Are you dealing with tight muscles, or maybe you don’t feel very flexible? When used correctly, stretching can be a useful tool to address tight muscles and improve muscle flexibility. Recent studies have confirmed that performing low intensity stretches over a long period can improve flexibility. Let’s look at a handful of simple stretches you can do to improve tight muscles.
Warm-up and recovery are important parts of a workout routine that often get overlooked. A dynamic warm-up prepares the body prior to exercise; conversely, recovery or cooling down after exercise can help manage soreness. Active recovery is a great option to help manage normal muscle soreness symptoms after high-intensity workouts. It is normal to have muscle soreness after high- intensity exercise; this can last for several hours up to several days. Active recovery may help reduce muscle soreness and fatigue.
If you have been inside a gym or physical therapy office, you may have heard the phrase “stretch your calves.” This phrase can mean so many different things to so many different people. Let’s take a few minutes to clear up the confusion, and ensure everyone gets the most out of their exercise routine.
Adhesive capsulitis, or as it is more commonly referred to, frozen shoulder, is a severe and long-term problem. It affects 3-5% of the general population, women slightly more than men, typically between 40-60 years old, and is 4x more likely in people with diabetes. The cause of primary adhesive capsulitis is unknown, but secondary adhesive capsulitis occurs when there is already known primary injury to the shoulder. However, the recovery process can be faster with physical therapy, and you can return to your previous full function. There are three phases of frozen shoulder: freezing, frozen, and thawing.
Many young kids that participate in sports can have complaints of pain in their heels. This is more common in children who are actively growing and those who are very active in running and jumping sports. Young gymnasts fall into this category, and they also practice and compete barefoot, which can lead to a higher risk of injury to the foot.
If you’re like the millions of Americans across the county, you may find yourself working at a job that requires an extensive amount of sitting, computer work, or meetings that don’t allow you to move and change positions as often as you need. According to the American Heart Association, over 80% of jobs are sedentary, requiring excessive sitting and not enough physical activity.1 Because of the pandemic, many of us are now working from home, which only increases the amount of time we spend sitting. Data shows that between 15 and 34% of desk workers will experience neck pain related to their job. Work-related neck pain is the leading cause of disability and absence from work.2
Stretching is an often overlooked yet vital component of any fitness routine or lifestyle routine. The truth is most of us are guilty of not stretching enough. Stretching increases muscle flexibility & length, which increases the range of motion of joints. Muscles that are not at the proper length prohibit the joints from moving as they should, leading to muscle damage, strains, and joint pain.
I’d like you to take a minute and picture a car. Imagine driving that car for an entire year without stopping. It’s not possible, and even if it were, the car wouldn’t run as smooth as it would if you took the time to realign the tires or change the oil. If you drove this car all year without taking the time to focus on the smaller pieces that help the car run as efficiently as possible, then you’d run the car to the ground.