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Smith, M., Fryer, G. (2008) 'A comparison of two muscle energy techniques for increasing flexibility of the hamstring muscle group', J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2008 Oct;12(4):312-7.

J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2008 Oct;12(4):312-7.

A comparison of two muscle energy techniques for increasing flexibility of the hamstring muscle group

Madeleine Smith, Gary Fryer

Abstract:

Variations in the application of muscle energy technique (MET) for increasing the extensibility of muscles have been advocated, but little evidence exists to support the relative merit of a particular approach. This study investigated two types of muscle energy techniques that have been advocated in the osteopathic literature that differ primarily in the duration of the post-contraction stretch phase. Forty asymptomatic participants (mean age=22.1+/-3.5, male female=1:4) were randomly allocated to one of two groups (Group 1: MET with 30-s post-isometric stretch phase; Group 2: MET with 3-s post-isometric stretch phase). Hamstring length was measured using active knee extension (AKE). Participants received an initial application of the allocated intervention, and then a second application 1 week later. Analysis with a split-plot ANOVA revealed a significant effect of time (F(3,36)=42.30;p<0.01), but no significant time*group interaction (F(3,36)=0.12; p=0.95). Post-hoc analysis revealed that the significant differences over time occurred between pre- and post-measurements at both weeks, and between post-Week 1 and pre-Week 2 measurements. Both techniques appeared to be equally effective in increasing hamstring extensibility, and there appeared to be sustained improvement 1 week following the initial treatment. The findings suggest that altering the duration of the passive stretch component does not have a significant impact on the efficacy of MET for short-term increases in muscle extensibility.

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