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J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1994 Sep;20(3):138-44.

Effects of myofascial release leg pull and sagittal plane isometric contract-relax techniques on passive straight-leg raise angle.

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School of Physical Therapy, Texas Woman's University, Houston 77030.


Experimental evidence does not currently exist to support the claims of clinical effectiveness for myofascial release techniques. This presents an obvious need to document the effects of myofascial release. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of two techniques, sagittal plane isometric contract-relax and myofascial release leg pull for increasing hip flexion range of motion (ROM) as measured by the angle of passive straight-leg raise. Seventy-five nondisabled, female subjects 18-29 years of age were randomly assigned to contract-relax, leg pull, or control groups. Pretest hip flexion ROM was measured for each subject's right hip with a passive straight-leg raise test using a fluid-filled goniometer. Subjects in the treatment groups received either contract-relax or leg pull treatment applied to the right lower extremity; subjects in the control group remained supine quietly for 5 minutes. Following treatment, posttest straight-leg raise measurements were performed. A one-way analysis of variance followed by a Newman-Keuls post hoc comparison of mean gain scores showed that subjects receiving contract-relax treatment increased their ROM significantly more than those who received leg pull treatment, and the increase in ROM of subjects in both treatment groups was significantly higher than those of the control group. The results suggest that while both contract-relax and leg pull techniques can significantly increase hip flexion ROM in normal subjects, contract-relax treatment may be more effective and efficient than leg pull treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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