Research: GRIEFAHN and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 268

Abstract

GRIEFAHN and COLLEAGUES, 1. Department of Movement and Rehabilitation Science, University of Applied Science Osnabrück, Germany; 2. Department of Movement and Rehabilitation Science, University of Applied Science Osnabrück, Germany. H.von-Piekartz@hs-osnabrueck.de investigated the effect of Foam Roll exercises on the mobility of the thoracolumbar fascia (TLF).

Background

Due to new research results in the past few years, interest in the fascia of the human body has increased. Dysfunctions of the fascia are indicated by various symptoms, amongst others, musculoskeletal pain. As a result stronger focus has been put on researching therapeutic approaches in this area.

Methodology

The main aim of this study was to investigate the effect of Foam Roll exercises on the mobility of the thoracolumbar fascia (TLF). Study has been conducted in a randomized and controlled trial which sampled 38 healthy athletic active men and women. The subjects were randomly assigned to a Foam Roll Group (FMG), a Placebo Group (PG) and a Control Group (CG). Depending on the assigned group the volunteers were either instructed to do exercises with the Foam Roll, received a pseudo treatment with the Foam Roll or received no treatment. A total of three measurements were carried out. The most important field of research was the mobility of the TLF, which was determined using a sonographic assessment. In addition the lumbar flexion and the mechanosensivity of relevant muscles were determined.

Results

After the intervention, the FMG showed an average increase of 1.7915 mm for the mobility of the TLF (p < 0.001/d = 0.756). In contrast, only an average improvement of 0.1681 mm (p = 0.397) was shown in the PG, while the CG showed a slight improvement of 0.0139 mm (p = 0.861). However, no significant changes were observed with regard to the lumbar flexion and mechanosensivity of the treated muscles.

Conclusion

Thus, evidence is that the use of Foam Roll exercises significantly improves the mobility of the thoracolumbar fascia in a healthy young population.

References

Griefahn A1, Oehlmann J1, Zalpour C1, von Piekartz H2. Do exercises with the Foam Roller have a short-term impact on the thoracolumbar fascia? - A randomized controlled trial. J Bodyw Mov Ther. 21(1):186-193. Jan 2017.   DOI: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2016.05.011 . Epub Jul 6 2016.

Comment

This study demonstrated that Foam Roll exercises significantly improved mobility of the thoracolumbar fascia in a healthy young population compared with Placebo and Control interventions.

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