Research Review: Longer duration self myofascial release produced greater ROM results without altering performance

By Stefanie DiCarrado DPT, PT, NASM CPT & CES

Edited by Brent Brookbush DPT, PT, MS, PES, CES, CSCS, ACSM H/FS

Original Citation: Sullivan, K.M., Silvey, D.B.J., Button, D.C., Behm, D.G. (2013).  Roller-massager application to the hamstrings increases sit-and-reach range of motion within five to ten seconds without performance impairments. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy 8(3) 228-236.- ARTICLE

Roller massage myofascial release of the hamstrings, applied by a external source.

Why is this relevant?: The use of self-myofasical release to improve range of motion (ROM) is not new, but its use within a corrective exercise program has not been extensively researched.  This study is the first to examine the relationship between duration and volume of self -myofasical techniques and improvements in ROM.  Additionally, research on static stretching techniques have shown a reduction in maximal force production of the affected musculature immediately following a static stretch, but this study, along with others, provides evidence that myofascial release can produce ROM gains without the decrease in muscle force output (1,2).

Study Summary

Study Design Randomized Controlled Study (RTC)
Level of EvidenceLevel II: Evidence from at least 1 RTC
Subject Demographics

  • Age:

    • Females: 23 ± 5 years
    • Males: 22 ± 1 years
  • Gender: 10 females, 7 males
  • Characteristics: Participated in physical activity an avg 3x/week, no previous roller massager use experience

    • Females: 63.7 ± 9.8 kg, 167.2 ± 5.5 cm
    • Males: 70.2 ± 10.4 kg, 173.4 ± 8.8 cm
  • Inclusion Criteria: Not specified
  • Exclusion Criteria: Any previous neurological or musculoskeletal impairments within the previous year
Outcome Measures

  • Hamstring ROM (Sit & Reach test)
  • Hamstring