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The Importance of Stretching

We all know that exercise is a part of healthy living, but what about stretching? Stretching is often viewed as an option, something to do before or after training if time permits. Stretching is an essential activity to incorporate daily, for its multiple benefits to the muscular, spinal and neurological system.

Stretching is an essential activity that helps maintain the body’s natural functionality, preserves the muscular tissue and improves and prolongs mobility. The desk-bound lifestyle of office workers and children and the exhausting and muscle straining life of factory and construction workers tends to form imbalances and tensions throughout the body. If those imbalances are not addressed, the body starts to compensate by assuming an incorrect posture, ultimately causing back pain and joint pain. It is important to incorporate stretching into chiropractic care, to help injuries heal faster, increase energy and reduce pain.

The following are some of the benefits that a regular stretching programme can provide:

  • Reduce muscle tension
  • Increase the range of movement
  • Enhance muscular coordination
  • Alleviate back pain
  • Improve mental wellness

There are many stretching techniques that one can try, here are a few helpful tips if you are looking to start a routine:

  • Take it slow; stretching is beneficial if not done in a hurry, with the stretching movement or position being achieved slowly and comfortably;
  • Ideally, stretch after your muscles have warmed up, cold muscles and deep stretches could injure the muscle tissue and cause more pain;
  • Stretch before and after your workout, aim for a total of 20 minutes of stretching with both dynamic and static stretching techniques;
  • Hold each stretch for 30 seconds;
  • Stretch both sides of the body and focus on stretching major areas of the body that help with mobility, such as calves, hamstrings, hip flexors, and quadriceps, shoulders, neck and lower back.

Everyone can stretch but some people might need to adjust the stretching movement to be beneficial and comfortable to them. Ask your chiropractor if you would like to start a stretching routine but suffer from an existing injury, chronic pain, or have a physical limitation.