The Effect of Static Stretching on Muscle Performance
Kay & Blazevich, scientists from Western Australia recently reviewed the Effect of Static Stretching on Maximal Muscle Performance, it was published in Medicine Science of Sports & Exercises Journal July 2011.
The authors addressed the benefits of pre-exercise muscle stretching, which have been recently questioned following reports of significant post-stretch reductions in force and power production. However, there are many methodological issues and equivocal findings have prevented a clear consensus being reached.
The authors conducted a systematic review for randomized or quasi-randomized controlled trials and intervention-based trials published in peer-reviewed scientific journals examining the effect of an acute static stretch intervention on maximal muscular performance.
From 106 good studies they found:
Clear evidence indicating that short-duration acute static stretch (less than 30 seconds) has no detrimental effect, with overwhelming evidence that stretch durations of 30-45 seconds also imparted no significant effect. However a significant reduction likely to occur with stretches greater than 60 sec.
This strong evidence was independent of performance task, contraction mode or muscle group.
The authors concluded that the detrimental effects of static stretch are mainly limited to longer durations (≥60 s) which may not be typically used during pre-exercise routines in clinical, healthy or athletic populations. Shorter durations of stretch (<60 s) can be performed in a pre-exercise routine without compromising maximal muscle performance.
Poor posture makes you weaker
Apparently poor posture not only makes a bad impression, but can actually make you physically weaker. According to a study by Scott Wiltermuth, assistant professor of management organization at the USC Marshall School of Business, and Vanessa K. Bohns, postdoctoral fellow at the J.L. Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, adopting dominant versus submissive postures actually decreases your sensitivity to pain.
The study, “It Hurts When I Do This (or You Do That)” published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, found that by simply adopting more dominant poses, people feel more powerful, in control and able to tolerate more distress. Out of the individuals studied, those who used the most dominant posture were able to comfortably handle more pain than those assigned a more neutral or submissive stance.
Wiltermuth and Bohns also expanded on previous research that shows the posture of a person with whom you interact will affect your pose and behaviour. In this case, Wiltermuth and Bohns found that those adopting submissive pose in response to their partner’s dominant pose showed a lower threshold for pain.
-Fake it until you make it
While most people will crawl up into a ball when they are in pain, Bohn’s and Wiltermuth’s research suggests that one should do the opposite. In fact, their research suggests that curling up into a ball may make the experience more painful because it will make you feel like you have no control over your circumstances, which may in turn intensify your anticipation of the pain. Instead, try sitting or standing up straight, pushing your chest out and expanding your body. These behaviours can help create a sense of power and control that may in turn make the procedure more tolerable. Based on previous research, adopting a powerful, expansive posture rather than constricting your body, may also lead to elevated testosterone, which is associated with increased pain tolerance, and decreased cortisol, which may make the experience less stressful.
-Keeping Your Chin Up Might Really Work to Manage Emotional Pain
While prior research shows that individuals have used pain relievers to address emotional pain, it is possible that assuming dominant postures may make remembering a break-up or some distressing emotional event less painful.
-Caregivers Need to Let Go
Caregivers often try to baby those for whom they are caring to help make things easier and alleviate stress. In doing this, they force those they are caring for in a more submissive position—and thus, according to this new research, possibly render their patients more susceptible to experiencing pain. Rather, this research suggests that caregivers take a more submissive position and surrender control to those who are about to undergo a painful procedure to lessen the intensity of the pain experienced.
Pain relief due to manual therapy doesn't change the motor function of the shoulder
A group of researchers from Germany investigated whether pain relief due to physiotherapy affect the motor function of the shoulder. The study was a Randomised trial at an ambulatory care. Participants were two groups of unspecific shoulder pain patients.
The first shoulder-pain group was trained using flexible foil, whilst flexible bands were used to train the patients in the second group. Training period was 12 weeks.
Pain of the shoulder was evaluated through functional pain assessment before, halfway through and after intervention. Proprioceptive and kinaesthetic ability was measured by an active–active angle-replication test for the shoulder before and after intervention. The data of the shoulder patients was compared to the group of non-symptomatic subjects.
The results showed that pain was reduced significantly in both groups whereas no changes were measured for the ability to replicate angles of the shoulder.
The results showed pain relief by flexible coil and band exercises, but gave no information about why pain is relieved. Because both devices clearly affect muscles surrounding the glenohumeral joint and the rotator cuff, the pain relief may correlate with change in muscle function. Otherwise systematic exercises and training affect the metabolism of passive structures like articular cartilage and ligaments. The intervention may have an effect on painful processes of such structures.
The authors suggested that pain relief in the shoulder is not associated with enhancement of the investigated parameters in motor function. The study was published in Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies July 2011
Guinness World Record attempt for most massages given at one time
A Guinness World Record attempt for most massages given at one time will take place Sept. 17 at 6 p.m. at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, US. The event is being organized by Massage Envy, a US massage-and-spa franchise company. This attempt was to break the last record set in 2010 held in Daylesford, Australia, with 263 massage given in 5 minute period. For more information, visit www.massagerecord.com
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