The immediate effect of IASTM vs. Vibration vs. Light Hand Massage on knee angle repositioning accuracy and hamstrings flexibility: A pilot study, 2020

Topics: Fascia, Massage, Muscle tightness, Proprioception

Authors: George A. Koumantakis, Eleonora Roussou, Georgios A. Angoules, Nikolaos A. Angoules, Theodoros Alexandropoulos, Georgia Mavrokosta, Prokopios Nikolaou, Filippi Karathanassi, Maria Papadopoulou


Introduction: The effectiveness of novel soft-tissue interventions relative to traditional ones requires
further exploration. The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the immediate effect of Instrument
Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) compared to Vibration Massage or Light Hand Massage on
hamstrings’ !exibility and knee proprioception.
Methods: 16 healthy non-injured male participants (mean age 23.7 years, height 1.80 cms and body mass
77.7 kg) were randomly assigned to the following interventions: (a) 5min IASTM, (b) 5min Vibration
Massage and (c) 8min Light Hand-Massage, sequentially delivered to all participants with an in-between
1-week time interval. A single application of each intervention was given over the hamstrings of their
dominant leg (repeated measures under 3 different experimental conditions). An active knee angle
reproduction proprioception test and the back-saver sit and reach !exibility test were performed before
and immediately after each intervention. Reliability of outcomes was also assessed.
Results: Reliability for !exibility (ICC3,1 ¼ 0.97e0.99/SEM ¼ 0.83e1.52 cm) and proprioception
(ICC3,1 ¼ 0.83e0.88/SEM ¼ 1.63e2.02″) was very good. For !exibility, statistically signi”cant immediate
improvement (p < 0.001) was noted in all 3 groups (1.61e3.23 cm), with no between-group differences. For proprioception, improvement in the IASTM (2.12"), Vibration Massage (0.32") and Light Hand- Massage (1.17") conditions was not statistically signi"cant; no between-group differences were also evident. Conclusions: Our "ndings indicate that muscle !exibility was positively in!uenced immediately after a single intervention of IASTM, Vibration Massage or Light Hand Massage. Proprioception changes were not statistically signi"cant either within or between groups. Further evaluation of those interventions in a larger population with hamstrings pathology is required.

Related research articles