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Acute muscle stretching and shoulder position sense
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical and Perioperative Sciences, Sports Medicine.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7543-4397
2006 (English)In: Journal of athletic training, ISSN 1062-6050, E-ISSN 1938-162X, Vol. 41, no 3, 270-274 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Context: Stretching is common among athletes as a potential method for injury prevention. Stretching-induced changes in the muscle spindle properties are a suggested mechanism, which may imply reduced proprioception after stretching; however, little is known of this association.

Objective: To evaluate whether acute stretching of the shoulder muscles affects position sense.

Design: A crossover design with subjects randomized to 3 groups.

Setting: A university human research laboratory. Patients or Other Participants: Nine male (age = 24 +/- 3 years) and 9 female (age = 21 +/- 2 years) healthy volunteers.

Intervention(s): Stretching of shoulder (1) agonists or (2) antagonists or (3) nonstretching control.

Main Outcome Measure(s): We determined position sense acuity of the right shoulder before and after the interventions by having subjects attempt to reproduce arm positions of 15 degrees and 30 degrees (shoulder adduction) while starting at 45 degrees to the sagittal plane. The outcome variables were response variability (variable error) and overall accuracy (absolute error).

Results: The relative change in variable error (ie, variable error after/variable error before) was not significantly different between the interventions ( P = .38). Similarly, no change in absolute error was found ( P = .76). Furthermore, no differences were noted regarding test sequence or the interaction of intervention x sequence for either variable error ( P = .73 and .53, respectively) or absolute error ( P = .71 and .67, respectively).

Conclusions: We found no effect on shoulder position sense after an acute bout of stretching of either agonist or antagonist shoulder muscles.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 41, no 3, 270-274 p.
Keyword [en]
contract-relax stretch, performance, proprioception, sports, injury prevention
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-3786PubMedID: 17043694OAI: diva2:142658
I avhandlingen med titeln "Acute muscle stretching does not alter position sense acuity"Available from: 2004-03-12 Created: 2004-03-12 Last updated: 2015-01-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Effects of repetitive work on proprioception and of stretching on sensory mechanisms: implications for work-related neuromuscular disorders
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects of repetitive work on proprioception and of stretching on sensory mechanisms: implications for work-related neuromuscular disorders
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aims of the thesis were (i) to investigate the impact of repetitive low-intensity work exposure on proprioception and (ii) to examine effects of muscle stretching (especially sensory effects and effects on muscle nociception) and to relate its application to the prevention, alleviation and/or treatment of work-related neuromuscular disorders.

The effects of low-intensity repetitive work on the shoulder proprioception were tested in healthy subjects. The effect of working time on the retention of subjective fatigue and their relation to changes in proprioception, and the immediate effect of stretching on shoulder proprioception were investigated. A new method to test the stretchability of the rectus femoris muscle was investigated for reliability and validity and used to assess the effects of a two-week stretching regimen on range of motion and on subjective stretch sensation. Finally, the interactions between innocuous muscle stretch and nociceptive chemical stimulation on discharge behavior of nociceptive dorsal horn neurons in the feline spinal cord were explored.

The main findings were as follows: 1) The repetitive low-intensity work to fatigue diminished the shoulder proprioception; the working time as well as the retention of subjective fatigue were partly related to the extent of changed proprioception. 2) There was no effect of acute muscle stretching on the proprioception. 3) The new method for testing muscle stretchability proved valid and reliable. A two-week stretching regimen increased the tolerance to stretch torque, but the range of motion remained unchanged. 4) Half of the nociceptive dorsal horn neurons that responded to close arterial injections of bradykinin were modulated by muscle stretching applied directly after the injections.

Altogether, the results give credence to the hypothesis of an involvement of sensory information distortion due to repetitive low-intensity work exposure in the development of work-related neuromuscular disorders. Increased tolerance to stretch torque may be an important mechanism in explaining improvements following stretch treatment. The spinal interactions between innocuous stretch and nociceptive muscle afferent inputs indicate a possible mechanism involved in stretching-induced pain alleviation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Kirurgisk och perioperativ vetenskap, 2004. 87 p.
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 877
Medicine, Repetitive motions, Muscle fatigue, Proprioception, Muscle stretching, Work-related musculoskeletal disorders, Nociception, Ergonomics, Medicin
National Category
Dermatology and Venereal Diseases
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-211 (URN)91-7305-604-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-03-19, Stora föreläsningssalen, Arbetslivsinstitutet, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2004-03-12 Created: 2004-03-12 Last updated: 2015-01-20Bibliographically approved

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