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J Man Manip Ther. 2011 Feb;19(1):5-10. doi: 10.1179/106698110X12804993426848.

The relationship between hamstring length and gluteal muscle strength in individuals with sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

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1
Department of Physical Therapy, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

It has been suggested that tight hamstring muscle, due to its anatomical connections, could be a compensatory mechanism for providing sacroiliac (SI) joint stability in patients with gluteal muscle weakness and SIJ dysfunction. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between hamstring muscle length and gluteal muscle strength in subjects with sacroiliac joint dysfunction. A total of 159 subjects with and without low back pain (LBP) between the ages of 20 and 65 years participate in the study. Subjects were categorized into three groups: LBP without SIJ involvement (n = 53); back pain with SIJ dysfunction (n = 53); and no low back pain (n = 53). Hamstring muscle length and gluteal muscle strength were measured in all subjects. The number of individuals with gluteal weakness was significantly (P = 0.02) higher in subjects with SI joint dysfunction (66%) compared to those with LBP without SI joint dysfunctions (34%). In pooled data, there was no significant difference (P = 0.31) in hamstring muscle length between subjects with SI joint dysfunction and those with back pain without SI involvement. In subjects with SI joint dysfunction, however, those with gluteal muscle weakness had significantly (P = 0.02) shorter hamstring muscle length (mean = 158±11°) compared to individuals without gluteal weakness (mean = 165±10°). There was no statistically significant difference (P>0.05) in hamstring muscle length between individuals with and without gluteal muscle weakness in other groups. In conclusion, hamstring tightness in subjects with SI joint dysfunction could be related to gluteal muscle weakness. The slight difference in hamstring muscle length found in this study, although statistically significant, was not sufficient for making any definite conclusions. Further studies are needed to establish the role of hamstring muscle in SI joint stability.

KEYWORDS:

Gluteal muscle weakness; Hamstring muscle length; Low back pain; Muscle imbalance; Pelvic dysfunction; Sacroiliac joint

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