Background: Massage is frequently used in prevention and management of soft tissue injuries in sport. There is little scientific evidence to support its use. Objective: The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of dynamic soft tissue mobilisation (DSTM) in comparison with classic massage on hamstring muscle length in competitive female field hockey players. Design: A randomised, self-controlled comparative clinical trial, with a blinded measurer. Thirty-nine players were recruited and randomly allocated into two groups. One group received classic massage and the other DSTM. Outcome measures: Passive straight leg raise (PSLR) and passive knee extension (PKE) were used to measure indirect hamstring length, before, following and 24 h post-intervention. Result: The PKE test demonstrated a significant improvement in hamstring length immediately following massage in both groups (F=7.66, p=0.01). This increase was comparable between the two massage groups (F=0.164, p=0.69). Post-hoc linear contrast showed no maintenance over 24 h in either group, (classic F(1,18)=2.106, p=0.164, DSTM F (1,15)=0.599, p=0.451). Conclusion: Passive KE showed that both classic massage and DSTM had an immediate, significant effect on hamstring length in competitive female field hockey players. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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