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bibliography * The PainScience Bibliography contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers and others sources, like a specialized blog. This page is about a single scientific paper in the bibliography, Azevedo 2011.

Uninvolved versus target muscle contraction during contract: relax proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching

updated
Azevedo DC, Melo RM, Alves Corrêa RV, Chalmers G. Uninvolved versus target muscle contraction during contract: relax proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching. Phys Ther Sport. 2011 Aug;12(3):117–21. PubMed #21802037.
Tags: treatment, muscle, stretch, exercise, self-treatment

PainSci summary of Azevedo 2011?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★☆☆?3-star ratings are for typical studies with no more (or less) than the usual common problems. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.

This well-planned experiment tested whether or not the contraction component of a contract-relax stretch actually makes a difference, and clearly found that it does not. The researchers compared a normal CR stretch of the hamstring to a modified one without any hamstring contraction (instead, some other “uninvolved, distant” muscle was contracted). The effect of both stretches was the same — “a significant moderate increase in range of motion.” In other words, it didn’t matter if the hamstring was contracted or not — with or without a contraction, the result was the same. This strongly undermines the central claim of CR-PNF stretching.

original abstract

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to compare the acute effect of the contract-relax (CR) stretching technique on knee active range of motion (ROM) using target muscle contraction or an uninvolved muscle contraction.

DESIGN: pre-test post-test control experimental design.

SETTING: Clinical research laboratory.

PARTICIPANTS: Sixty healthy men were randomly assigned to one of three groups.

INTERVENTIONS: The Contract-Relax group (CR) performed a traditional hamstring CR stretch, the Modified Contract-Relax group (MCR) performed hamstring CR stretching using contraction of an uninvolved muscle distant from the target muscle, and the Control group (CG) did not stretch.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Active knee extension test was performed before and after the stretching procedure.

RESULTS: Two-way between-within analysis of variance (ANOVA) results showed a significant interaction between group and pre-test to post-test (p < 0.001). Post-hoc examination of individual groups showed no significant change in ROM for the CG (0.8°, p = 0.084), and a significant moderate increase in ROM for both the CR (7.0°, p < 0.001) and MCR (7.0°, p < 0.001) groups.

CONCLUSIONS: ROM gain following a CR PNF procedure is the same whether the target stretching muscle is contracted, or an uninvolved muscle is contracted.

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This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog.