Muscle Stretching Therapy

Most of us live sedentary lives if we are stuck in a chair behind a desk all day.  Oddly enough this can wreak havoc on our bodies.  Frequent stretching therapy is an excellent way to combat this.  Circulation can be greatly improved which can lead to the prevention of certain cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, workouts and weight-lifting will be better enabled and there is a growing amount of research that suggests mental health benefits from stretching.

Many groups that have not considered regimented stretching previously can benefit as well including the elderly, pregnant women and those recovering from injury.  There are many new techniques that consider all including stretches while in the seated position.

Benefits of Muscle Stretching Therapy:

Dynamic stretching offers the assistance of a partner. This allows you to reach positions and hold stretches that you might not otherwise be able to, have numerous benefits.  Those that do incorporate into a daily or evening routine have reported an increase in range of motion and flexibility.  Older folks may find that mobility and posture improve while younger people, especially athletes, report quicker recovery.

Do no harm with proper stretching

It is important to keep in mind that like all techniques, stretching properly is essential the preventing injury.  Never stretch a cold muscle.  Always incorporate a short warm-up session prior to stretching.  And most research show now that individuals should not have long stretch sessions prior to working out.  This is shown to wear and weaken the muscle as if it were being worked out already.  Try switching stretching sessions to off workout days or after a work out where the body is already warmed but the stretch can be a low-pact less intense activity post-workout.

You should never stretch in a position that feels awkward or uncomfortable to you.  If you experience pain, stop.  Get your body in a natural position depending on the specific stretch and extend only until you feel the slight pressure on the muscles.  Hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds.  Any longer and the likelihood of strain or pull increases.  And no bouncing.  This is a common mistake that can lead to tears or ligament sprains if you are starting cold.

Not Just One

Stretching is not just a single act.  Many just think of this as bending over to touch your toes.  In order to get the full benefits of stretching, you must incorporate a number of different styles.  The licensed chiropractors and massage therapists at our Ogden, UT Chiropractic Clinic will create a plan that fits your needs.  Here is a list of different styles:

  1. Myofascial release – Using the foam roller you can slowly release tension in your thighs, hamstrings, back and obliques using a number of techniques.
  2. Dynamic stretching – Slowly moving continuously through an act.  Imitating this lengthens and strengthens the very muscles you will need for the activity later.
  3. Static Stretching – Extending and holding a given position for 30 seconds.  This is the most common stretch therapy where a partner can apply force to the muscle group.