Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Phys Ther. 2010 Mar;90(3):438-49. doi: 10.2522/ptj.20090012. Epub 2010 Jan 14.

Increasing muscle extensibility: a matter of increasing length or modifying sensation?

Author information

1
mvmtscience@aol.com

Abstract

Various theories have been proposed to explain increases in muscle extensibility observed after intermittent stretching. Most of these theories advocate a mechanical increase in length of the stretched muscle. More recently, a sensory theory has been proposed suggesting instead that increases in muscle extensibility are due to a modification of sensation only. Studies that evaluated the biomechanical effect of stretching showed that muscle length does increase during stretch application due to the viscoelastic properties of muscle. However, this length increase is transient, its magnitude and duration being dependent upon the duration and type of stretching applied. Most of these studies suggest that increases in muscle extensibility observed after a single stretching session and after short-term (3- to 8-week) stretching programs are due to modified sensation. The biomechanical effects of long-term (>8 weeks) and chronic stretching programs have not yet been evaluated. The purposes of this article are to review each of these proposed theories and to discuss the implications for research and clinical practice.

PMID:
20075147
DOI:
10.2522/ptj.20090012
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center