Affiliations: Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK | St George's Hospital, London, UK | Central London Community Healthcare, London, UK
Note:  Corresponding author: Siân MacRae, Physiotherapy Department, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, 369 Fulham Road, London SW10 9NH, UK. E-mail: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract: Background: A superior tibiofibular joint (STFJ) mobilisation is commonly used in the management of lower limb dysfunctions of a neural origin. Evidence for the efficacy of this treatment technique is equivocal. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of mobilisation techniques on the plantar flexion inversion straight leg raise (PFI SLR) test, on asymptomatic subjects. Methods: The study is a prospective, within subjects' quasi-experimental design. Fifteen subjects were randomised into three groups. Each subject underwent three interventions: STFJ mobilisation, placebo mobilisation (lateral patellar glide), and a control ‘intervention’ (no treatment). The order of interventions varied according to group allocation. PFI SLR was assessed using an inclinometer by the lead researcher, who remained blinded to the group allocation. Results: There was a significant increase in range of PFI SLR following the STFJ intervention, and the placebo intervention. On comparison of the mean change in range between the three groups, the change in STFJ intervention was significant when compared to the placebo and control groups. Conclusions: Both STFJ and placebo interventions resulted in a significant improvement in PFI SLR. The mechanisms causing these effects are unknown. Further research is required with symptomatic individuals to clarify the clinical significance of these findings in different lower quadrant conditions, including back pain, referred leg pain, and ankle inversion sprains.
Keywords: Common peroneal nerve, manual therapy, neural interface, superior tibiofibular