As a chiropractor I spend much of my day treating musculoskeletal pain. Sometimes this pain is due to an athletic injury, sometimes it is due to a work injury, and sometimes symptoms will appear seemingly without cause. There is one thing most of the injuries that I see come through my office have in common, they could have been avoided with or reduced by proper stretching techniques.
Often, my patients are unsure of what techniques to implement in order ensure they are stretching correctly. The following are, therefore, a few simple rules you can use as a guide when performing your therapeutic stretches at home:
1) Create a routine for your entire body. Stretching is important for all your muscles, not just one or two areas. There are many resources you can use, including your nearest yoga studio.
2) Hold your therapeutic stretches for a minimum of 30 seconds. (Note: This does not apply to your dynamic warm-up routine.)
3) When stretching, you should feel a pulling sensation in the muscles. However, you should be careful not to continue to stretch when feeling a pinch. If you feel any pain consult a health professional (physician, chiropractor, physiotherapist, athletic therapist etc.)
4) Stretch everyday. Think of stretching as brushing your teeth for your muscles. Make it part of your daily routine and most importantly, have fun!
Dr. Isaac Cristoveanu, is a chiropractor at the Holistic Clinic, specializing in soft tissue injury management. He is certified in Active Release Technique® (ART), Graston Technique® and Kinesiotaping®. Dr. Cristoveanu also lectures yearly at the University of Ottawa Medical School.
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