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Differences in Pressure Pain Threshold Among Men and Women After Foam Rolling

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Differences in pressure pain threshold among men and women after foam rolling.

Rehabilitation professionals often prescribe foam rolling as an intervention to augment other manual therapies or as a warm-up or recovery after athletic activity. Currently, there is a gap in the literature regarding how foam rolling effects the pressure pain threshold (PPT) among men and women.

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to examine the immediate effects of a foam rolling intervention on the ipsilateral agonist, antagonist, and contralateral muscle group PPT among men and women.

 

Participants:

Twenty healthy adults (M = 10, F = 10; mean age = 27.4 ± 8.5 years).

Research Design:

Pre-test, post-test observational study.

Intervention:

Video-guided foam roll intervention on the left quadriceps group.

Main Outcome Measures:

Ipsilateral quadriceps, ipsilateral hamstring, and contralateral quadriceps muscle PPT.

Results:

Within group comparison for men, revealed a statistically significant effect of time on PPT for the left quadriceps (p=<0.001), left hamstring (p = 0.001), and right quadriceps (p=<0.001). For women, there was a statistically significant effect of time on PPT for the left quadriceps (p = 0.001), left hamstring (p = 0.007), and right quadriceps (p=<0.001). No significant difference in PPT between men and women were found for the left quadriceps (p = 0.31), left hamstring (p = 0.13), and right quadriceps (p = 0.070) muscle groups.

Conclusion:

These finding suggest that foam rolling can immediately reduce PPT in the ipsilateral agonist, antagonist, and contralateral muscle groups among men and women. Future investigations are needed to determine the long-term effects of foam rolling on PPT among sexes.

Practical Implication:

No main differences exist in PPT following foam rolling in men and women. Therefore, men and women should perform similar, but individualized foam rolling or soft tissue techniques based on their individual needs.

Reference:

  1. Cheatham SW, Baker R. Differences in pressure pain threshold among men and women after foam rolling. J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2017 Oct;21(4):978-982. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2017.06.006. Epub 2017 Jun 15.

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