Stretching and Injury Prevention
We often hear people say that stretching can help prevent injuries, but before diving into a stretching program, we might want to consider why someone is stretching in the first place. If an individual is stretching to increase mobility, so that they can better carry out functional tasks, then I am fully onboard. In this case, a lack of necessary mobility to complete a functional task surely could predispose someone to injury.
But, what about situations where extra mobility is not needed? Does stretching really aid in injury prevention? If we take a step back and reference the literature, science tells us that stretching often does not reduce the risk of injury and, in many cases, that we do not have enough evidence to say if it does or not. As always, we need to appreciate the complexity of human movement, injury and pain before making blanket statements.
What do you think? Do you believe stretching can help prevent injuries?