Background: Increased joint stability as well as the ability to maintain balance during typical daily activities and exercise is an important factor in improving performance and preventing injury. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of eight-weeks of Self-Myofascial Release therapy (SMR) on knee joint position sense (KJPS) and dynamic balance (DB) in collegiate male athletes with hamstring shortness (HS).
Methods: In this quasi-experimental study (randomized control trial), 24 collegiate male athletes with HS were randomly selected and randomly divided into experimental (n = 12) and control (n = 12) groups.
KJPS was measured with an isokinetic dynamometer and DB using the Y balance test before and after 8 weeks of SMR. The results were analyzed by SPSS software version 22 as well as dependent T-tests and covariance analysis. The significance level was considered 95% and alpha equal to or less than 0.05.
Results: The outcomes of the dependent t-test showed that dynamic balance test scores (in all three directions of anterior, Posteromedial, Posterolateral and overall Y-score) increased in the SMR group compared to the control group (P = 0.001) but no significant difference was observed in KJPS values between the two groups (P = 0.493).
Conclusion: Based on the results, it seems that SMR foam rolling is not suitable for increasing KJPS accurateness of athletes with a short hamstring, but these exercises can be used to improve dynamic balance.