Pulling a muscle during a sporting event can leave you sidelined. But did you know that if you would’ve stretched before your game properly, you could have entirely prevented the pain you’re now feeling? Stretching is a vital part of keeping your muscles and joints healthy, especially when you live an active lifestyle.
At Commonwealth Musculoskeletal Medicine, our aim is to keep your body healthy and fit, with a variety of treatment options. Dr. Mark Conliffe is our highly esteemed doctor who specializes in physical medicine to help you prevent pain and injury. He also gives you tips on preventing pain in the future, such as stretching.
Your body is highly complex, made up of not only bones, but tendons and muscles as well. With so many working parts, it’s easy for your body to become injured. However, with the proper care and technique, you can prevent painful injuries through stretching.
Stretching can be done during any part of your day, although it’s most beneficial before and after a workout or sporting event. Along with helping prevent injury, stretching has many other benefits that include:
Stretching also helps to increase blood flow to your muscles and also helps relieve discomfort in your back and neck related to tension. All these benefits can come from one of the many forms of stretching, but the two main types are dynamic stretching and static stretching.
Dynamic stretching is usually performed before physical activity to get blood flow to your muscles. These stretches involve actively moving your body, but you don’t hold the stretch for any period of time.
Static stretching, on the other hand, requires you to hold a certain stretch for a period of about 15-30 seconds. This type of stretching is usually performed after physical activity, to help your muscles to cool down.
With all of the benefits of stretching, does it really help you fight off pain? The answer is yes. It helps prevent pain in a multitude of ways, including injury prevention. By stretching before and after exercise, you’re decreasing your risk of getting hurt and being in pain.
Stretching also helps to increase flexibility by lengthening your muscles and keeping them loose. When you don’t incorporate stretching into your daily routine, your muscles can become tight and shorten, leading to joint pain and decreased range of motion.
An example of this shortening of the muscles is tight hamstrings. When you sit for a long time, your hamstrings become tight. Without proper stretching, this can lead to your pelvis to become misaligned. In turn, you could suffer from back pain because of your tight hamstrings.
Stretching only helps with pain if it’s done properly. Make sure that you’re doing stretches with the proper technique to avoid more problems.
So you know how stretching helps with pain; now you need to find out proper stretching technique. There are some things you should avoid when going into a stretching routine, such as:
Stretching can prevent injury if done correctly; but can also cause injury if you aren’t careful. Some things you can focus on while your stretching include:
Stretching is a vital part of keeping your muscles and joints healthy. Not only does it reduce pain, but it also helps you to improve your performance in your daily activities.
If you’d like to learn more about how stretching can help your body, call our office at 502-771-1012, or book an appointment online today.