Stretching is something that we all think we should do. We are told to do it before playing sport. We often think that if we stretch, we will be more flexible and being flexible is desirable. People believe that being flexible will make them less prone to injury. They also believe if they stretch properly, they can overcome pain and tightness.
If only it was so simple. Flexible people often are more prone to injury than the stiffer population. Despite stretching prior to sport, athletes can still pull muscles and injure themselves.
Muscles that feel tight , feel tight for a reason. Often the tight muscles are protecting underlying structures such as nerves, joints or discs. The muscles tighten and brace to protect the area. In these cases, if you try and stretch to reduce the tightness or discomfort, the results will only be temporary reduction in tightness because the underlying cause remains unattended.
Physiotherapists are experts in assessing why a particular muscle may always feel as though it needs stretching or massaging. After an assessment, they can treat the underlying cause. Frequently the tight muscle then relaxes and normal movement is restored.
Published in “The Village Observer”, June, 2016. Written by Burns Bay Physiotherapy.