To Stretch Or Not To Stretch?

 

To Stretch Or Not To Stretch?

by Jake Reynolds, PT, DPT Spine & Sports Clinic of Motion Stability   I frequently have clients ask about stretching and tend find a lot of confusion about proper technique and dosage. This confusion can lend itself to injury as opposed to injury prevention and performance enhancement (the intent of stretching). If we are stretching incorrectly you may actually prime your muscle for injury. For the sake of clarity, lets get a one thing out of the way: yes—stretching is important. In fact the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) outlines the following guidelines for flexibility training in terms of risk factor reduction for the development of injuries and preventable diseases:   At least two or three days of stretching…

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Lessons From A Hypermobile Physical Therapist

By: Ted Ziaylek PT, DPT Hypermobility is used to describe joints that can bend further than normal. It is also commonly referred to as being “double jointed”. There are many things that can cause hypermobility. In basic terms the structures surrounding the joints (ligaments and capsules) are loose, which allows the joint to bend further than normal. I have learned a few things from working with patients who are hypermobile, as well as being hypermobile myself, about ways to help protect your joints. Firstly, people who are hypermobile often feel like they need to stretch. The problem here is that due to the laxity (or loose ligaments) in the joint we tend to stretch the joint well before the muscle….

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These Feet Were Made for Walking

By: Clarence Holmes, PT, DPT “OUCH!!!!! I just got done playing tennis and my foot is killing me!” “Man, when I stand at work for more than 20 minutes, my foot really starts to hurt.” “Every time I take a step in the morning, my foot is in so much pain! It eventually gets better, but I don’t know what is going on.  I’ve got to go see my doctor.”   Or do you?  If you have said any of the above, then you definitely want to tune in to this blog post!   Foot pain can be the result of various causes and often times, it is the result of plantar fasciitis.  But do you know what that is? …

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So you Wanna Stretch your Hamstrings

By: Laura Gold, PT, DPT One of the most popular areas that people like to stretch is their hamstrings. Even with my patients who don’t stretch regularly, it’s the one of the first  places people go. It makes sense too — hamstrings are often tight or feel tight. AND there are lots of ways to stretch them.  Sitting in a chair, sitting on the ground, bending over and touching the toes, lying on your back with a stretch strap, etc, etc. The problem is that many of these stretches DON’T actually target the hamstring muscles… GASP! (Okay, so maybe it’s not that dramatic.) Often when people attempt to stretch their hamstrings they actually put tension on the sciatic nerve instead….

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What Can I Do For Plantar Fasciitis?

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT Pain in the arch or heel of your foot is commonly diagnosed as ‘plantar fasciitis’. However, there are several reasons that can cause pain at the bottom of the foot. Plantar fasciitis: Usually due to an over-stretched arch. Treatment by taping, manual therapy, orthotics, and use of night splints can provide short-term relief. Long term prognosis is based not only treating the plantar fasciitis itself, but also restoring proper mechanics of the entire leg. Nerve Pain: The tibial nerve, which is a branch of the sciatic nerve can cause symptoms in the bottom of the foot. The key to treatment in nerve injuries is to determine why and where the injury occurred and treat…

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Play Golf? Avoid Lower Back Pain With These Stretches.

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT There are numerous studies that have come out recently that show the loss of lead leg internal rotation of the hip in the golf swing has a high prevelance of low back pain in golfers. This is due to the lead leg in the golf swing acting as your swivel / finishing point in the swing. With limitations in the hip, the back has to work harder to finsh the swing.  You should work on the foam roll to loosen the lead leg hip musculature, knee to chest and pirformis stretches can also help. Standard back stretches can help alleviate your back after golf, but consider the causitive reasons why your back is hurting…

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How can I prevent repeat ankle sprains?

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT It is important to improve ankle dorsiflexion after an ankle sprain. Research indicates a loss of ankle mobility with chronic ankle sufferers – primarily in ankle dorsiflexion – which is the motion you need to walk correctly. Reserach also indicates a change in muscle control patterns not only in the ankle but also up the kinetic chain, such as a loss of hip control. Therefore: 1. Improve ankle dorsiflexion: calf stretching, seeing a Physical Therapist to mobilize your ankle and decrease swelling. 2. Ankle stability: ankle circles, resistance bands to strengthen lateral/medial ankle musculature/tendons. 3. Ankle proprioception: standing balance exercises as indicated 4. Hip stability: primarily with gluteus maximus and medius exercises. It is…

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Is stretching supposed to be painful?

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT Stretching should at most be moderately uncomfortable. Many people think that stretching only targets the muscles, but consider that there the joints, ligaments, nerves, and fascia are also stretched. If you have a joint hypermobility or an irritated nerve, such as sciatica, over-stretching can actually injure the tissue and cause more problems than good.   _________________________ Medical Disclaimer: Motion Stability has created and compiled the content on its websites for your information and use. This information is not intended to replace or modify the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. Please remember that the information and content, in…

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Does stretching decrease the chance of getting injured?

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT Most people present with imbalances in muscle forces. This may include anterior – posterior muscles and specific muscles affect joint mechanics. It is recommended that you have a qualified health practitioner assess your body mechanics to make recommendations what muscles should be elongated, and then other that should be stabilized to improve the efficiency of you body. Also consider tight muscles may be due to an underlying irritated nerve. Many people with old sciatic nerve injuries feel tightness in their hamstring, however attempting to over-stretching the hamstring can aggravate the nerve again. _________________________ Medical Disclaimer: Motion Stability has created and compiled the content on its websites for your information and use. This information is…

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What stretches should I do before I workout so I do not get back pain?

Brian Yee PT, MPhty, OCS, FAAOMPT There are many stretches you can do to help loosen your back up before you work out. Please keep in mind  that stretching does not guarantee that your back will not hurt – as there other causes of back pain than just tight muscles. Some light stretches you can do to loosen your back include: Pelvic tilts: Laying on your back with knees  bent – rock your pelvis back – flattening your back against the bed and return to neutral, and if it doesn’t bother you progress to arching your back a small amount. Oscillate back and forth. Knee to chest: Bring one knee up to your chest, stretching your hip and your back….

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