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Immediate effects of myofascial release on neuromechanical characteristics in female and male patients with low back pain and healthy controls as assessed by tensiomyography. A controlled matched-pair study

  • Author Footnotes
    1 Present address: Osteopathiepraxis, Eppendorfer Landstraße 42, Hamburg 20249, Germany.
    Christine Lohr
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author.
    Footnotes
    1 Present address: Osteopathiepraxis, Eppendorfer Landstraße 42, Hamburg 20249, Germany.
    Affiliations
    Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Institute for Human Movement Science, Faculty for Psychology and Human Movement Science, University of Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
    Search for articles by this author
  • Ivan Medina-Porqueres
    Affiliations
    Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Malaga, Malaga, Spain
    Search for articles by this author
  • Author Footnotes
    1 Present address: Osteopathiepraxis, Eppendorfer Landstraße 42, Hamburg 20249, Germany.

      Highlights

      • Low back pain is a major health issue in most industrialised countries.
      • Myofascial release constitutes a practical approach to the treatment of back pain.
      • Tensiomyography quantifies mechanical characteristics of skeletal muscles.
      • Tensiomyography detects post-interventional effects in neuromechanical properties.
      • A single myofascial intervention alters muscles' neuromechanical features.

      Abstract

      Background

      Low back pain (LBP) is a major health issue in most industrialised countries. Lumbodorsal fascia has been advocated as a potential source of pain in the lumbopelvic region. Myofascial release constitutes a manual therapeutic approach focussing on the restoration of altered soft tissue function. No previous study has focused on quantifying neuromechanical effects of myofascial release on LBP patients through tensiomyography. The purpose of this study was to quantify immediate neuromechanical alterations of myofascial release on patients with LBP and healthy controls through tensiomyography parameters.

      Methods

      The participants' (n = 30) bilateral lumbar erector spinae muscles were assessed via tensiomyography before and after a 6-min myofascial release treatment of the lumbodorsal fascia to evaluate the muscles' mechanical characteristics. Subjects with LBP (n = 15) were eligible to partake if they reported having had LBP for most days in the past 12 weeks. Muscle displacement (Dm [mm]), velocity of contraction (Vc [mm/s]), and lateral symmetry (Ls [%]) were assessed through tensiomyography testing.

      Findings

      Statistical analyses revealed a significant increase for velocity of contraction in the right (p = .021) and left (p = .041) lumbar erector spinae for the subjects with LBP but not for the healthy controls (both p > .14).

      Interpretation

      We suggested that myofascial release alters neuromechanical characteristics in subjects with LBP. Tensiomyography may be implemented in clinical settings to monitor intervention effects of the myofascial system, especially the tensiomyography parameter velocity of contraction.

      Keywords

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