Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the immediate effect of a sciatic nerve slider technique added to sustained hamstring stretching on lumbar and lower quadrant flexibility.
Design: This was a randomized controlled pilot study.
Subjects: Eight (8) healthy male soccer players (21 +/- 3 years) were randomly assigned to 2 groups.
Interventions: Group A received 5 minutes of bilateral sustained hamstring stretching. Group B additionally received 60 seconds of a sciatic nerve slider technique for each leg.
Outcomes: Pre- and postintervention outcomes taken by an assessor blinded to the treatment allocation of the participants included metric distance on finger-to-floor, sit and reach, and the modified Schöber tests and goniometric range of each hip for the straight-leg raise and each knee for seated slump test. Baseline between-group differences were examined with an independent t test and a two-way repeated-measures analysis of variance with p < 0.05 and p < 0.025 analyzed effects of the interventions.
Results: There were no significant between-group baseline differences (p > 0.2). There was a significant effect for time on all outcomes (p < 0.01) other than the sit and reach test (p = 0.8). A significant interaction between group . time with greater improvements in group B was found for the modified Schöber test (F = 5.5; p < 0.05), left straight-leg raise (F = 6.1; p < 0.05) and slump test in either leg (left F = 28.7; p = 0.002; right F = 4.9; p < 0.05).
Conclusions: Adding a sciatic nerve slider technique to sustained hamstring stretching led to greater immediate increases in both lumbar and lower quadrant flexibility in young healthy soccer players as measured by four of the seven outcomes used. Study limitations and suggestions for future studies are discussed.