Influence of Lumbar Mobilizations During the Nordic Hamstring Exercise on Hamstring Measures of Knee Flexor Strength, Failure Point, and Muscle Activity: A Randomized Crossover Trial

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Abstract

Objective: The aims of this study were to quantify the effects of spinal mobilization on force production, failure point, and muscle activity of the hamstrings during the Nordic hamstring exercise (NHE), and to explore individual differences in responses. Methods: In a replicated randomized crossover trial, 24 asymptomatic, recreationally active men (age [mean ± standard deviation]: 27 ± 6 years; body mass: 82 ± 17 kg; height: 181 ± 8 cm) completed 2 standardized intervention trials (L4/5 zygapophyseal mobilizations) and 2 control trials. The failure point of the NHE was determined with 3D motion capture. Peak force, knee flexor torque, and electromyography (EMG) of the biceps femoris were measured. Data analyses were undertaken to quantify mean intervention response and explore any individual response heterogeneity. Results: Mean (95% confidence interval) left-limb force was higher in intervention than in control trials by 18.7 (4.6-32) N. Similarly, right-limb force was higher by 22.0 (3.4-40.6) N, left peak torque by 0.14 (0.06-0.22) N • m, and right peak torque by 0.14 (0.05-0.23) N • m/kg. Downward force angle was decreased in intervention vs control trials by 4.1° (0.5°-7.6°) on the side of application. Both peak EMG activity (P = .002), and EMG at the downward force (right; P = .020) increased in the intervention condition by 16.8 (7.1-26.4) and 8.8 (1.5-16.1) mV, respectively. Mean downward acceleration angle changed by only 0.3° (−8.9° to 9.4°) in intervention vs control trials. A clear response heterogeneity was indicated only for right force (Participant × Intervention interaction: P = .044; response heterogeneity standard deviation = 34.5 [5.7-48.4] N). Individual response heterogeneity was small for all other outcomes. Conclusion: After spinal mobilization, immediate changes in bilateral hamstring force production and peak torque occurred during the NHE. The effect on the NHE failure point was unclear. Electromyographic activity increased on the ipsilateral side. Response heterogeneity was generally similar to the random trial-to-trial variability inherent in the measurement of the outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
JournalJournal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics
Volume44
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2020

Copyright:
Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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