When Is Stretching Not Recommended?

stretchingMost patients will say that stretching seems to make them feel better and more mobile. Although stretching is important, it is not always recommended once pain starts.  Stretching is designed to lengthen muscles and tendons, but back problems typically affect the ligaments. The problem here is that the ligaments are stretched out, allowing what is known as creep to happen.  Creep is a progressive change or length which occurs when the joint and ligaments are under a constant load they were not designed to handle. So while stretching may help a tight muscle, in this case its effect on ligaments can be detrimental.

Another factor to consider is the involvement of nerves.  If a nerve is restricted and not sliding between surrounding tissues, it will stretch. If a nerve itself is stretched beyond its threshold it can cause symptoms.

Just like many activities or exercise have to be modified when someone is dealing with a painful condition, this rule applies to stretching also.  Some stretches may have to be stopped, while other exercises or advice may be added in its place.

For more information contact Shaw Chiropractic & Sports Injury Center at (515) 987-6332 or visit our website at www.shawchiroandsport.com.

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