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Muscle, Ligaments and Tendons Journal

Sciatic nerve stiffness is not changed immediately after a slump neurodynamics technique

Original Article, 583 - 589
doi: 10.11138/mltj/2017.7.3.583
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Abstract
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Background: Neurodynamics techniques aim to assess and improve neural mechanosensitivity. However, there is no in vivo evidence regarding the mechanical effects of these techniques in the nerve stiffness. This study examined the immediate effects of a slump neurodynamics technique in the sciatic nerve shear wave velocity (SWV. i.e. an index of stiffness) using ultrasound-based elastography.
Methods: Fourteen healthy participants were included in this experiment. Sciatic SWV and ankle passive torque were measured during a passive ankle dorsiflexion motion (2°/s), before and immediately after 3 minutes of slump neurodynamics technique, randomly applied to one lower limb.
The contralateral limb served as control.
Results: The slump intervention did not change the sciatic SWV (P=0.78), nor the dorsiflexion passive torque (P=0.14), throughout the ankle dorsiflexion motion. Excellent values of intra-rater repeatability (ICC=0.88, 0.68-0.96), and low values of standard error of measurement (0.59 m/s, 0.35-1.15m/s), were observed for the SWV measurements.
Conclusions: The sciatic nerve stiffness of healthy participants did not change immediately after a slump neurodynamics technique, suggesting a compliance of the neural tissue to tensile loads. However, these results ought to be confirmed using other neurodynamics techniques and in other populations (e.g. peripheral neuropathies).
Level of evidence: III.

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