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Man Ther. 2011 Dec;16(6):609-13. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2011.06.004. Epub 2011 Jul 13.

The immediate effect of unilateral lumbar Z-joint mobilisation on posterior chain neurodynamics: a randomised controlled study.

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  • 1Division of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Science & Medicine, Bond University, Gold Coast, QLD 4229, Australia.


Hamstring strain (HS) is a common musculoskeletal condition and abnormal neurodynamics has been shown to influence HS and delay recovery. The efficacy of stretching for preventing and treating HS remains uncertain despite extensive research and wide-spread use. The effects of cervical spine mobilisation on peripheral nervous system function, neurodynamics and muscle force in the upper limb have been reported. Very few studies have reported effects of lumbar spine mobilisation on these variables in the lower limb. This study aimed to determine immediate effects of either a unilateral zygopophyseal joint posteroanterior mobilisation or a static posterior chain muscle stretch on the range of passive straight leg raise (SLR) in comparison to a non-treatment control. Using a single-blinded, randomised controlled study design, 36 healthy participants were allocated into one of three groups (control; mobilisation; static posterior chain muscle stretch). Measures of SLR were taken before and after intervention for each group on the day of testing. A General Linear Model (GLM) and a paired sample t-test showed a significant difference between base line and post-intervention for the mobilisation group only (p < 0.001), and suggests that unilateral lumbar spine zygopophyseal joint mobilisation can immediately restore posterior chain neurodynamics.

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