Stretch Exercises Increase Tolerance to Stretch in Patients With Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

A randomized controlled trial was conducted to investigate the effects of a 3-week stretch program on muscle extensibility and stretch tolerance in patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain. A within-subject design was used, with one leg of each participant randomly allocated to an experimental (stretch) condition and the other leg randomly allocated to a control (no-stretch) condition. The hamstring muscles of the experimental leg were stretched daily for 1 minute over 3 weeks; the control leg was not stretched. This intervention was embedded within a pain management program and supervised by physical therapists. The results showed that stretch did not increase muscle extensibility, but it did improve stretch tolerance.

Three weeks of stretch increases tolerance to the discomfort associated with stretch but does not change muscle extensibility in patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain.

Physical Therapy, 2009 Aug 20, online ahead of print

Link to Abstract

Neck Pain

Out of all 291 conditions studied in the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study, neck pain ranked 4th highest in terms of disability and 21st in terms of overall burden.

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