When not to stretch.
Stretching is a very important part of exercise that most people will benefit from partaking in every day. It can be split into a few different categories but in this article we will talk about static stretching. Static stretching is where you
hold a position for a period of time (approx 30 seconds) to stretch a muscle. When done properly, it can increase flexibility and mobility, can decrease muscle and joint pain, improve blood flow (long term), improve general
tissue health and even improve muscle and tendon function.
However, there are some times when stretching is not recommended: immediately before sport, holding a static stretch can actually reduce the output of muscles, rather an active warm up involving large gentle movement is more
effective in increasing blood flow (short term), improving performance and reducing injury risk.
Muscle attachment injuries (such as tendinitis, Osgood-Schlatters or Sever’s disease in young adolescents) should avoid static stretching when the condition is irritated, and seek to reduce tension in the area using other means such as
rolling, massage and mobilisation. Static stretching is still relevant to these conditions but should only be done after muscles are appropriately warmed up and should never cause unpleasant pain, but rather a gentle stretch in the
belly of the muscle.
At Blackburn Osteopathy we recommend that everyone add stretching to part of their daily health routine, and if you have any questions or concerns regarding stretching or mobilisation feel free to come in and chat to any of our experienced osteopaths.