Background: Adequate flexibility is an important characteristic of physical fitness but there continues to be debate regarding the optimal technique for flexibility training. Heat with stretching have benefits but combined effects of massage and stretching can even prove to be more beneficial.
Purpose: Present study intends to investigate and compare the efficacy of thermotherapy plus PNF (contract-relax) stretching over massage (petrissage) plus PNF stretching on plantar flexor flexibility in young women.
Materials and Methods: 30 females aged between 20-30 years having plantar flexors tightness were included in study and allocated equally into two groups, Group A and B, respectively. Group A was given moist heat pack for 15 minutes plus PNF stretches to plantar flexors muscle and Group B was given petrissage(wringing) technique of massage for 5 minutes plus PNF stretches. Both the groups received interventions for 3 weeks, 5 days per week. Goniometeric Active and Passive Dorsiflexion Range of Motion (ADROM / PDROM) was performed before and after the 3 weeks protocol.
Results: Within the group comparison demonstrated that the ADROM / PDROM was significantly increased from baseline values on 15th day, in both groups. Between groups comparison, however, demonstrated that non-significant differences existed in values of ADROM / PDROM on 15th day suggesting that both interventional programs were equally effective in improving ankle dorsiflexion range of motion
Conclusion: Addition of both moist heat pack and petrissage massage to PNF is found to be equally effective in improving plantar flexors flexibility in healthy young females.
Key words: Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, Moist heat pack, Petrissage massage, Plantar flexors flexibility.