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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, Herbert 2002.

Effects of stretching before and after exercising on muscle soreness and risk of injury: systematic review

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Tags: exercise, self-treatment, treatment

PainSci summary of Herbert 2002?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focussed 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. ★★★★☆?4-star ratings are for bigger/better studies and reviews published in more prestigious journals, with only quibbles. 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 paper and Shrier are literature reviews: that is, they are reviews of many other studies. They both show many contradictions in existing research, but they both conclude that there is no convincing evidence that stretching is useful. For good, readable summaries of this paper, see MacAuley or Stretching ‘fails to stop muscle injury’.

original abstract

OBJECTIVE: To determine the effects of stretching before and after exercising on muscle soreness after exercise, risk of injury, and athletic performance.

METHOD: Systematic review.

DATA SOURCES: Randomised or quasi-randomised studies identified by searching Medline, Embase, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus, and PEDro, and by recursive checking of bibliographies.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Muscle soreness, incidence of injury, athletic performance.

RESULTS: Five studies, all of moderate quality, reported sufficient data on the effects of stretching on muscle soreness to be included in the analysis. Outcomes seemed homogeneous. Stretching produced small and statistically non-significant reductions in muscle soreness. The pooled estimate of reduction in muscle soreness 24 hours after exercising was only 0.9 mm on a 100 mm scale (95% confidence interval 2.6 mm to 4.4 mm). Data from two studies on army recruits in military training show that muscle stretching before exercising does not produce useful reductions in injury risk (pooled hazard ratio 0.95, 0.78 to 1.16).

CONCLUSIONS: Stretching before or after exercising does not confer protection from muscle soreness. Stretching before exercising does not seem to confer a practically useful reduction in the risk of injury, but the generality of this finding needs testing. Insufficient research has been done with which to determine the effects of stretching on sporting performance.

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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.