In vivo effects of limb movement on nerve stretch, strain, and tension: A systematic review
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© 2017 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved. BACKROUND: The mechanical behavior of the peripheral nervous system under elongation and tension has not been adequately established in vivo. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this review is to investigate the mechanical behavior of the peripheral nervous system in vivo. METHODS: In vivo studies which evaluated the effects of limb movement and neurodynamic tests on peripheral nerve biomechanics were systematically searched in PubMed (Medline), the Cochrane Database, CINAHL, PEDro, Embase and Web of Science. Studies fulfilling the search criteria were assessed for methodological quality with a modified version of the Down & Blacks scale by two reviewers. RESULTS: This review includes the results of 22 studies, of which 15 examined limb movement influencing the median nerve, four the sciatic nerve, two the tibial nerve; and one each the ulnar and pero neal nerves respectively. Substantial nerve longitudinal and transverse excursion and changes in diameter were reported. Despite this, increased nerve strain was not a major finding. CONCLUSION: The heterogeneity of included studies, including wide variety of nerves tested, measurement location and joint position prevented comparisons between studies and also amalgamation of data. Limb movement induces complex biomechanical effects of which nerve elongation plays only a minor role.
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