Physiotherapy: Stretching must not be ignored

One of the most important ways to avoid injury and to promote overall health is to begin stretching.

One of the most important ways to avoid injury and to promote overall health is to begin stretching. Stretching is recommended for everyone, whether you are active or not.

Unfortunately, as we age, our muscles become shorter—this increases the need to stretch on a regular basis.

When we stretch, we are realigning and lengthening the fibres within the muscle. Stretching improves our range of motion, promotes muscle balance, prepares our body for activity, helps our body recover from activity, decreases joint stresses/compression and minimizes unwanted muscle tightness and knots.

Stretching also promotes circulation and develops body awareness. It enhances performance by improving overall speed, balance, endurance, agility, and strength. And studies have shown that stretching will lead to quicker muscle toning.

Stretching before an activity or a workout is important, but stretching after the activity is more beneficial and crucial. Prior to the activity, gently stretch the muscles that are going to be used. Do not overstretch as this can lead to a less responsive muscle that is more prone to injury.

Stretches after exercise should be held for 20 to 30 seconds and repeated two to three times each. The stretch should feel strong and uncomfortable, but not painful. No bouncing, as this triggers a reflex that causes the muscle to tighten and work against you.

Ideally, you should be stretching daily and performing additional, activity specific stretches before and after exercising.

Stretches feel better and are more effective if your muscles are ‘warm’ prior to stretching. Just moving around is usually enough to get the blood pumping and the muscles warmed and prepared for activity.

If you just woke up, or got out of a car after an hour drive you are likely not warmed up enough. Just move around for a bit before you break into your stretching routine.

If you have an injury, dysfunction or problem, your physiotherapist can develop a stretching routine that is specific for you and your condition.

An assessment by your physiotherapist will usually reveal what muscles need to be stretched and focused on.

Robina Palmer is a registered physiotherapist and co-owner of Sun City Physiotherapy. She can be contacted at the downtown St. Paul Street location at 250-861-8056 or palmer@suncityphysiotherapy.com.

 

Just Posted

Kelowna RCMP search for suspect who allegedly stabbed man

The victim is in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

West Kelowna urges flood prep for residents

Warmer temperatures means melting snow, get supplies March 25

Kelowna Chamber of Commerce says federal budget missed opportunities

One area that was missed was tax competitveness

Kelowna petting zoo closing its gates

Hoof Prints Barnyard announced, Tuesday night, it will be closing

UBC Okanagan gets new softball team

The new team will be led by long-time softball coach Joni Frei

VIDEO: Sunny skies in the forecast makes for a great start to spring

Mostly sunny skies with a chance of rain by Friday evening in the Okanagan Valley

Fraser Health under fire again for taxiing homeless man from Langley to Hope

Patient sent to Hope shelter because a spot in the man’s home community couldn’t be located

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

B.C. launches immunization program at schools to stamp out measles resurgence

Vaccination records to be checked at B.C. schools next fall

Avalanche at SilverStar sends one to hospital

A man has been sent to hospital after an isothermal avalanche at SilverStar March 20

Couple rescued after Sea to Sky Gondola refused ride down hill

‘We were cold as hell, my lips were blue. I cried the entire way down’

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

B.C. man sentenced for tying up, assaulting and robbing another man at hotel

Gabriel Stephen Nelson robbed and assaulted travelling businessman in Nanaimo in 2017

Deadline extended through April to nominate top B.C. educators

Second year of Premier John Horgan’s awards offers $3,000 bursary

Most Read