Static stretching reduces motoneuron excitability: The potential role of neuromodulation
Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews
School of Medical and Health Sciences / Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research
Prolonged static muscle stretching transiently reduces maximal muscle force, and this force loss has a strong neural component. In this review, we discuss the evidence suggesting that stretching reduces the motoneuron's ability to amplify excitatory drive. We propose a hypothetical model in which stretching causes physiological relaxation, reducing the brainstem-derived neuromodulatory drive necessary to maximize motoneuron discharge rates.
Neuroscience and neurorehabilitation