Most patients and clients in our Boulder Physical Therapy and Lafayette Physical Therapy clinics are looking to regain mobility. Lost range of motion can be due to a variety of factors including injury, surgery, muscle imbalances, and functional movement patterns. In addition to manual therapy, mobility exercises, and stretching Physical Therapists have looked to increase these effects using outside techniques. In previous blogs we have described the greater flexibility benefits of self mobilizations bands with stretching compared to stretching alone. Recently, authors have promoted using compression wraps or floss bands around joints and soft tissues during stretching. A recent review study compared the effects of stretching with and without the utilization of these bands.
Kielur and colleagues published a systematic review and meta analysis on the effectiveness of these bands during exercise. Authors identified 6 studies examining the effectiveness of these compression bands on ankle dorsiflexion range of motion. Four of the studies were of high quality and 2 as low quality. Authors reported no differences between groups who used compression bands during stretching compared to their peers who stretched without the bands. Authors concluded these bands may have no effect on ankle dorsiflexion range of motion compared to stretching alone. Thus any effect found in the group using the bands in these trials was likely due to the exercise alone.