The Effect of Roller Stick Myofascial Release on Lower Extremity Range of Motion and Functional Performance

Open Access
Montgomery, Allison L
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Sayers John Miller Iii, Thesis Supervisor
  • Jinger Gottschall, Honors Advisor
  • Giampietro Luciano Vairo, Faculty Reader
  • roller stick
  • roller
  • myofascial release
  • fascia
  • range of motion
  • functional performance
  • static stretching
Objective: This study examined the effect of the roller stick on lower extremity range of motion and functional performance. It was hypothesized that the roller stick (RS) myofascial release technique would increase range of motion without impairing functional performance. Design and Settings: A pretest-posttest experimental design was used to examine the immediate effect of the RS myofascial release technique on hamstrings and quadriceps flexibility compared to a static stretching (SS) control group. Participants were randomly assigned to the RS or SS group. Participants: Sixteen male, Division I college football players were enrolled (18.81 ± 0.75 yrs, 1.856 ± 0.061 m, 96.43 ± 17.07 kg). Measurements: Hip and knee range of motion (ROM), single-legged vertical jump and single-legged horizontal hop were the dependent variables. Group means and standard deviations were calculated. Two-sample and paired t-tests were performed to determine differences for between-group and within-group comparisons, respectively. P < 0.05 denoted statistical significance a priori. Results: Statistically significant increases in ROM were found within the RC group for hip flexion (P = 0.038) and knee flexion (P = 0.007), but no statistically significant changes in jump or hop task were found. The SS group demonstrated a statistically significant greater horizontal hop distance (P = 0.032) but no changes in ROM or the vertical jump task were found. No statistically significant differences existed at baseline between groups. Conclusions: The RS myofascial release technique was found to significantly increase hamstring and quadriceps flexibility with no associated reduction in functional performance contrary to what has been previously shown for static stretching. Further research involving a greater number of participants may produce more conclusive results concerning functional performance following a RS myofascial release technique.