Sports Med Rehabil J | Volume 4, Issue 1 | Research Article | Open Access

Clinician vs. Self-Administered Suboccipital Release on Hamstring Mobility

Colin Wilhite, Kristin A Paloncy*, Karen Rakowski and Todd Daniel

Department of Kinesiology, Linnaeus University, USA

*Correspondance to: Kristin A Paloncy 

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Introduction: Research is sparse as to if any self-administered soft tissue techniques using other devices produce the same gains in mobility as when the clinician delivers the manual trigger point release. The purpose of the study is to see if there is a difference in hamstring mobility, as measured by toe touch distance, between a clinician administered and a patient administered suboccipital release.
Methods: The study employed a descriptive laboratory study with randomization in which 60 participants reported for a single data collection session, and were either put into a clinician or self-administered treatment group. Standing forward flexion distance was measured using a slide ruler box and served as the baseline (pre-test) measurement of the participants hamstring mobility. Participants in the clinician administered group were asked to lie supine on a treatment table while the researcher performed an occipital release technique on the participant for two minutes. The participants in the self-administered group were asked to lie supine on a treatment table and the researcher performed an occipital release technique for five seconds. Using a one inch plastic dowel rod placed on the suboccipital region of the head, the self-administered group was asked to reproduce the same sensation they had felt by the clinician for two minutes. Standing forward flexion was again measured on all participants and recorded as post-test hamstring mobility score. Findings: There was a statistically significant main effect for the intervention, F(1,58)=18.24, p<0.001, eta=0.239, indicating that both the clinician administered and the self-administered groups improved from pretest (Pre M=4.74, SD=7.96) to posttest (M=6.79, SD=7.58). But there was not a statistically significant interaction of time and group, F(1,58)=18.24, p=0.360, eta=0.014, indicating that neither group outperformed the other.
Discussion: The significant clinical implication within the study was that there was no significant difference between gains in hamstring mobility between clinician administered and self-administered suboccipital release. This study demonstrates the effectiveness of a properly taught self-administered suboccipital trigger point release as equal in comparison to clinician administered treatment.
Conclusion: The significant finding in this study is toe touch distance increased for all participants following a suboccipital release. These findings indicate that if a clinician properly instructs a patient on how to perform a suboccipital release, the intervention is just as successful as when the clinician performs the suboccipital release. Future research should explore the effects of suboccipital release on to touch over time, as the current study only measured the immediate effects.


Wilhite C, Paloncy KA, Rakowski K, Daniel T. Clinician vs. Self-Administered Suboccipital Release on Hamstring Mobility. Sports Med Rehabil J. 2019; 4(1): 1043

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