IASTM ELECTROMASSAGE HAND MASSAGE study
Objectives: To evaluate Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) compared to vibration massage and light hand massage on hamstrings’ flexibility and knee proprioception. Design: Repeated measures design under 3 different experimental conditions. Methods: 16 male participants were randomly assigned in 3 single-session interventions delivered with a 1-week time interval over the hamstrings of their dominant leg: (a) 5min IASTM, (b) 5min Vibration Massage and (c) 8min Light Hand-Massage, considered as placebo. An active knee angle reproduction proprioception test and the back-saver sit and reach flexibility test were performed before and immediately after each intervention. Statistical analysis included reliability assessment of the 2 outcomes and of interventions with a two-factor repeated measures ANOVA (intervention x time). Results: Reliability indices for flexibility (ICC3,1=0.97-0.99/SEM=0.83-1.52 cm) and proprioception (ICC3,1=0.83-0.88/SEM=1.63-2.02o) were very good. For flexibility, statistically significant immediate increases were noted in all 3 groups (1.61-3.23 cm), with no between-group differences. For proprioception, improvements noted in the IASTM (2.12o) and Vibration Massage (0.32o) conditions were not statistically significant. Conclusion: Muscle flexibility and proprioception after a single intervention of IASTM, Vibration Massage or Light Hand Massage were similarly positively affected. Further research is required to examine their preventive role against hamstring strains and knee injuries.