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, 14 (2), 253-263

EVALUATING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CLINICAL ASSESSMENTS OF APPARENT HAMSTRING TIGHTNESS: A CORRELATIONAL ANALYSIS

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EVALUATING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CLINICAL ASSESSMENTS OF APPARENT HAMSTRING TIGHTNESS: A CORRELATIONAL ANALYSIS

Brittany L Hansberger et al. Int J Sports Phys Ther.

Abstract

Background: Hamstring tightness is a common condition typically assessed via the active knee extension (AKE), passive straight leg raise (PSLR), V-sit and reach (VSR), and finger-floor-distance (FFD).

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between four common clinical tests of apparent hamstring tightness. A secondary purpose was to compare the differences in correlations between sub-groups based on positive test findings.

Study design: Descriptive, correlational laboratory design.

Methods: Recreationally active individuals (N = 81; 23.7 ± 5.9 years) performed the AKE, PSLR, VSR, and FFD in a randomized order, and subsequent correlational analyses were conducted.

Results: Strong correlations were identified between the VSR and FFD (r = -.798, r2 = .637, p < .001); moderate correlations were demonstrated between the PSLR and FFD (r = -.565, r2 = .319, p < .001) and PSLR and VSR (r = .536, r2 = .287, p < .001). Low correlations were found between the PSLR and AKE (r = -.284, r2 = .081, p = 0.01), AKE and VSR (r = -.297, r2 = .088, p = .007), and AKE and FFD (r = .263, r2 = .069, p = .018). If one assessment was identified in a subject as dysfunctional, all relationships were affected, regardless of which assessment was dysfunctional.

Conclusions: The AKE, one of the most common measures for apparent hamstring tightness, has low correlations with the other assessments. Based on the findings of this study, it is possible that not all assessments of AHT are measuring the same phenomena, with each involving different factors of perceived hamstring length.

Level of evidence: Level 2b.

Keywords: Active knee extension; gold standard; hamstring length; treatment-based classification.

Figures

Figure 1.
Figure 1.
The AKE was measured with the participant in a supine position with clinician monitoring 90-90 position using the Clinometer smart phone application. Smart phone was aligned at a mark 15.24 cm above tibial tuberosity to ensure 90-90 positioning while patient actively performed knee extension. The smartphone inclinometer was relocated to a mark 7.62 cm below the tibial tuberosity to obtain the measurement.
Figure 2.
Figure 2.
The PSLR was measured with the participant in a supine position with the legs extended. Clinician passively flexed hip while keeping knee extended and monitoring for pelvic rotation. The ROM measurement was recorded with the smartphone inclinometer placed a mark 15.24 cm above the tibial tuberosity.
Figure 3.
Figure 3.
The VSR was performed with the participant in a seated position with the knees extended and feet 30 cm apart. The participant placed one hand over the top of the other hand, flexed at the waist, and reached towards the toes and the distance was recorded using a cloth tape measure.
Figure 4.
Figure 4.
The FFD test was performed with the participant standing feet together on a 20 cm box with toes positioned at the edge of the box. The participant flexed at the waist with hands on top of one another, reaching for the toes. The clinician measured from the top edge of the box to the tip of the middle finger of the top hand in centimeters using a cloth tape measure.

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