Take time to stretch

February 28, 2012

Back pain, Exercise

One of the greatest benefits of stretching is that you are able to increase your range of motion, which means your joints can move farther before an injury occurs.

by Dr. Nicholas Warner — 

As we age, our muscles tighten and the range of motion in our joints decreases. This can impact even the most active lifestyles and hinder normal day-to-day activities. Tasks that used to be simple, like zipping up a dress or reaching for a can on the top shelf, may become extremely difficult. A regular stretching program can help lengthen your muscles and make daily activities routine again.

Stretching increases flexibility, which will help you perform daily activities and reduce your risk of muscle, joint and tendon injuries. Stretching also improves circulation, increasing blood flow to the muscles.

Better circulation means more nourishment to the muscles and fewer waste by-products in the muscle tissue itself. Improved circulation can also help speed up recovery time if you suffer a muscle injury.

What is more, stretching can help eliminate or decrease low back pain, one of the most common kinds of structural pain that affects a large percentage of the population. Muscle tightness in the quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors and low back muscles is a common cause of low back pain. Keep in mind that every joint is tied to another joint, so if one muscle is tight, it will affect another joint or muscle.

One of the greatest benefits of stretching is that you are able to increase your range of motion, which means your joints can move farther before an injury occurs. Stretching after you exercise (at least after you have warmed up a bit) has proven to be much more effective than pre-workout stretches, because by the time you have completed your workout, the muscles are warm.

Post-exercise stretching also helps reduce soreness, improves workout recovery and ensures that muscle and tendons are working properly. To learn more about the proper way to stretch and the many benefits of a regular stretching program, talk to your doctor.

 

Dr. Nicholas Warner is a certified massage therapist and a doctor of chiropractic with Wellness in Motion, Inc., in Phoenix. He is an instructor for The Southern California University of Health Sciences and Utah College of Massage Therapy. 602-863-4252 or www.wellness-in-motion.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 28, Number 5, Oct/Nov 2009.

, , , , , ,
Web Analytics