Foam rolling quadriceps to alter hamstrings pain threshold
Foam rolling (FR) has become a popular intervention in the domains of sports and allied health care for improving several physical variables, such as ROM, muscle activity and pain.
Although the working mechanism of FR is still topic of debate, the procedure consists of applying the soft tissue against the foam roller for increased pressure.
Numerous studies have looked at the effects of FR on the target muscle, but none has investigated the antagonist of the target muscle, like this study does.
21 active adults without any known musculoskeletal, systemic or metabolic diseases were included in this study.
A wireless algometer was used to determine pre and post-intervention pain threshold of the quadriceps, the hamstrings of the same leg, and the quadriceps of the contralateral leg.
The intervention of a total of a 2-minute period of quadriceps FR which was provided using a video format.
The results showed a significant difference between the pre and post-test for pain threshold for all 3 outcomes measures: target muscle (quadriceps), antagonist muscle (hamstrings) and the contralateral target muscle (contralateral quadriceps).
Expert opinion by Jonathan Ko
Although it is unclear as to why the contralateral antagonist pain threshold was not measured, the wide-spread nature of effects derived from FR seems to support the idea that there is a central neurological mechanism that is driving the improvements seen in the other muscles apart from the target muscle.
> From: Cheatham, J Sport Rehabil 27 (2018) 165-169. All rights reserved to Human Kinetics Inc. Click here for the online summary.