Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/16849
Title: Effects of stretching and heat treatment on hamstring extensibility in children with severe mental retardation and hypertonia
Authors: Lee, GPS
Ng, GYF 
Issue Date: 2008
Source: Clinical rehabilitation, 2008, v. 22, no. 9, p. 771-779 How to cite?
Journal: Clinical Rehabilitation 
Abstract: Objectives: To examine the effect of heat and duration of stretching on the extensibility of hamstring muscles and their electromyographic responses to passive stretch in children with hypertonia and severe mental retardation. Design: Randomized cross-over trial. Setting: Developmental disability unit in a local hospital. Participants: Twenty-nine subjects (9 females) with ages ranged from 4 to 13 years with spastic and/or dystonic hypertonia and hamstring tightness. Interventions: Subjects received four treatment sessions in random order with each consisting of five repetitions of stretching: (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. Each treatment session comprised five repetitions of stretch and successive treatments were separated by at least 24 hours. Main outcome measures: The distance between greater trochanter and lateral malleolus and hamstring electromyographic (EMG) activity during passive knee extension stretching. Results: Two-way ANOVA showed a larger increase in hamstring extensibility in conditions C and D (1.3 ± 1.1 cm) than conditions A and B (0.7 ± 0.9 cm) (P < 0.001). For the EMG recordings, conditions B and D (-25.1 ± 58.4μV) had greater decrease than conditions A and C (-3.5 ± 36.6 μV) (P = 0.039). Conclusions: Heat application to the hamstrings before stretching couldresult in greater increase in extensibility than stretching alone in children with hypertonia and severe mental retardation. Stretching could promote relaxation of the hamstring muscles regardless of prior heat treatment. Stretching sustained for 30 seconds led to greater relaxation than that for 10 seconds.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/16849
ISSN: 0269-2155
DOI: 10.1177/0269215508090067
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