5 Reasons Why You Need To Start Stretching

Improvement in range of motion is the primary benefit of having good flexibility and stretching is the best way of achieving this.

Stretching is to me the single most important thing that, you can do for yourself. When your body is plagued with short tight muscles, your body will trigger an emotional response to this tightness. You may find yourself irritable, in pain, unable to do certain motions or movements and you can seriously injure yourself.

In our massage business we find individuals with lower back pain all the time and every time I check their hamstrings they are tight some with even less than 45 degrees range of motion. PNF stretching is a great tool for correcting this and we use it often in our practice.

Stretching is an important part of muscle health. It is a simple, quick and effective way to bring oxygen rich, nutrient rich blood into the muscles, making them more supple and relaxed. A relaxed muscle is less likely to tear or go into spasm. This means a decrease in body pain and an increase in general well being.

5 Benefits of Stretching:

      1. Quality of Life Issue

As we age connective tissues and muscles become less elastic and this decreases joint range of motion. When we experience limited range of motion daily activities become more difficult to perform.

For example an individual who suffers from tight calves will also have difficulty in dorsiflexon (bending your toes towards you) and have to over-compensate for this by increasing hip flexon (lifting the knee higher) to clear the toes in the swing phrase of walking or running.

And eventually this excessive hip hike will cause hip joint pain. Also an individual who has restricted knee range of motion will have difficulty getting up from a sitting position or ascending and descending stairs.

      2. Prevention of injuries

There is actually very little evidence that supports the theory that a stretching program alone will prevent injuries, but most medical and training professionals do support the value of a flexibility program. With this said there is also evidence that does support that athletes who do have decreased range of motion are more prone to getting injured.

      3. Injury Rehabilitation

There are generally two types of injuries acute and chronic. Acute injuries are generally injuries that were recently acquired while chronic injuries are generally injuries that are problematic over a prolonged period of time. With any injury there is usually some loss of motion, strength or function due to the resulting pain, inflammation and scar tissue formation.

Stretching is a fundamental and essential part of rehabilitation in restoring normal joint function. There is also new evidence that stretching promotes rehabilitation from injuries because of its effects at the cellular level. The process of elongating a muscle and the tensile forces applied during stretching increase the metabolic processes of cell formation that may aide in healing tendons and ligaments.

      4. Better Posture

Abnormally short and tight muscles effect resting tone, position of muscles and postural alignment. Flexibility and proper posture is most important for individuals who have jobs that require “static” standing or sitting for long periods of time. These individuals reduce the amount of physical activity that is necessary for healthy optimal joint, bone and muscle function. A sedentary lifestyle that restricts movement is the primary reason for the chronic neck, back and shoulder pain that affect these individuals.

     5. Age related health issues

Muscle atrophy is common as we age with a loss of both the number and size of muscle cells. These reductions are very small by all accounts but are compounded by inactivity. For aging adults old injuries or conditions like arthritis, gout or osteoporosis cause pain and stiffness thus increasing your chances of decreased range of motion from inactivity. Your muscles atrophy due to inactivity and if your muscles are tight they are not moving.

Professional Stretching

At OPRC, we understand the importance of stretching and we often incorporate in our massage sessions. But we also know how difficult stretching can be on your own, so we can help you.


Posted on August 5, 2011, in clinical massage therapy, massage, massage therapy, Muscle energy, myofascial release, Osteopath, Pain Management, Soft Tissue, sport massage, Trigger point. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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