Stretch Intensity vs. Inflammation: A Dose-dependent Association?

Nikos Apostolopoulos BPHE, George S. Metsios, Alan Nevill, Yiannis Koutedakis, Matthew Wyon


The intensity of stretching is rarely reported in scientific literature. In this study, we examined the effects of stretching intensities at 30%, 60%, and 90% of maximum range of movement (mROM) on the inflammatory response of the right hamstring muscle. Methods: A randomised within-subject trial was conducted with 11 healthy recreationally active males over a three week period. Participants were strapped into an isokinetic dynamometer in the supine position, with the right knee fastened in a knee immobilizer. After randomising the ROM percentages, the hamstring muscle was moved to one of the three chosen ROM percentages for that week and held there for 5 x 60 seconds followed by a 10 second rest between repetitions. A 5ml blood sample was collected pre-, immediately post, and at 24 hours post intervention for high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) assessments. Results: Significant increases in hsCRP levels were observed between 30% mROM and 90% mROM (p=0.004) and 60% mROM and 90% mROM (p=0.034), but not between 30% and 60% (p>0.05). Conclusions: Muscle stretching at submaximal levels does not elicit a significant systemic inflammatory responses.

Keywords: Stretch intensity, inflammation, hsCRP

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