The effectiveness of self-myofascial release with foam rollers or roller massagers on range of motion : a systematic review
Denton, Adam Luke
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Citation:Denton, A.L. (2017). The effectiveness of self-myofascial release with foam rollers or roller massagers on range of motion : a systematic review (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Osteopathy). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4689
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4689
BACKGROUND: Altering Range of Motion (ROM) receives substantial attention from groups including researchers, healthcare providers, and both recreation and competitive athletic populations. The most commonly used method is stretching. An alternative method is of Self- Myofascial Release (SMFR) with a foam roller or roller massager. A literature review was conducted with the aim of providing insight and context around the topic of SMFR and ROM. The literature review sought to explain concepts such as myofascial release and joint ROM. The review explored mechanisms of action by which SMFR may influence ROM, and make comparisons to the stretching research that shares many concepts with SMFR but is more extensive than SMFR research. There are three studies published that reviewed randomised trials relating to SMFR and ROM. Despite the focus on ROM, there have been no systematic reviews that critique the relevant literature utilising the Downs and Black methodological quality appraisal tool, which would allow both randomised and non-randomised trials to be reviewed. OBJECTIVES: To comprehensively search the literature relating to SMFR and ROM, appraise the methodological quality of selected randomised and non-randomised studies with the Downs and Black 1 tool. To employ the Van Tulder criteria for determining levels of evidence for the selected studies, and evaluate the effectiveness of SMFR with a foam roller or roller massager for altering joint ROM. METHODS: A database search was completed to identify studies that were published from database inception to August 2016. Seven hundred and seventy seven studies were found, with twenty-two of these studies fitting the systematic reviews inclusion and exclusion criteria. Two reviewers independently extracted the data relating to methodological quality. One reviewer collated the results of the appraisals and then considered the data. RESULTS: The review’s twenty-two studies were of varying methodological quality, with the majority rated as moderate quality. The majority of studies found improvement in ROM after SMFR with a foam roller or roller massager. The Van Tulder criteria established a moderate level of evidence to support SMFR with a foam roller or roller massager as effective intervention for increasing joint ROM. CONCLUSION: This systematic review demonstrates a moderate level of evidence for SMFR with a foam roller or roller massager to improve ROM. This review found the methodological quality of the included studies to be moderate. Future research should focus on more consistent prescriptions of SMFR with respect to frequency, duration and outcome measures used.