Do you know the added benefits of daily stretching?
Some people believe that stretching is a waste of time when it comes to exercising. Stretching is, actually an important part of any workout.
Is it possible to increase your total health, wellness, and quality of life with a few simple physical motions? Of course! For this reason, stretching exercises are a common part of physical therapy.
Stretching, according to physical therapists, should be a part of everyone’s daily regimen, whether they exercise or not. If you would like to learn more about the 5 major benefits of stretching, keep reading!
How can stretching improve my mobility?
Individuals suffering from chronic pain issues are frequently prescribed various stretching exercises by physical therapists. When you’ve become less mobile because of conditions such as osteoarthritis, stretching is especially important. The less you move your joints, the more likely it is that your muscles and connective tissues will lose length! You don’t want that to happen because it will restrict joint motion even further, putting you in even greater discomfort.
Stretches help increase blood flow to troublesome joints and increase your pain-free range of motion when used in conjunction with other physical therapy recommendations like walking, heat therapy, or massage therapy.
Chronic pain issues often involve tight muscles. Conditions such as fibromyalgia and its close relative, myofascial pain syndrome, cause muscle knots that limit muscle motion and trigger referred pain to other parts of the body. Regular stretching can help you “untie those” painful knots.
5 reasons to start stretching
If you don’t believe that stretching is beneficial to your overall health, here are five reasons you should start believing!
- Stretching enhances joint range of motion. It enables the body part to move easier. For more dynamic movement, stretching increases muscular coordination. Some physical therapy sessions focus on a muscle group instead of just one muscle for stretching.
- Stretching results in better overall blood circulation. Muscles require sufficient oxygen and nutrients in order to perform well. Stretching ramps up blood flow and transports oxygen and nutrients.
- Stretching specific exercises prior to exercising helps the muscles to achieve maximum range of motion. It also helps strengthen the muscles. That is why during physical therapy stretching is the main focus.
- Stretching helps reduce muscle tension. It’s a therapeutic treatment by a physical therapist. You’ll feel the rewards of stretching during your daily routine, walking or lifting.
- Lastly, a benefit of stretching is improved energy levels. The increased circulation increases energy levels. Learning to stretch properly will lead you to a more active lifestyle!
Different types of stretches
Stretching involves stretching connective tissue, a muscle, or a tendon. The goal of stretching is to improve range of motion, flexibility, and muscle elasticity. The five most common stretching exercises are:
- Low Load
- Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF)
Ballistic stretch physical therapy is a rapid bouncing motion to stretch a muscle. Dynamic stretching by a physical therapist entails stretching with motion at different speeds and distances.
These movements are performed in a controlled and slow manner. Examples include torso swings, arms swings, and leg swings. Static stretch physical therapy involved stretching the muscle and holding it for a few seconds.
PNF entails holding and controlling techniques to activate specific receptors in muscles. This technique improves muscle length and decreases muscle tension. The low load stretching technique is the gradual application of tension to enhance connective tissue remodeling.
A physical therapist will determine the best stretching exercises for your affected area and implement them into your treatment plan. They will also give you home exercises.
Groin stretches, quadriceps stretches, knee stretches, calf stretches, and other stretching exercises may be included. They’ll also show you how to do simple stretches at home with a towel. Knee stretches are popular among people of all ages. Knee problems are frequent as a result of overuse or athletic injury.
Activities like running and biking can result in tight quadriceps muscles. Keep in mind that tight muscles can predispose you to injury. If so, quadriceps stretches will be implemented into a treatment plan.
How does a PT include stretching in treatment?
Before and after your workout, it’s critical to make sure you’re stretching properly. A physical therapist can design an exercise plan tailored to your individual workout.
Physical therapy can help you get the most out of your hobbies, whether you’re playing tennis, training for a mini-marathon, or simply walking around the neighborhood. A physical therapist can advise you on the best types of stretches to use based on your present physical condition and the activities you’re doing.
It’s also important to make sure you’re doing the right exercises in the correct way. You’ll want to make an appointment with a qualified physical therapist to learn what stretches are right for you. Physical therapy can help you make the most of your workouts and improve your overall health.
Get started today
Whether you see a physical therapist or not, stretching should be a part of your daily routine. You’ll feel better, perform better, and avoid injury. What’s not to love? Contact us today to learn more and schedule your first consultation with one of our skilled therapists!