OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to examine the intra- and intertester reliability, concurrent criterion-related validity, and responsiveness to treatment of the "figure-of-four" position.
METHODS: A total of 52 asymptomatic male soccer players participated in this study. The intraclass correlation coefficient (2, 1) was used to determine intra- and intertester reliability of the figure-of-four position. Pearson product moment correlation coefficients examining the association between the figure-of-four position and goniometric measurements of hip extension and external rotation were used to establish concurrent validity. To evaluate responsiveness to treatment, the figure-of-four position was assessed by a blinded examiner before and immediately after the application of a stretching technique or control intervention.
RESULTS: Excellent reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient > 0.75) was obtained for both intra- and intertester reliability of the figure-of-four position. Overall, the figure-of-four position and goniometric measurements of both hip extension and external rotation were significantly correlated. However, no significant treatment effects were observed for the figure-of-four position.
CONCLUSION: The results of this study demonstrated that the figure-of-four position is a reliable and valid way to obtain information on tightness of anterior hip joint structures in male soccer players. However, responsiveness to treatment of the figure-of-four position should be questioned.
Author keywords: Hip Joint; Range of Motion, Articular; Reproducibility of Results; Muscle Stretching Exercises
Author affiliations: TCM: Levante U.D., Valencia, Spain; EL, RT-C: Department of Physical Therapy, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain; DP-M: Department of Physical Therapy, Universidad de Alcalá, Alcalá de Henares, Spain; JM: Centre for Sports Medicine, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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