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How Stretching can Improve Our Health

PAIN

There are several benefits to stretching, including pain relief, increased flexibility, and functional improvement. Our bodies are incredibly interconnected. While some stretches may seem obvious (for example, stretching your back to relieve back pain), sometimes stretching certain parts of your body can provide relief in areas you may not have expected.

5 important benefits of stretching:

Stretching has a lot of benefits that we don’t always think about. The top 5 include:

  • Relieving pain through targeted stretches.

It is obvious that some back stretches are needed. to help relieve pain. However, stretching the hips, hamstrings, and upper thighs can also provide relief for lower back pain.

  • Enhancing circulation.

Stretching plays a large role in benefitting your heart and your musculoskeletal system. In fact, it plays a large role in almost every aspect of your physical abilities. When muscles are tight, they constrict your amount of available oxygen supply and your muscles are essentially left deprived of the necessary nutrients they need. When you stretch, this process is reversed. 

  • Increasing range of motion.

When a physical therapist talks about your “range of motion,” they are referring to the extent that you are able to move your joints in all directions. Your range of motion impacts every movement you make, so one of the many goals of a physical therapist is to make sure you have the best range of motion possible for your abilities. If you have a constricting condition, such as arthritis or an injury, your range of motion can be hindered. Stretching can help increase your range of motion by improving your flexibility and reducing your stiffness.

  • Improving performance.

The more you condition your muscles, joints, and ligaments, the greater advantage you’ll have in any physical activity you decide to participate in. Whether you’re a committed athlete or someone simply trying to add more physical activity into your daily life, stretching can help in greatly improving your performance. 

  • Avoiding injuries.

The likelihood of sustaining an injury increases when your muscles are tense or tight. When you stretch, you are helping your body in loosening up your muscles, increasing your range of motion, and improving your balance. 

 

A physical therapist can provide targeted stretches for you that you may not have considered beforehand. One of the most important parts of a physical therapy treatment plan is stretching. A physical therapist will incorporate targeted stretches into each treatment plan they design, in order to target problem areas for their patients. While strength and endurance exercises are also incredibly important, stretching can be especially helpful in helping a patient manage their aches and pains. To learn more about how stretching can benefit you, contact our office today.

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