Andrea Buscemi, Maria Cristina Petralia, Tiziana Ramaci, Alessandro Rapisarda, Carmelo Provazza, Donatella Di Corrado, Vincenzo Perciavalle, Valentina Perciavalle, Marinella Coco | Year 2019

Ergojump evaluation of the explosive strength in volleyball athletes pre- and post-fascial treatment

Scope:

Sport – Muscle strength

Type of study:

Randomized controlled trial

Date of publication of the study’:

2019/May/29

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Purpose of the study

  • Objective: to evaluate the efficacy of OMT applied to the lower extremities in improving explosive force, while at the same time reducing spasms, tensions, tissue strain and correcting the posture
  • Measured outcomes:
    • Primary: height of jump in cm through squat jump and countermovement jump

Participants

  • Number: 57 men (mean age 24.18 years)
  • Criteria of inclusion: semi-professional volley players.
  • Criteria of exclusion: scoliosis, ligamentous laxity, a history of surgery (eg, anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, varicocele, appendectomy), use of medications, previous ligament injuries, or muscle-tendon problems and/or fractures.
  • Groups of study: 2 groups obtained by randomization
    • Group 1: OMT, 30 men
    • Group 2: non-specific superficial massage, 27 men

Interventions and evaluations

  • At baseline and 9 days after the last intervention, following a 10-minute phase of warming up and stretching, evaluation of the height of jump in cm through:
    • squat jump (for the explosive force of the extensor muscles of the lower limbs)
    • countermovement jump (for the release of elastic energy by the extensor muscles of the lower limbs)
  • 4 weekly sessions of OMT or nonspecific superficial massage of 20 minutes
  • OMT: protocol of fascial techniques applied to the lower extremities (superficial dorsal fascia, pedidia fascia, deep fascia, plantar fascia of the foot, outside fascia of the anterior leg, internal fascia of posterior leg, interosseous membranes of the leg, condyle shells, frontal thigh superficial fascia, posterior thigh superficial fascia, fascia lata)
    • each technique was applied once per session and on a single point for 90 seconds
  • OMT administered by an osteopath with 14-year experience
  • All the athletes were convinced to receive the same OMT

Results

Primary outcome: compared to the group with nonspecific massage, OMT induced a statistically significant increase in the height of jump in both tests (specifically, about 3 cm in the squat jump and 2 cm in the countermovement jump)

Discussion

OMT showed to be able to improve the release of explosive muscle force, most likely through a relaxation of fascial tensions. In fact, by relaxing the fascia the tissue may become more reactive in case of physical exertion and, therefore, being less rigid, more capable of releasing elastic energy.

Since the two groups followed the same training, this result is to be taken under particular consideration, as OMT favored a better tropism of the lower limbs’ muscles. Future studies are needed to assess whether a OMT protocol similar to the one presented here can also be effective for other muscle and myofascial districts.

The review of Osteopedia

By Marco Chiera

Strengths: accurate description of both the tests used for the measurement of explosive force and the OMT techniques; the OMT protocol is easily reproducible; although “slight”, an increase in jump height of 2-3cm can have important repercussions on sports performance.

Limits:the non-specific massage has not been described; perhaps, a personalized OMT based on the needs of the athlete could be more effective than a protocolled OMT; the exclusively male sample prevents extending the result to women; although there is talk of evaluating the reduction of spasms and tensions and correcting the posture, nevertheless there is no mention of how and if these aspects have been measured.

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