STATIC STRETCHING DOES NOT AFFECT JOINT POSITION SENSE

McNeal, J. R., Salo, H. A., Sands, W. A., & Kawaguchi, J. (2006). Effects of acute static stretch on joint position sense in the shoulder. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38(5), Supplement abstract 1748.

This investigation determined changes in joint position sense following an acute bout of static stretching for the shoulder musculature in healthy adults (M = 10; F = 10). Ss were instrumented with a 3-dimensional magnetic motion analysis system on the dominant arm and blindfolded. Ss sat in a rigid chair and their dominant limbs were positioned passively in three different positions: 50 and 150 flexion and an oblique angle of approximately 100 flexion and 30 abduction. Familiarity with the testing positions was achieved by Ss holding each target position for five seconds for three trials prior to pretest data collection. Ss reproduced three trials of each position in random order followed by assessment of supine passive range of motion (ROM) of their dominant shoulder in sagittal plane flexion. The stretching intervention consisted of a set of four stretches of the dominant shoulder musculature (held for 30 seconds) repeated three times. Post-tests of joint position sense commenced immediately following the last stretch, and were preceded by one investigator-assisted repetition for familiarity at each angle. The presentation of post test joint position sense angles matched the random order performed by the S in the pretest condition. Supine passive ROM in shoulder flexion was evaluated following the joint position sense post-test.

Repeat trial data showed excellent reliability and no significant differences across repeat trials. Ss improved shoulder flexion range of motion due to the stretching intervention. No significant difference in joint position sense following the stretching intervention at any angle was revealed.

Implication. Static stretching does not affect joint position sense in the shoulder.

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