Flexible? You can be!
Our ability to get around in our environment is directly correlated to our tissue flexibility. When we have lost the ability touch our toes or to reach above our head because of tissue damage and inflexibility, we lose our ability to do many of the necessary activities of daily living. This loss of ability affects our quality of life and can eventually lead to more and more disability.
Many people are flexible as kids and teens, but because of inactivity and loss of practice the tissues in our bodies tighten as we age. This tightening can be mild to very severe. There are many problems that can arise when we lose the flexibility in our muscles. A major issues becomes apparent when we attempt to do activities that require good flexibility and we have to maneuver our bodies in ways that comprise joints because of inflexibility. For example, placing a bag of groceries in the back seat of your vehicle may not seem like a risky task, but if you have to wrench yourself in an unnatural fashion because your low back and hamstring muscles are not flexible enough to allow you to bend and reach, then you are at a much greater chance of injuring the ligaments or discs around the spine in this supposedly-simple task.
There are ways to prevent this loss of flexibility; however caution must be taken so injuries do not occur. It is always wise to warm up before stretching. Stretching cold muscles increases the tension at the muscular-tendinous junction and can lead to tearing. Warming up can mean a hot shower, a brief walk or getting on the Powerplate® for a few minutes. This increases circulation and muscles that are filled with blood and nutrients are much more capable of stretching safely. Furthermore, it is wise to make sure that the stretches that are done are done is a way that promotes lengthening of the entire muscle and posture and does not place undue stress on the joint itself.
Many people do not know where to begin with a stretching program and many people find that once they attempt to stretch, they have more pain than expected. This is where a coach is a must! If you have a trained observer or coach instructing you on the proper way to stretch a muscle, your results will be much better and your risk of injury much less. Our therapists are trained to provide advice and instructions for increasing your flexibility in a pain free fashion. They can give you the tools necessary to get your joints moving the way they should and with the help of our amazing technology like the K-Laser™ and PowerPlate® we can assist in breaking through tissue restrictions and get you back to feeling like you should!
Remember that you’re only able to do the activities that you want to if your muscles allow you to, so if you are finding restrictions in your ability to do your activities, call us! We may have a solution to your problems and our seasoned trainers and coaches can help you reach your goals. We can provide you with full-color examples of safe stretches and exercises that can help reduce pain, improve flexibility, thus improving activities of daily living and quality of life.
Dr. Jason W. Haas