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Stretching Safely

Stretching Safely

Stretching is important.

It doesn’t matter your age, physical activity level, or job demands, stretching is important for the overall health of your musculoskeletal system.  As we go through life our muscles are constantly being used.  Overtime, they start to shorten and tighten from the demands being placed on them.  Once this starts, we have an increased risk for injury.  In a short and tight position, muscles are placing a lot of pressure at their origin and insertion points and that can lead to inflammation, muscle fiber fraying, and eventually muscle tears.  This is commonly known as tendonitis.  Proper stretching is the most effective way to avoid this.

Photo by Alora Griffiths on Unsplash

Muscles are like taffy…

When taffy is cold it is not very pliable and does not stretch far.  However, when taffy is warm it stretches long and is pliable.  If you try to stretch muscles that cold and inactive, you are not getting the full benefit of stretching and depending on the intensity of your stretch, you could be placing yourself at risk for injury to the muscle.  Muscles are best stretched after a nice warm-up.  This warm-up could include anything from a hot shower or heat pack to walk, jog, or bike ride.  Once you get your blood flow pumping through the muscles, you will receive the biggest benefit of your stretch.

30 on | 15 off | 3x

Each stretch that you perform should be held for 30 seconds and repeated 3 times. There should be a minimum of a 15 second break in between each stretch. Getting a good warm-up in prior to your workout is important, however stretching at the end of your workout can protect your muscles and tendons from overuse injuries and keep you out of pain.

Need further help with proper stretching?

The WellHealth Worx physical therapist or athletic trainer can customize stretches for your specific needs and work environment.

Call 317-612-3193 or schedule an appoint via the patient portal.

Schedule Today