Stretching is not the only solution to improve flexibility!!!
Muscle tightness specifically of Hamstring muscle is a very common problem. It is speculated that it can cause variety of problems such as low back pain, hamstring muscle strain, patellofemoral pain, plantar fasciitis etc. A variety of treatment techniques have been used in the past to improve hamstring flexibility, however, none of the techniques proved to be effective enough to improve the flexibility to achieve clinical benefits.
In the literature we observed that mechanosensitivity of nervous system being associated with hamstring strain, low back pain and hamstring tightness. Thus, we hypothesized that mobilization of nervous system could add on to static stretching technique of hamstrings to improve the hamstring flexibility in healthy individuals.
In our study that we published in the journal of Physical Therapy in Sport, we observed that addition of both the types of neural mobilization techniques (sliders and tensioners) yielded significant benefit than using static stretching alone. We did not find any significant difference between the two types of neural mobilization techniques.
Future studies may look at whether addition of neural mobilization in regular flexibility protocols can reduce the incidence of low back pain, hamstring strain etc. Also, effectiveness of these techniques can be evaluated in sports population with hamstring injuries.