians should consider these results to be exploratory and future investigations examining this intervention on PPT is warranted.

Cheatham is with the Dept of Kinesiology, California State University Dominguez Hills, Carson, CA. Kolber is with the Dept of Physical Therapy, Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Address author correspondence to Scott W. Cheatham at Scheatham@csudh.edu.
Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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