Why should we stretch?

Stretching is believed to have many benefits to performance and rehabilitation in relation to muscular activity. It will undoubtedly increase range of movement of joints, muscles and tendons but some wonder does this really help?

The best thing for you to do is try it;

You will feel the difference!

Does it not therefore stand to reason that stretching will aid your muscles in physical activity by increasing performance and allow you to exercise more by preventing injury and increase your recovery time?

Stretching as a Therapy

While healing is occurring during therapy, the muscle is undergoing many changes and trying to rectify muscle/ fascia/ ligament/ tendon damage. One of the best mechanisms for self healing is increasing blood flow to the area. It is for that reason that therapists prescribe chyrotherapy and stretching. It has been proven that stretching the muscle/ joint etc. and applying ice/ heat in its prescribed form, shall improve blood flow to the area, thus speeding up the healing process.

Safe Stretching

Always warm up before any stretching.
Even those prescribed by a therapist. It is best to do 5 - 10 minutes of some exercise to warm up the area. Why? Stretching on "cold" muscles can cause micro tears and thus aggravate the injured area.

"Hold" the Stretch:
It has been shown that when you initiate a stretch into a muscle your body shall react by resisting the stretch and contracting the muscle. It is only after approximately 6-10 seconds that the body will allow the muscle to relax and the stretch to occur. Thus "holding" the stretch and learning to feel the muscle relax is an intricate part of any stretching routine.

If it hurts -Stop!
Often people think 'no pain no gain' policy is the best for all physical activities, this simply isn't true. If you experience pain while stretching this is proof that you are damaging the muscle and you should stop immediately!

Prescribed Stretching Sheet