A Japanese Stretching Intervention Can Modify Lumbar Lordosis Curvature

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Abstract

Study Design:

Eighteen healthy male adults were assigned to either an intervention or control group.

Objectives:

Isogai dynamic therapy (IDT) is one of Japanese stretching interventions and has been practiced for over 70 years. However, its scientific quantitative evidence remains unestablished. The objective of this study was to determine whether IDT could modify lumbar curvature in healthy young adults compared with stretching exercises used currently in clinical practice.

Summary of Background Data:

None of previous studies have provided data that conventional stretching interventions could modify spinal curvatures. However, this study provides the first evidence that a specific form of a Japanese stretching intervention can acutely modify the spinal curvatures.

Methods:

We compared the effects of IDT, a Japanese stretching intervention (n=9 males), with a conventional stretching routine (n=9 males) used widely in clinics to modify pelvic tilt and lumbar lordosis (LL) angle. We measured thoracic kyphosis (TK) and LL angles 3 times during erect standing using the Spinal Mouse before and after each intervention. IDT consisted of: (1) hip joint correction, (2) pelvic tilt correction, (3) lumbar alignment correction, and (4) squat exercise stretch. The control group performed hamstring stretches while (1) standing and (2) sitting.

Results:

IDT increased LL angle to 25.1 degrees (±5.9) from 21.2 degrees (±6.9) (P=0.047) without changing TK angle (pretest: 36.8 degrees [±6.9]; posttest: 36.1 degrees [±6.5]) (P=0.572). The control group showed no changes in TK (P=0.819) and LL angles (P=0.744).

Conclusions:

IDT can thus be effective for increasing LL angle, hence anterior pelvic tilt. Such modifications could ameliorate low back pain and improve mobility in old adults with an unfavorable pelvic position.

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