Stretching is proven to be a nice form of exercise especially during warm-up and cool-down activities, but have you heard stretching as a means of easing pain? Well, a lot of studies and anecdotal reports claim that stretching is also a best way to ease pain, especially those that originate from soft tissue problems such as strains and sprains, and your Tampa chiropractor can demonstrate the following stretches for you.
Stretching benefits most of the soft tissues in the body such as the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Stretching can also be used practically in every part of the body such as the spine, arms, legs, back and others.
The Mechanism of Stretching to ease Pain
Most pain arising from the muscular system is a result of muscle tightness or muscle knots, which leads to the interruption of blood flow to a specific area of the body or muscle. Also, it leads to the pinching of the underlying nerves contributing to more pain. This is very evident for back and shoulder pains. When there is a heavy feeling in your back, the tendency is you also feel back pains.
The role of stretching comes in order to relieve muscle tension and ensure the flexibility of the muscles and other soft tissues. Stretching aims at increasing the flexibility of the soft tissues; thus, relieving tightness over the painful areas. In patients experiencing low back pains, physical therapy, massage and stretching exercises are all prescribed to relieve pain in no time.
Stretching may require weeks of stretching exercises in order to yield significant effects for the pain; nevertheless, the pain reduction tends to be more meaningful because the root cause for the pain is generally relieved as well.
So when you feel pain arising from soft tissues, doing stretching exercises help achieve more optimum results. The following are the general guidelines to employ for more effective stretching exercises:
- Use non-restrictive clothing when stretching.
- Make sure that you hold the stretch for at least 20 seconds. The orthopedic society recommends at least 20 seconds of stretching because stretching less than this duration will not yield beneficial results.
- Never stretch beyond your tolerable limit. If you feel pain, that signals you to avoid stretching further.
- Slowly stretch your body without bouncing. Bouncing and sudden stretching will lead to muscle tears and more pain.
- Ensure to have 5 to 10 minutes of stretching per day. Studies reveal that there is significant back pain relief with this minimum time for stretching.
- Stretch whenever you can: in the office, at home, at school, etc.
What Stretches can I Employ?
There are various stretches that you can employ depending on the painful site. Neck and shoulder stretches are good for neck stiffness and pain, shoulder tension as well as headaches. For back pain, there are also back and chest exercises that can be done.
The hips and the gluteal muscles also need stretching. Engage in stretching the piriformis muscle, the iliotibial band and other important soft tissues around the area.
If stretching and other conservative means don’t relieve pain, consider consulting a physician for professional medical advice. You can also seek the help of chiropractors for a cost-effective and safe way to relieve pain.