What is stretching? How to stretch properly ?

Stretching is a form of physical exercise which helps you to increase flexibility in means of mobility-related to Muscle. A physiotherapist uses stretching as a manipulative technic to increase the flexibility of muscles. What stretching actually does to your body?  Longer immobilization can result in contracture, and sometimes it becomes irreversible. so stretching helps to maintain and develop flexibility for a prolonged period of time.

Is it OK to stretch every day? 

Stretching works on the flexibility principle and it is totally okay to stretch every day, but at least you should know about proper stretching techniques and it should be done in the proper way. so that it becomes effective.

Keep In Mind that doing hard stretches on the rough or uneven floors can damage your Muscle or can cause Pain in joints also. make sure that you are doing Stretching on a Yoga mat or Firm Surface that is Good for your body and Not causing any pain.

What is Selective Stretching?

Selective stretching is focused on the overall function of a patient may be improved by applying stretching techniques Specifically to particular muscles and joints but allowing the limitation of motion to develop in other muscles or joints.

performing hamstring stretching

while applying stretching which muscles to stretch and which to allow to become slightly shortened, the Physiotherapist must always keep in mind the functional needs of the patient and the importance of maintaining a balance between mobility and stability for maximum functional performance.

In a patient with spinal cord injury, the stability of the trunk is necessary for independence in sitting. With thoracic and cervical lesions after injury, the patient does not have active control of the back extensors.

how to stretch in sitting position


If the hamstrings are routinely stretched to improve or maintain their extensibility and moderate hypomobility is allowed to develop in the extensors of the low back, this enables a patient to lean into the slightly shortened structures and have some degree of trunk stability for long-term sitting. However, the patient must still have enough flexibility for independence in dressing and transfers. Too much limitation of motion in the low back can decrease function.

Allowing slight hypomobility to develop in the long flexors of the fingers while maintaining mobility of the wrist enables the patient with spinal cord injury, who lacks innervation of the intrinsic finger muscles, to regain the ability to grasp by using a tenodesis action.

What is Overstretching?

Overstretching is a stretch well beyond the normal length of muscle and ROM of a joint and the surrounding soft tissues, resulting in hypermobility (excessive mobility) which helps in such Medical Conditions as well as for athletes to get the highest form of Mobility in both ways.in means of reproducing or Creating selective hypermobility by overstretching may be necessary for certain healthy individuals or athletes with normal strength and stability, who participate in sports that require extensive flexibility.

Sometimes it becomes disadvantageous like Overstretching becomes detrimental and creates joint instability when the supporting structures of a joint and the strength of the muscles around a joint are insufficient and cannot hold a joint in a stable, resulting in subluxation or dislocation of joints.

Indications for Use of Stretching

  •  Range Of Motion is limited because soft tissues have lost their extensibility as the result of adhesions, contractures, and scar tissue formation, causing activity limitations (functional limitations) or participation restrictions (disabilities).
  •  A restricted motion may lead to structural deformities that are otherwise preventable.
  •  in some way Muscle weakness and shortening of opposing tissue have led to limited Range Of Motion.
  •  Maybe a component of a total fitness or sport-specific conditioning program designed to prevent or reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries.
  •  May be used prior to and after vigorous exercise to potentially reduce postexercise muscle soreness.

Contraindications to Stretching

  •  A bony block limits joint motion.
  •  if There is a recent fracture, or and the bony union is incomplete.
  •  if There is evidence of an acute inflammatory or infectious process (heat and swelling), or soft tissue healing could be disrupted in the restricted tissues and surrounding region.
  •  There is sharp, acute pain with joint movement or muscle elongation.
  •  A hematoma or other indication of tissue trauma is observed.
  • Hypermobility of joints.
  • Shortened soft tissues.
  •  Shortened soft tissues enable a patient with paralysis or severe muscle weakness to perform specific functional skills otherwise not possible.

How to Increase effectiveness of Stretching?

It is the elongation of the pathologically shortened or tightened soft tissues with the help of some therapeutic techniques. Some physical modalities can help you get the most out of stretching. Before beginning the stretching routine, and assistive modality that improves stretch quality can be used.

Some of them are:
1. Heat
2. Massage
3. Oscillation
4. Joint mobilization
5. Active exercise.

Normally, three varieties of stretching can be performed in the body. They are: a. Muscular stretching b. Joint stretching c. Skin stretching.

1. Heat

Heat promotes muscle relaxation and rapid muscle lengthening. Heat, in general, promotes tissue relaxation, circulation, and nutrition while reducing spasm and tightness. Stretching after using a heat modality necessitates using less force. Heat is produced in the tissue by physiotherapy modalities such as hot water, fomentation, IRR, wax bath, ultrasound, and SWD. As a result, they can be used.The heat will activate the GTO and results in relaxation response from the higher center, which reduces the tension in the muscle.

2. Massage

The effective maneuver of massage produces:

  • It increases blood circulation. 
  • It increases blood nutrition. 
  • It enhances local relaxation. 
  • It decreases spasm. 

Massage can be done after application of heat therapy, which improves the effect of massage thereby helpful in stretching.

3. Active Exercise 

Active exercise causes the body to heat up. Warm tissue is easily stretched. Walking, jogging, and cycling are examples of active exercises that increase local blood circulation and thus increase intramuscular temperature. Stretching that is done after an active exercise is more effective.

4.Joint Mobilization

Joint mobilization is performed prior to joint stretching; it reduces joint stiffness by breaking the adhesion formed and frees the joint. 

Joint traction loosens the tightened structures and breaks the adhesion. The soft tissue is relaxed and tightened by the pendular and oscillation movements. A 1 to 2-pound weight can be used in the extremity to perform some exercises.

The stretching can be given about to reaching the second tissue stop without causing the microtrauma. If the microtrauma occurs during stretching the iceing can be done to constricting the blood vessels thereby reducing the local blood circulation thus prevents further damage. Iceing also reduces the post-stretching muscular soreness.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post