The Effect of a Pelvic Compression Belt on Functional Hamstring Muscle Activity in Sportsmen With and Without Previous Hamstring Injury   

Authors:  Arumugam A, Milosavljevic S, Woodley S, Sole G

There is evidence that applying a pelvic compression belt (PCB) can decrease hamstring and lumbar muscle electromyographic activity and increase gluteus maximus activity in healthy women during walking. Increased isokinetic eccentric hamstring strength in the terminal range (25° - 5° of knee extension) has been reported with the use of such a belt in sportsmen with and without hamstring injuries. However, it is unknown whether wearing a pelvic belt alters activity of the hamstrings in sportsmen during walking.  Therefore the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of wearing a PCB on electromyographic activity of hamstring and lumbopelvic muscles during walking in sportsmen with and without hamstring injuries.  No significant change was evident in hamstring activity for either group while walking with the PCB (p > 0.050). However, with the PCB, gluteus medius activity (p ≤ 0.028) increased in both groups, while gluteus maximus activity increased (p = 0.025) and multifidus activity decreased (p < 0.001) in the control group. The magnitude of change induced by the belt in gluteus medius activity was similar between groups (p = 0.760). No statistically significant baseline differences in no belt scores were evident between groups for the investigated muscles (p ≥ 0.050).  The authors concluded that the application of a PCB had individual-specific effects on electromyographic activity of those with injured and uninjured hamstrings during walking, resulting in no significant changes within or between the two groups. Future studies investigating effects of the PCB on hamstring activity in participants with acute injury and during a more demanding functional activity such as running are warranted.

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