Physical Therapy Tips on How to Move Correctly: Stretching
Over time, your muscles become less flexible, limiting your range of motion and making simple movements difficult – or even painful. The many benefits of stretching can lead to a significant improvement in your quality of life. By learning to properly stretch, you can perform daily activities without discomfort, reduce muscle soreness after participating in sports, and even prevent future injuries.
Wondering how to stretch safely and correctly? Physical therapists are a great resource for learning proper and effective stretching techniques. While they are widely known for restoring movement and alleviating pain from injuries, accidents, or chronic conditions, physical therapists are also experts in body balance, stretching, and flexibility.
Why Stretching Is Important
Do you feel discomfort or stiffness when reaching for items on the floor or high up on a shelf? Is it difficult to bend over to tie your shoes? Are you finding it harder to get up from a seated position? If you answered, “yes” to any of these questions, you may be experiencing muscle tightening, and could benefit from a stretching exercise program. Stretching can lengthen the muscles you use every day, and improve your quality of life. Just imagine being able to once again perform all of your routine movements and tasks, without pain or stiffness.
If you’re physically active, stretching is an important part of your fitness plan. Regular stretching increases your range of motion, and helps prevent the injuries that can put you on the sidelines. It also improves the function of your muscles and tendons, so they can work harder without being damaged.
For patients recovering from surgery or injuries, stretching can prepare the knee, back, hip, or other affected area for rehabilitation exercises. However, improper stretching can be counterproductive, or even harmful, to post-operative joints. Be sure to learn proper stretching techniques under the guidance of a trained professional, such as a physical therapist.
The Benefits of Stretching
No matter what your age or physical condition, you can benefit from stretching. After just a few sessions with a physical therapist, you’ll find that stretching and flexibility training can bring measurable results, including:
- Better posture, which minimizes aches and pains
- Enhanced balance and coordination, which can prevent falls and injuries
- Increased flexibility and joint range of motion
- Improved circulation, which speeds healing
- Faster recovery after workouts or high levels of activity
- Increased ability to perform everyday activities
- Overall feeling of well-being
How to Stretch Properly
Stretching is not limited to marathon runners and other elite athletes. Anyone can learn to properly stretch, and gain all the benefits of a more flexible body. Here are a few tips for stretching properly:
- Warm up your body with light exercise, such as walking, jogging in place, stationary cycling, jumping rope, or rowing.
- Stretch muscles evenly on both sides of the body. Don’t stretch one side more than the other.
- Breathe throughout every stretch.
- Take your time. Stretch slowly and evenly.
- Don’t bounce or jerk your limbs. Move gently and smoothly.
- Hold each stretch for at least 15 seconds.
- For maximum benefit, relax into each stretch. Don’t tense up, and don’t hold your breath.
Stretching should be relaxing and make you feel great. If you are not sure whether you’re stretching properly, why not consult with a physical therapist for a thorough evaluation and personalized stretching and flexibility training program?
Learn to Stretch And Improve Your Flexibility at the Sports and Physical Therapy Center
If you’re a St. Louis County resident interested in learning proper stretching exercises, the first step is to contact your physician for a physical therapy prescription. You have the right to visit the physical therapy practice of your choice, so ask friends, family or your physician for recommendations. If you’re seeking a physical therapy center in Eureka, Missouri, you’ll likely hear excellent reviews about the Sports and Physical Therapy Center. Owner Sean Quinn and his dedicated team of professionals have been serving St. Louis County residents with a full range of physical therapy services since 2004.
Sean and his staff of experienced physical therapists are ready to teach you effective stretching and flexibility techniques, which will increase your range of motion and make everyday tasks easier. Each physical therapist in Sean’s practice holds an advanced degree and has completed extensive training in musculoskeletal function and disorders. In addition, the entire team participates in continuing education to enhance their skills and learn the latest physical therapy techniques.
When you partner with any of the Sports and Physical Therapy Center’s licensed physical therapists in Eureka, you’ll receive an individualized stretching and flexibility training program based on your needs and goals, and designed to get results. Give the Sports and Physical Therapy Center a call to find out how you can start experiencing the many benefits of stretching.
For High-Quality Care, Trust the Sports and Physical Therapy Center
You may be familiar with the use physical therapy for healing injuries, alleviating pain, and improving mobility. Now you know that your physical therapist can also help with stretching – and you’ll soon discover how a series of simple exercises can make a big difference in your quality of life. Once you get into a daily habit of stretching properly, you’ll find it easier to move, reach, bend, and perform all of your daily activities.
Trust the qualified team at the Sports and Physical Therapy Center for exceptional care in every area of service. You are invited to contact any member of the team with your questions or concerns, or to schedule an evaluation. Call 636-938-4065 or visit http://www.ptstl.com for more information about Sean Quinn and his staff, the high-quality services they provide, and the results real patients have experienced at the Sports and Physical Therapy Center.