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Did you know–stretching isn’t something that should just be left to runners, gymnasts and other athletes? In fact, it is something we all should be doing, every day. From keeping your muscles healthy and flexible to preventing pain, stretching regularly plays an important role in maintaining your health. If you haven’t stretched in a while, don’t worry–below we talk about the benefits of stretching, where to start and even how to do it properly.

 

The Benefits of Stretching

For your range of motion and balance, it is important to maintain your flexibility. Regular exercises keep your muscles strong, flexible and healthy, allowing you to move freely through life with a full range of motion. Without it, your muscles may become tight, leading to difficulty moving and, in some cases, joint pain and injury.

For example, when you sit at your computer all day, your hamstrings in your thigh tighten. This can make it increasingly difficult to extend your leg all the way, and case problems walking. Additionally, if you don’t stretch regularly and jump into playing a sport, you’re much more likely to injure yourself. 

 

Where to Begin

With 600 muscles in the human body, the thought of stretching every single day may feel a little overwhelming. However, it’s important to note that you don’t have to stretch every single muscle every day. Generally speaking, the best muscles to stretch for everyday movement include: 

  • Hamstrings
  • Calves
  • Quadriceps
  • Hip Flexors
  • Shoulders
  • Neck
  • Lower Back

Even by lengthening and working out these muscles three to four times per week, you greatly reduce your risk for injury. NOTE: If you suffer from a debilitating condition, such as Parkinson’s or arthritis, consult with your doctor or physical therapist to come up with a regimen that works best for you.

 

How to Properly Execute Your Stretch

Though it’s a common belief that you should stretch before you exercise, mounting evidence has proven that you can actually damage your muscles by doing so when they’re cold. However, if you stretch after exercise, after blood has flowed to the area, your tissues will be more pliable and easy to stretch. 

Additionally, we recommend holding your stretch for thirty seconds and then relaxing. Don’t bounce while stretching. Lastly, while it’s normal to feel tension during a stretch, if you feel pain, stop the exercise immediately and speak to your physician. 

 

About Minivasive Pain and Orthopedics 

At Minivasive Pain, we specialize in pain management. It is our mission to treat the causes of your pain with both the highest standards of care and quality. With several locations throughout the Houston area, caring for your joint aches and stiffness is easy. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, visit https://www.minivasivepain.com/contact-us/ or call us at (346) 800-6001.