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Static Stretching

Static Stretching - Journal of Athletic Training...

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Journal of Athletic Training 1999;34(1):11-14 © by the National Athletic Trainers' Association, Inc www.nata.org/jat Effects of a Static Stretching Program on the Incidence of Lower Extremity Musculotendinous Strains Kevin M. Cross, MEd, ATC; Ted W. Worrell, EdD, PT, ATC Krannert School of Physical Therapy, University of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN Objective: Musculotendinous strains are among the most prevalent injuries for which health care professionals provide treatment and rehabilitation interventions. Flexibility has been identified as one of the primary etiologic factors associated with musculotendinous strains, but limited research exists on the effect of a preventive stretching program on musculotendinous strains. Therefore, the purpose of our study was to compare the number of musculotendinous strains for the hamstrings, quad- riceps, hip adductors, and gastrocnemius-soleus muscle groups before and after the incorporation of a static stretching program for each muscle group. Design and Setting: We analyzed the incidence of muscu- lotendinous strains among the players of a Division Ill collegiate football team between 1994 and 1995. All variables were consistent between the 2 seasons except for the incorporation of a lower extremity stretching program in 1995. M usculotendinous strains are among the most preva- lent, as well as the most frustrating, groups of injuries for athletes and health care professionals. 1-4 In par- ticular, hamstring injuries are the most common musculoten- dinous injury in the lower extremity and, accordingly, have received primary attention.8 Other lower extremity muscles, especially those with complex architecture that span 2 joints, are also susceptible to strains.9'10 As a means of aiding health care professionals in prevention and rehabilitation of hamstring injuries, Worrell and Perrin1 1 proposed a theoretical model for hamstring strains, suggesting that they result from a complex interaction of 4 etiologic factors: warm-up, strength, fatigue, and flexibility. We speculate that this model is also applicable to other muscle groups. Although data exist to support the relationship between the 4 etiologic factors and musculotendi- nous unit susceptibility,6'7'1123 limited studies have investi gated the effects of a prevention program on hamstring or other lower extremity muscle group injury susceptibility.'6 Improved flexibility has long been considered a major component of preventive treatment of musculotendinous strains, and various studies have attempted to elucidate the Subjects: One hundred and ninety-five Division Ill college football players. Measurements: We calculated the number of musculoten- dinous strains that required a minimum absence of 1 day from practices or games in 1994 and 1995.
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