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Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy

Print version ISSN 1413-3555On-line version ISSN 1809-9246


BRANCO, VR et al. Relationship between tension applied and sensations of discomfort in the hamstring muscle during stretching. Rev. bras. fisioter. [online]. 2006, vol.10, n.4, pp.465-472. ISSN 1413-3555.

BACKGROUND: Muscle stretching is widely used in the prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal diseases. Previous studies have used subjective information like "discomfort" and "tension without pain" for limiting the intensity of stretching, but without establishing appropriate tensions for stretching. OBJECTIVE: To study the relationship between applied tension and subjective information during static passive stretching, in order to analyze the reproducibility and variability of sensorial information. METHOD: Twenty subjects (mean age: 20 ± 2.25 years) without previous experience of stretching programs were recruited and divided into two groups. G1 participated in a hamstring muscle stretching program, while G2 did not follow a stretching program. Both groups underwent three evaluations to quantify torque and electromyographic activity, in positions that produced a sensation of discomfort without pain (SD) and a sensation of discomfort with pain (SDP), using a signal acquisition system consisting of a signal conditioner, active bipolar surface electrode, load cell, electrogoniometer, pressure sensor and biomechanical model. RESULTS: The torque analyses in the SD and SDP positions showed similar behavior in the two groups, without significant differences between the three evaluations (p > 0.05), thereby demonstrating the reproducibility of the subjective information from the groups in the two positions. Electromyography in the SD and SDP positions did not show significant differences in relation to the findings at rest. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated that the subjective information on stretching sensations is reliable and secure, and can be reproduced clinically.

Keywords : stretching; tension; torque; electromyography.

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