Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Effect of the Global Active Stretching (SGA®) for Restoring the Normal Values of Thermal Asymmetry

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Effect of the Global Active Stretching (SGA®) for Restoring the Normal Values of Thermal Asymmetry

Article excerpt

Introduction

Nowadays, the growing popularity of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu around the world has stimulated both the creation of competitions and appearance of new athletes. Most jiu-jitsu competitors are in the blue belt level and are affected by a higher incidence of shoulder and elbow injuries (Kreiswirth et al., 2014; Scoggin et al., 2014). Therefore, developing strategies for injury prevention is necessary(Scoggin et al., 2014; Kreiswirth et al., 2014).

With the advances in technology, the use of infrared thermography (IRT) has increased within the injury prevention programs for sports. IRT is a tool that allows to view the heat radiated from the body surface and measure the skin temperature (TSK) in a fast, non-invasive way and without physical contact (Vargas et al., 2009). Among its application possibilities, we highlight the early identification of body thermal dysfunctions that may be related to inflammatory processes resulting from physical exercise (Arnaiz-Lastras et al., 2014). Measuring TSK after competition has been recently suggested as a useful strategy in management of training load, offering information about muscle recovery status (Fernandes et al., 2017).

Under normal conditions, the TSK might be similar between contralateral regions of the body (Gatt et al., 2015). Thermal symmetry patterns have been reported in adults (Marins et al., 2014b) and young soccer players non-injured (Marins et al., 2014c). Conversely, thermal asymmetries have been associated with physiological and structural abnormalities in athletes (Hildebrant et al., 2010), which may be directly associated to the training overload, incomplete recovery and exercise-induced muscle damage (Fernández-Cuevas et al., 2014).

Marins et al., (2015) proposed a scale of attention level, according to the differences of TSK obtained between contralateral body regions of interest (ROIs), considering: (a) Normal: asymmetries < 0.4 °C; (b) Monitoring: asymmetries > 0.5 °C (it is advisable to reassess and see if there is an influence of some external factor); c) Prevention: values between 0.8°C and 1.0°C (it is suggested a load reduction, or even training suspension, and medical or physiotherapeutic assessment); d) Alarm: values between 1.1°C and 1.5° C (immediate training suspension and medical or physiotherapeutic assessment); e) Gravity: asymmetries > 1,6 °C (it suggests an asymmetry with pathological feature or an important injury, with recommendation of medical or physiotherapeutic evaluation).

Despite the advances in the prior identification of possible injuries, it is necessary to implant practical procedures in the athletes' training routine in order to prevent them. Among the procedures, there is the practice of stretching. However, the implantation of this type of training in the athletes' routine still causes disagreement over the years in the scientific community (Hebert, et al., 2013; ACSM, 2014; Lewis, 2014). Such discrepancies are also found when the subject is specifically directed to the practice of stretching in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. (Costa et al., 2009; Oliveira et al., 2014).

Nevertheless, studies show that the maintenance of stretching for 10 minutes has a direct effect on the regulatory mechanism of inflammation in the connective tissue (Berrueta et al., 2016). Such conclusion is something that differs completely from the maintenance time recommended for conventional stretching exercises. The conventional approach recommend a duration of 10 to 30 seconds approximately, which has already been used in studies involving Jiu-Jitsu (ACSM, 2014; Costa et al., 2009; Oliveira et al., 2014). In other words, there is a hypothesis that the performing of stretching with proper time and care, just as used in the study of Berrueta et al. (2016), may help in the maintenance and restoration of normal thermal asymmetry values.

Despite the advances in the prior identification of possible injuries, it is also necessary to implant practical procedures in the athletes training routine in order to prevent them. …

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