Some joints become deformed over the years (e.g. Hammer toe, hallux valgus) therefore I understand ligaments/tendons that hold them together/stabilize does stretch little by little. However exercises are predominantly studied for effect on muscles. Effect of static and ballistic stretching on the muscle-tendon tissue properties :

Many studies have been undertaken to define the effects of static and ballistic stretching. However, most researchers have focused their attention on joint range-of-motion measures.

Same paper:

Results: The results of the study reveal that the dorsiflexion range of motion was increased significantly in all groups. Static stretching resulted in a significant decrease of the passive resistive torque, but there was no change in Achilles tendon stiffness. In contrast, ballistic stretching had no significant effect on the passive resistive torque of the plantar flexors. However, a significant decrease in stiffness of the Achilles tendon was observed in the ballistic-stretch group.

Firstly, currently the problem is solved in medicine by releasing tendons/ligaments during surgeries. Secondly, splints and other orthotics "straighteners" are advertised to be used overnight or worn round the clock, but as far as I've heard many (if not all) orthopedic surgeons say conservative treatment does not cure, only alleviates symptoms.

When doing static (traditional "lean and hold" type of stretching), how long should we hold the stretch? :

one study showed that there was no difference when time was increased from 30 to 60 seconds and performed multiple times per day, and another that showed no gains when solely increasing from 30-60 seconds per stretch.

Thinking about results of the studies quoted above I would think round-the-clock stretching by e.g. splints is not effective in fixing joints at all or maybe at least not more effective than wearing them one minute a day; but ballistic movements, maybe some massage could really (at least partly) cure joint deformities. But AFAIK massage is even not taught to be one of methods of conservative treatment of e.g. hallux valgus. Are there more studies/knowledge of effective stretching of collagen fibers tissue?

EDIT: for hammer toe tendon transfer on its own may help, on the other hand for hallux valgus release of adductor tendon is a small part of a surgery, so effectiveness of orthotics may not be evaluated based on effects on tendons/ligaments alone.


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