Do you stretch on a regular basis or only when you first wake up? Some people believe that stretching is a waste of time when it comes to exercising. The truth is that if you don’t stretch regularly, you’re putting yourself at risk of injury in the future! You’ll also have a few joints or body parts that aren’t as flexible or mobile as they should be. Stretching is an important part of any workout.
But what happens if you’re not sure where your unique mobility limits are or how to remedy them? That’s where we come in!
Contact our physical therapy clinic today if you would like to work with a movement specialist who can help you find the specific areas of your body that could benefit from a regular stretching routine.
The importance of daily stretching
Whether or not you exercise, stretching should be a part of your daily routine. We spend a lot of time sitting in modern life, from our jobs to our hobbies. Over time, this can lead to muscle tightness and shortening in the hip flexors, shoulders, chest, and ankles.
Here are five benefits of stretching for your body, especially when done correctly and on a regular basis!
- Stretching before exercise allows the muscles to reach their full range of motion. It also helps to strengthen the muscles. It is an important part of physical therapy for this reason.
- Stretching aids in the reduction of muscle tension. Stretching during your daily routines, such as walking or lifting, will pay off!
- The joint range of motion is improved by stretching. It allows the body part to move more freely. It improves muscular coordination and allows for more dynamic movement. Instead of stretching just one muscle, some physical therapy sessions concentrate on a muscle group.
- Stretching increases your blood circulation. Muscles require sufficient oxygen and nutrients in order to perform well. It ramps up blood flow and transports oxygen and nutrients.
- Stretching also heightens your energy levels due to the increased circulation it brings. Learning to stretch properly will lead you to a more active lifestyle. In fact, according to results of a new systematic review, moderate-grade evidence seems to support strengthening and stretching exercises to help ease chronic neck pain.”
What kinds of therapeutic stretches can I do?
The lengthening of connective tissues, a muscle, or a tendon is what stretching is all about. It is used to increase flexibility, range of motion, and muscle elasticity.
The best stretching exercises for your affected area will be determined by a physical therapist and incorporated into your treatment plan. They will also give you exercises to do at home. Groin stretches, quadriceps stretches, knee stretches, calf stretches, and other exercises may be included.
Your physical therapist will incorporate different kinds of stretching into your routine or treatment. The five most common stretching exercises are:
- Low Load
- Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF)
Static stretch physical therapy involves extending the muscle and maintaining it for a few seconds. To stimulate particular receptors in muscles, PNF involves holding and regulating techniques. This approach increases muscle length and reduces stress in the muscle. Ballistic stretch physical therapy is a rapid bouncing motion to stretch a muscle.
Dynamic stretching with motion at various speeds and distances is done by a physical therapist. These movements are done slowly and in a controlled manner. Swings of the torso, arms, and legs are some examples. The low-load stretching technique involves applying stress in small increments to help connective tissue remodel.
Your physical therapist will also show you how to do easy stretches with a towel at home. Knee stretches are very common in all age groups. That’s because knee injuries are common due to overuse or athletic injuries. Activities like running and biking can result in tight quadriceps muscles. Keep in mind that tight muscles can predispose you to injury. If so, quadriceps stretches will be implemented into a treatment plan.
Contact our clinic today
Stretching should be a part of your daily routine whether or not you decide to start seeing a physical therapist. You’ll not only feel and perform better, but you’ll also be better able to avoid injuries in the future. Call our clinic today to learn more about the advantages of stretching or to schedule a consultation with a physical therapist.
Rest assured that when you walk through our office doors, you’re in good hands. We’ll make sure you leave understanding the right ways to stretch and take care of your body before, during, and after physical activity.