Is it possible to increase your total health, wellness, and quality of life with a few simple physical motions? When it comes to stretching, the answer is unmistakably yes. For this reason, stretching exercises are a common part of physical therapy.
You might be shocked to see how many different ways stretches can benefit you. Here are some of the main reasons why our physical therapist could recommend stretches to help you live a better life.
The importance of stretching
Many common aches and pains stem from tight muscles and poor movement. The key to good health is to keep your body flexible. This helps your circulatory, respiratory, lymphatic, and musculoskeletal systems. When your tissues are flexible, normal blood and lymphatic fluids circulate the body easier, oxygenating your tissues properly. This helps you feel energized, relieves pain, and allows you to perform daily tasks without feeling tired.
Additionally, stretching is necessary for dedicated athletes, weekend warriors, or anyone looking to improve their physical performance. After a workout you may not feel the need to stretch if your muscles aren’t aching or sore.
However, there are several potential effects of not taking the time to stretch correctly after exercise. You might experience stiffness if you’re not stretching adequately. Muscles and tendons that aren’t stretched properly after exercise may be more susceptible to injury.
Stretching has several health benefits
Stretching has a number of advantages for helping your body maintain its health. Stress alleviation is one of the most crucial of these. Everyday life presents you with several challenges, and the accompanying tension can be stored in your muscles.
Tightness, spasms, and chronic discomforts including headaches and neck pain result. Stress causes cortisone and adrenaline, which are “fight or flight” chemicals, to flood your body. These abnormalities can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to illness.
viruses and other diseases. Hypertension is yet another dangerous consequence of chronic stress.
Regular stretches help your body release all that pent-up stress. By relaxing and loosening your muscles, you can maintain better control over your blood pressure, avoid chronic muscle pain, and keep your immune system ready for anything.
Stretching and tissue health
Are you used to seeing athletes perform a series of stretches before a tournament or a training session? They’re not just extending for the sake of stretching; they’re attempting to improve their athletic performance while also avoiding injury.
Tissues that are tight, stiff, or unprepared for difficulties may rip, resulting in a strain or sprain that ends your participation prematurely.
Stretches provide a safe, gentle way to work out the kinks and get your tissues ready for action. As you become more limber, you reduce your risk of a soft tissue injury. You’ll find those tissues more capable and responsive as you work or play.
Stretching after your activity is just as beneficial; it prevents your muscles from seizing up and getting stiff once they’re no longer being exerted.
Stretching can improve your mobility
Individuals suffering from chronic pain issues are frequently prescribed various stretching exercises by physical therapists. When you’ve become less mobile owing to conditions like osteoarthritis, stretching is especially important. The less you move your joints, the more likely it is that your muscles and connective tissues will lose length.
This modification ostensibly restricts joint motion even further, putting you in even greater discomfort. Stretches help increase blood flow to troublesome joints and increase your pain-free range of motion when used in conjunction with other physical therapy recommendations like walking, heat therapy, or massage therapy.
Chronic pain syndromes often involve tight muscles. Syndromes such as fibromyalgia and its cousin, myofascial pain syndrome, cause muscle knots that limit muscle motion and trigger referred pain to other parts of the body. Regular stretching can help you “untie those” painful knots.
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There are right ways and wrong ways to stretch. For one thing, different kinds of stretches offer different benefits. Your particular situation might call for active stretches (in which you move a body part with no assistance), passive stretches (in which the body part is held or supported), or both.
Stretches can also hurt you if you perform them incorrectly. Our physical therapist can help you stretch safely and effectively — so contact our physical therapy center today!