Do you want to incorporate stretching into your daily routine, but are unsure where to start? Our team of physiotherapists at The Running Physio will provide you with the most effective program that addresses your specific needs and will help you feel good again!
Stretch is one of the most commonly used methods for increasing the range of motion and pain management. There are times when stretch is exactly what you need to improve, but it is far too often used ineffectively.
Stretching has some common misconceptions about what it does and how it helps. Fortunately, the physiotherapists at The Running Physio can walk you through the process of resolving your issues and restoring your function.
Request an appointment today in Toronto, ON to learn how to use stretching to achieve your goals and get back to doing what you enjoy!
What exactly is stretching?
Stretch is a type of physical exercise in which tension is used to improve muscle elasticity and/or joint range of motion or to relieve tension and/or pain in muscles and joints. It is also used to aid in the healing process by assisting in the alignment of collagen fibers in soft tissue.
Stretching is classified into three major categories:
- Static Stretching. This type of stretch is the traditional and most common type of stretch. It is performed by holding a specific position with tension to a point where a stretching sensation is felt.
- Active stretching (aka dynamic stretching): This form involves moving a limb through its full range of motion to the end ranges where tension/stretch is felt and repeating several times in a given time.
- Pre-contraction stretching (aka PNF stretching): This type involves both stretching and contracting (activation) of the targeted muscle group.
Stretch is an essential part of rehabilitation and, when used appropriately, can lead to achieving optimal results.
What are the benefits of stretching?
Stretch techniques are commonly used in therapeutic settings to optimize rehabilitation and function. The importance of stretch cannot be underestimated. When applied appropriately, it is unmatched.
The main benefits of stretching include:
- Stretching improves range of motion: Studies have repeatedly shown that stretches help improve joint range of motion (ROM). Improvements are likely from our ability to withstand more stretching forces, as opposed to an increase in the length of the tissues.
- Stretching helps increase blood flow: Increases in blood flow to your muscles are the foundation of healing. The effects of stretching on the collagen in soft tissues allow for the alignment of the fibers and more normal tissue. The combination of circulation with the ingredients for healing and tissue alignment leads to proper scar tissue mobility and strength.
- Stretching alleviates pain: Researchers have shown stretches for patients with chronic pain. When performed regularly over weeks/months, there are improvements in tolerance to stretches and a reduction in pain levels. This is likely due to the increased blood flow and the improved tolerance to withstand more tension in the tissues.
- Stretching helps stress: Stretching has been shown to help stabilize our mood, reduce stress, and make us feel good due to the release of serotonin. This, in turn, leads to a decrease in depression and anxiety.
The benefits of stretches are unmistakable. Using the different types of stretch can help ensure you recover from injury, reduce pain and improve your overall well-being. Fortunately, the physiotherapists at The Running Physio, understand how to use stretches to maximize your outcomes!
What should I expect from my physiotherapy sessions?
Our physiotherapists will begin with an injury evaluation and a thorough assessment to determine all of the factors that may be contributing to your injuries and limitations. This will include a thorough history to learn more about the needs of your daily lifestyle.
We will use this information to create a comprehensive program for your specific needs, including targeted stretches and any manual techniques, mobility work, or strengthening. Your therapist will develop a targeted, individualized care plan to promote accelerated recovery and injury prevention in the future.
We will, for example, use targeted stretches to improve your motion, reduce your pain, and restore your function to pre-injury levels. Following that, we will concentrate on increasing your strength and dynamic stability to ensure you achieve your goals.
Our goal is to provide you with the tools you need to succeed and return to any activity you have been avoiding.
Ready to get started?
At The Running Physio, our physiotherapists are experts at using stretching appropriately to achieve success with people of all ages and abilities.
Call today to request an appointment with one of our specialists!