Cardiovascular Responses to Muscle Stretching: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

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Abstract

The aim of this study will be to review the current body of literature to understand the effects of stretching on the responses of the cardiovascular system. A literature search was performed using the following databases: Scopus, NLM Pubmed and ScienceDirect. Studies regarding the effects of stretching on responses of the cardiovascular system were investigated. Outcomes regarded heart rate(HR), blood pressure, pulse wave velocity (PWV of which baPWV for brachial-ankle and cfPWV for carotid-femoral waveforms), heart rate variability and endothelial vascular function. Subsequently, the effects of each outcome were quantitatively synthetized using meta-analytic synthesis with random-effect models. A total of 16 studies were considered eligible and included in the quantitative synthesis. Groups were also stratified according to cross-sectional or longitudinal stretching interventions. Quality assessment through the NHLBI tools observed a fair-to-good quality of the studies. The meta-analytic synthesis showed a significant effect of d=0.38 concerning HR, d=2.04 regarding baPWV and d=0.46 for cfPWV. Stretching significantly reduces arterial stiffness and HR. The qualitative description of the studies was also supported by the meta-analytic synthesis. No adverse effects were reported, after stretching, in patients affected by cardiovascular disease on blood pressure. There is a lack of studies regarding vascular adaptations to stretching.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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