Published: 18 February 2019| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/nsv526w49m.1
George Koumantakis


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.



Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy, Proprioception, Flexibility