Is Stretching all that important?14/07/21
Have you ever felt stiff after sitting for a long time?
When you have been sitting in a chair all day doing your desk work your hamstrings tighten in the back of the thigh. When you need to extend your leg or straighten your knee all the way to walk, this tightness inhibits walking.
We have all experienced this from time to time. Muscles naturally shorten and become tight. Then, when you call on the muscles for activity, they are weak and unable to extend all the way which puts you at risk for joint pain, strains, and muscle damage.
Benefits of stretching
Improve your joint range of motion.
Decrease your risk of injury.
Improve your performance in physical activities.
Helps relieve post-exercise aches and pains.
Enable your muscles to work most effectively.
Helps reduce or manage stress.
The idea of daily stretching may seem overwhelming. Aim for a program of daily stretches or at least three or four times per week or 5-10 minutes. You'll need to do it over time and remain committed to the process.
Stretch after you have warmed up!
More and more research has shown that stretching muscles before they're warmed up can them. When the fibers are cold, they are not prepared and can be damaged. If you exercise first, you'll get blood flow to the area, and that makes the tissue more pliable and amenable to change. All it takes to warm up the muscles before stretching is five to 10 minutes of light activity, such as a quick walk. You can also stretch after an aerobic or weight-training workout.
Where do I start?
- Hold a stretch for 15-30 seconds.
- You'll feel tension during a stretch, but you should not feel pain.
- Don't bounce, which can cause injury.
- Don’t try to increase your flexibility too quickly
- If you feel pain, there may be an injury or damage in the tissue. Stop stretching that muscle.
Contact the clinic team if you would like any advice, we are here to help answer your questions.
Did you know?
Our clinics are centres of excellence for the treatment of back, neck and joint pain