It’s common knowledge that stretching before and after exercise or intense effort may reduce your potential for injury. But did you know that the importance of stretching goes beyond preventing injury and into helping your organs function properly and improve overall health? By stretching regularly, you can see major improvements in your daily life.
However, it’s also important that stretches be done properly and during good conditions. If your muscle are cold for example, stretching can put a lot of strain on the tendons and ligaments that aren’t ready to be tugged at. This means that you should always start with a little bit of exercise or movement of your body and especially limbs before you push yourself into stretching or exercise.
How to Stretch for Maximum Benefit
There’s really just a few things that you need to remember when it comes to exercise. We’ll cover several of exercises that you can do to stretch safely and for maximum benefit. We also have some videos that you can watch and follow along with to improve your mobility, organ function, and overall health.
- Warm up prior to exercising (or at least don’t be cold). If it’s summer time and 90 degrees outside, then you’re going to be fine. If it’s the dead of winter and under 40 degrees then definitely warm up before getting started with you stretches. cold muscles move about as well as a cold we towel out of the freezer. If proper care isn’t taken, you can damage the muscles and connective tissue causing even more problems that if you had just not stretched to begin with. One of the most common complaints we receive is that people say they’re hurting after stretching. This is the most likely cause of that pain. Thus, warm up with some light exercise before stretching.
- The purpose of stretching is to lengthen muscle tissue to increase its range of motion. Muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bone work together and putting too much strain on one overburdens the others. Some have more leeway to give that others. If your muscles are tight or strained, they can pull bones out of alignment. This is fairly common with ribs and spine related injuries. However, the reverse can be problematic as well. Loose muscles and weaken your skeletal structure and prevent you from having the proper alignment. By stretching properly, you can prevent pain, fix misalignments, resolve pinched nerves, and increase flexibility. For example, we have a patient that sat at a desk for far too many hours on a daily basis and performed a lot of stretching tasks while taking care of kids. This patient suffered from lower back pain and needed a regular stretching plan that only takes 8 minutes a day. He’s now pain-free.
- Stretching also helps organ function by increasing space in the abdominal cavity temporarily and allowing intestines and other organs the space they need to work the way they were intended. Regular stretching can also decrease inflammation which affects all parts of our body.
- Getting rid of stress can be an added benefit that’s as much needed or more than the others for many. Reducing cortisol through stretching can improve your health in a variety of ways.
All of the secondary effects aside, many people don’t know how painful tight muscles themselves can be, and how much stretching can help! Despite the fact most medical doctors pass off muscle pain as an inconvenience it can actually be a serious, even debilitating experience. Chronically tight muscles can also become weak and susceptible to intense muscle spasms due to over exhaustion. In the end all of these conditions can be prevented with a daily stretching routine, focusing on your particular problem spots.
Get Chiropractic Stretching Advice
A Chiropractic consultation with Dr. Robert Meyer can help discover which muscles in your body are tight, as well as providing stretching outlines and instructions. It is also important to note that not all muscle spasms can be stretched into health – sometimes further intervention is required to reduce inflammation and provide some muscle movement before stretching will help – and there are conditions where stretching is ill advised, such as with a disc bulge.
Again, a Chiropractic consultation can clear up the cause of any muscle pain experienced and determine if stretching is right for your condition. Schedule your appointment today by calling our Chiropractic office in Southlake, TX at (817) 310-6604.