The effect of soft tissue mobilisation techniques on flexibility and passive resistance in the hamstring muscle-tendon unit: A pilot investigation

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Colleges, School and Institutes


The growing evidence suggests that physiological mobilisation techniques influence the passive properties of the muscle-tendon unit (MTU). Techniques that combine a transverse directed force to the physiological technique attempt greater influence on biomechanical properties. No research has investigated the biomechanical effects of a technique with addition of a transverse directed force. This pilot study aimed to explore preliminary data of effectiveness of two techniques on longitudinal load (extensibility and passive resistance) in the hamstring MTU. A counterbalanced quasi-experimental same subject design using fifteen healthy subjects compared two conditions: physiological technique and a technique with addition of a transverse directed force. Passive resistance (torque, Nm) and extensibility (knee extension range of movement) of the hamstring MTU were recorded during and following both conditions. Paired t tests explored within and across condition comparisons, with Bonferroni adjustment to account for multiple analyses. Passive resistance demonstrated a significant reduction for the technique with addition of a transverse directed force (t = 4.26, p <0.05) that may have contributed to the significant increase in extensibility (t = 8.48, p <0.05). The data suggest that longitudinal load through the hamstring MTU during a physiological mobilisation can be increased by the application of a transverse directed force. This merits further research.


Original languageEnglish
JournalManual Therapy
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2010