original abstract†Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the relationship between hamstring extensibility by use of the instrumented straight leg raise; mechanical components of muscle contraction, including muscle recruitment, passive torque measures of tissue stiffness, and eccentric strength; and self-reported measures of pain and disability.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.
SETTING: University laboratory.
PARTICIPANTS: Twenty-one individuals with chronic nonspecific axial lower back pain and 15 healthy control subjects.
ASSESSMENT: Instrumented straight leg raise, concentric and eccentric hamstring strength, self-reported measures of pain, disability, fear avoidance, general health and well-being
MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: Objective measures included hamstring extensibility, hamstring muscle stiffness, absolute and relative concentric/eccentric strength, concentric/eccentric strength ratios. Self-reported measures included Oswestry disability index, visual analog pain scale, fear avoidance beliefs, and general health and well being.
RESULTS: Patients with lower back pain had lower range of motion, greater changes in muscle stiffness, and impaired concentric-to-eccentric strength levels. Stepwise regression identified measures of stiffness as significantly predicting hamstring extensibility (adjusted r(2) = 0.58, F = 23.76, P < .001). Self-reported measures were not associated with extensibility. Gender differences were noted for passive stiffness and absolute strength. For women, later onset of the medial hamstrings also was associated with greater hamstring extensibility.
CONCLUSIONS: Decreased extensibility of the hamstrings was associated with increased passive stiffness during the common range of motion (20 to 50 degrees). Impaired stretch tolerance is associated with actual mechanical restriction, not behavioral measures indicating increased pain or fear-avoidant behavior. With no relationship to actual disability and contradictory findings in the literature for the relationship of the hamstrings to the mechanics of the low back, it is unclear whether decreased hamstring extensibility should be targeted in rehabilitation programs for axial lower back pain.
- “Effect of hamstring flexibility on hip and lumbar spine joint excursions during forward-reaching tasks in participants with and without low back pain,” Erica N Johnson and James S Thomas, Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 2010.
These two articles on PainScience.com cite Marshall 2009 as a source:
- Save Yourself from Low Back Pain! — Low back pain myths debunked and all your treatment options reviewed
- Stretching for Pain (and Pleasure) — Is stretching a treatment for chronic pain?
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. A few highlights:
- Modulation in the elastic properties of gastrocnemius muscle heads in individuals with plantar fasciitis and its relationship with pain. Zhou 2020 Sci Rep.
- Association Between Plantar Fasciitis and Isolated Gastrocnemius Tightness. Nakale 2018 Foot Ankle Int.
- Effectiveness of customised foot orthoses for Achilles tendinopathy: a randomised controlled trial. Munteanu 2015 Br J Sports Med.
- A Bayesian model-averaged meta-analysis of the power pose effect with informed and default priors: the case of felt power. Gronau 2017 Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology.
- The neck and headaches. Bogduk 2014 Neurol Clin.