Three articles on PainSci cite Williams 1988: 1. The Trouble with Chairs 2. The Complete Guide to Trigger Points & Myofascial Pain 3. Micro Muscles and the Dance of the Sarcomeres
PainSci notes on Williams 1988:
“It was found that the connective tissue accumulation that occurs in inactive muscles can be prevented either by passive stretch or by active stimulation.” An important point here is that stretch isn’t doing anything that muscle contraction isn’t, so the evidence does not particularly support a stretching habit.
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.
The loss of serial sarcomeres which results when muscles are immobilised in a shortened position is accompanied by an increase in the proportion of collagen and an increased muscle stiffness. In order to determine whether it is lack of stretch or lack of contractile activity which is the main factor involved in these changes experiments were carried out using different combinations of immobilisation and electrical stimulation. It was found that the connective tissue accumulation that occurs in inactive muscles can be prevented either by passive stretch or by active stimulation. It was also shown that in muscle that is working over a reduced range there is, as in muscle immobilised in the shortened position, a reduction in serial sarcomeres. In this case, however, there is no concomitant increase in connective tissue, again indicating that contractile activity is important for the maintenance of normal muscle compliance.
Specifically regarding Williams 1988:
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:
- Cannabidiol (CBD) products for pain: ineffective, expensive, and with potential harms. Moore 2023 J Pain.
- Inciting events associated with lumbar disc herniation. Suri 2010 Spine J.
- Prediction of an extruded fragment in lumbar disc patients from clinical presentations. Pople 1994 Spine (Phila Pa 1976).
- Characteristics of patients with low back and leg pain seeking treatment in primary care: baseline results from the ATLAS cohort study. Konstantinou 2015 BMC Musculoskelet Disord.
- Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of universal school-based mindfulness training compared with normal school provision in reducing risk of mental health problems and promoting well-being in adolescence: the MYRIAD cluster randomised controlled trial. Kuyken 2022 Evid Based Ment Health.