Effects of stretching and heat treatment on hamstrings extensibility in children with hypertonia

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Effects of stretching and heat treatment on hamstrings extensibility in children with hypertonia


Author: Lee, Pui-shan Glory
Title: Effects of stretching and heat treatment on hamstrings extensibility in children with hypertonia
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2006
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Hamstring muscle -- Wounds and injuries -- Treatment
Stretching exercises
Paralysis, Spastic, in children
Department: Dept. of Rehabilitation Sciences
Pages: xiii, 70 leaves : ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm.
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1986357
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/5499
Abstract: The objectives of the present study were to investigate the effects of the use of heat prior to manual stretching and the duration of manual stretching on the length of knee flexor muscles and its resistance to passive stretch in children with SMR presented with hypertonia. Twenty-nine subjects (9 females) aged 4 to 13 years with spastic and/or dystonic hypertonia and hamstrings tightness were studied. Each subject received 4 modes of treatment in a randomized order: (A) 10-second stretching, (B) 30-second stretching, (C) hot pack followed by 10-second stretching, and (D) hot pack followed by 30-second stretching. The stretching was applied 5 times in each session and each treatment session was separated for at least 24 hours. Extensibility of the hamstrings muscle measured by the linear distance between greater trochanter and lateral malleolus and the surface electromyographic (EMG) activity of hamstrings muscle during stretching were recorded. Difference scores of the pre- and post-treatment recordings in each session were calculated and analyzed with 2-way ANOVA. Results revealed a significantly larger increase in hamstrings extensibility in conditions C and D (1.29 ± 1.13 cm) than conditions A and B (0.65 ± 0.87 cm) (p<.001). For the EMG recordings, the difference score between pre- and post-treatment of conditions B and D (30-second stretch) was -25.05 ± 58.44uV, which was significantly lower than that of the 10-second stretch in conditions A and C (-3.49 ± 36.58,uV) (p=.039). Twenty minutes of hot pack application before 5 sets of sustained stretching of hamstrings in children with hypertonia could result in significantly greater immediate increase in extensibility of this muscle than stretching alone. Moreover, stretching could promote relaxation of the hamstrings of hypertonic children regardless of prior heat treatment. Stretching with 30 seconds of holding time for 5 repetitions could lead to more relaxation than that with 10 seconds.

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