Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Health and Human Performance
Individuals can positively benefit from increasing flexibility. These benefits include: preventing injury, improving blood flow to soft tissues, improving posture, and decreasing low back pain. Traditionally, stretching is used to increase flexibility. However, stretching in combination with heating modalities have shown to increase flexibility as well. This study was designed to investigate the effect of pulsed shortwave diathermy (PSWD) on hamstring flexibility using static stretch versus proprioceptive neuromuscular facility (PNF) contract relax as compared to superficial heat and static stretch. This study examined 30 college-aged individuals who had 90º or less of hip flexion. Participants were randomly divided into one of three groups: pulsed shortwave diathermy combined with PNF contract relax stretching, pulsed shortwave diathermy combined with static stretching, or moist heat pack combined with static stretching. The participants had a pre-test hip flexion measure followed by a heating and stretching protocol three times a week for five weeks and finished with a post-test measure. There was a significant difference in pre- and post-test scores of flexibility in the PSWD combined with PNF contract relax stretching group (t=13.5171 and p= < .001), PSWD combined with static stretching group (t=12.2241 and p= < .001) and moist heat pack combined with static stretching group (t=6.4398 and p=.0001). There was a significant difference between post-test scores of flexibility between the PSWD combined with PNF contract relax stretching group and the PSWD combined with static stretching group (t=2.4687 and p=.0122) and the PSWD combined with PNF contract relax stretching group and the moist heat pack combined with static stretching group (t=3.0917 and p=.0035). There was no significant difference in post-test scores of flexibility in the PSWD combined with static stretching group and the moist heat pack combined with static stretching group (t=1.1984 and p=.1247). This study concluded PSWD combined with PNF contract relax stretching technique had the greatest increase in range of motion over a five-week period. In order for athletes to gain maximum range of motion results, athletic trainers should use a combined approach of PSWD application followed by a PNF contract-relax stretching technique.
Copyright 2016 Amee Jaymes Stapleton
Stapleton, Amee Jaymes, "A Comparison Of Therapeutic Heating Modalities And Stretching Techniques To Increase Hip Flexion" (2016). Master's Theses. 39.