Objectives: To determine the immediate effects of modified Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) stretching (group I) versus Myofascial Trigger Point (MTrP) therapy plus modified PNF stretching (group II) in comparison to a control group receiving no treatment.
Design: Randomized, assessor-blind, (3 x 4) mixed-model repeated measures.
Setting: University laboratory.
Participants: Thirty physically active males with tight hamstrings and at least one latent MTrP on muscles innervated by the lumbosacral, sciatic, tibial and common peroneal nerves.
Main outcome measures: Knee range of motion (ROM), stretch perception, pressure pain threshold (PPT) and subjective pain intensity. Outcomes were evaluated at baseline, immediately after treatment, at 10 and 30 min.
Results: Significant changes over time occurred for group II in all outcomes (p < or = 0.001). Group II also showed lower pain intensity scores than group I immediately post-treatment (p = 0.045) and a strong clinical effect over group I in ROM at all follow-ups (effect sizes = 0.9-1.0, p < or = 0.05). Other differences were found between both stretching groups as compared to the control group (p < or = 0.05).
Conclusion: The results indicate immediate pre- to post-treatment benefits from MTrP therapy combined with modified PNF stretching in young and physically active males with latent MTrPs.
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