Objective: To determine if Active Release Technique (ART) protocols could be used as an effective way to influence strength and muscle inhibition in the quadriceps muscles of athletes with anterior knee pain.
Design: Pilot clinical outcome study.
Methods: The sample consisted of 9 athletes (4 male athletes, 5 female athletes) who were identified as suffering from unilateral anterior knee pain. A Biodex dynamometer and the interpolated twitch technique were used to determine isometric strength and inhibition in the quadriceps muscles, respectively. The treatment intervention consisted of the Active Release Technique treatment protocols for anterior knee pain. The experimental leg and contralateral leg were tested pretreatment and posttreatment, and the experimental leg was tested a third time approximately 20 minutes posttreatment.
Results: Knee extensor moments were calculated by multiplying the moment arm by the forces measured by the Biodex dynamometer. Percentage of muscle inhibition was calculated by dividing the interpolated twitch torque (ITT) by the resting twitch torque (RTT), that is (ITT/RTT*100). A repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to compare pretreatment and posttreatment values for strength and muscle inhibition for the experimental and contralateral knees. The results showed no statistical significance.
Conclusion: ART protocols did not reduce inhibition or increase strength in the quadriceps muscles of athletes with anterior knee pain. Further study is required.