November 2022 Newsletter
Stretch, Stretch, Stretch
We all know that regular exercise has wonderful health benefits but what about Stretching?
As Osteopaths, we always prescribe personalised stretches to help the process of healing and recovery.
This newsletter will explore why Stretching is so restorative.
Why is Stretching Good for Health?
Stretching can improve flexibility of joints and muscles. This adaptability for change is a key part of healthy musculoskeletal function. Imagine a trampoline that is over-tight – it won’t function well for your kids (or you) to bounce on. If really tight, it might even rip and tear and this is how injury can sometimes occur.
By stretching, you restore the body’s flexibility and adaptability to change and this in turn puts less load on to muscles and joints.
The potential health benefits of Stretching are:
Decreasing your risk of injury
Joint flexibility allows a joint to move in its full range of motion
Increasing blood flow to muscles, making them function efficiently
Enabling muscles to work effectively and take on load
Improving your performance in physical activities
How to Stretch Safely
Slow, slow and gentle is the best approach to Stretching.
It is important to Stretch correctly and to understand that some muscles take longer than others to release.
Warm Up First
Muscles need to be primed and warmed-up before Stretching. A quick walk for 5 minutes or after a workout is great prior to stretching. If you don’t have time, then a quick jog/march on the spot swinging your arms will get everything ready.
Don’t Stretch before a Workout
Various studies have shown that stretching prior to a workout can actually decrease performance. Stretching a tight, cold muscle may even cause injury.
Always Stretch both sides
Pretty obvious, but if you are trying to rehabilitate an injury it is important to always stretch both sides of your body. Only stretching one side can cause increased load on the other side and this in turn can lead to further injury.
Give muscles and joints enough time to Stretch
Avoid ‘bouncing’ your stretch because this will only put strain on the muscle/tendon junction and can cause injury. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and then release. Repeat 3 times. Big muscles such as hamstrings may need a longer stretch.
Avoid Stretching to the point of burn or pain
Stretching should have some tension but be without pain. If you are feeling the burn, then you are overloading the muscle and joint.
Stretching works best when done little and often. Even a quick 5-10 minutes every other day can make a huge difference.
Stretch with Movement
Stretching with movement can be very beneficial. Yoga, pilates and tai chi all incorporate movement with stretching. Deep breathe to enhance the stretch and encourage the whole body to release tension.
Osteopathy and Stretching
Your Osteopath will prescribe specific stretches that you can do at home. At Kingston & Teddington Osteopathy we assess every person individually and can design a Stretching plan unique to you so that you get maximum health benefits.
Have a look at our YouTube channel for some great stretches
If you have pain, contact us!
|If you have aches or pains, don’t wait, just call the clinic and come in and we will be able to diagnose the problem.
Our Osteopaths are happy to help so please call 02089776396