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Massage Combined with Resistance Significantly Improves Hamstring Flexibility
Date:9/10/2013

ore flexible hamstring, or non-dominant if of equal flexibility, participants received a deep stripping massage, which consisted of fifteen, ten-second DSMS that covered the entire breadth of the hamstring from insertion to origin at a pressure of seven out of ten on a verbal pressure scale. On the tighter hamstring, eccentric resistance was added using a Green Thera-Band® professional resistance band. To perform the Active Muscle Therapy intervention, the participants were prone with the band attached to their ankle with a Thera-Band extremity strap. The other end of the band was attached to the massage table so that there was no slack through out the full range of knee extension motion. After being passively placed into 90 degrees of knee flexion, they lowered their leg against the pull of the resistance band for a 10-count while a massage therapist provided the same DSMS that were applied to the other leg. On both hamstrings the massage therapist used a Green Thera-Band Hand Exerciser as a shock absorber in their massaging hand and Prossage® Heat as a lubricant.

The participants’ hamstring flexibility and strength were recorded before and after the two interventions. Both techniques resulted in significant increases in hamstring flexibility; however, the hamstring receiving the deep stripping massage with eccentric resistance increased significantly more than the hamstring receiving massage alone. Massage alone increased 6.3%, while massage with eccentric exercise increased 10.7%. There was no significant change in strength after either intervention.

“The results of this study indicate that utilizing DSMS with eccentric resistance improved flexibility to a greater extent than DSMS alone,” concluded Dr. Forman. “Active Muscle Therapy treatment protocols have been developed for the upper and lower extremities and the neck muscles. Our research is c
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