Comparison of longitudinal sciatic nerve movement with different mobilization exercises: an in vivo study utilizing ultrasound imaging.
Neurodynamic exercises are used to mobilise nerves, and different types of lower limb exercises (including “sliders” and “tensioners”) are thought to induce different amount of sciatic nerve excursion (or displacement). Recent research focusing on the upper limb has shown that nerve excursion differs significantly between different types of neural mobilization exercises. However, this has not been examined in the lower limb.
This study measured (using high-resolution ultrasound) sciatic nerve excursion in 31 healthy participants, while they were performing 4 different neural mobilization exercises (combinations of knee extension and cervical spine flexion and extension).
Results pointed out that different neural mobilization exercises induced significantly different amounts of sciatic nerve excursion at the posterior midthigh region. The slider exercise, consisting of the participant performing simultaneous cervical spine and knee extension, resulted in the largest amount of sciatic nerve excursion. Furthermore, the amount of excursion during the slider exercise was slightly greater than it was during the tensioner exercise (simultaneous cervical spine flexion and knee extension). Neck flexion exercise only, resulted in the least amount of sciatic nerve excursion at the posterior, which was significantly smaller than the other 3 exercises.
These findings are consistent with the results of previous research that has examined median nerve excursion associated with different neural mobilization exercises. > From: Ellis et al. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 42 (2012) 667-675. All rights reserved to the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy.
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