Is your stretching program putting you at risk?

Stretching – Recent research shows us a number of factors that affect when, why and for how long we stretch.

The latest research suggests that general stretching prior to exercise does not prevent injuries- in fact traditional static stretching (where a muscle is held on stretch for a period of time) has been shown to decrease muscle contraction for 20mins post stretch- adversely affecting muscle performance.
Dynamic stretching has been shown to be much more effective at preparing the body for exercise. Dynamic stretching is about preparing the body for sport and involves movement to end range to put stretch on tissues. This type of stretch signals to the body that we are preparing for action and has been more effective at preparing the body for exercise.
Traditional static stretching can be useful after exercise to prevent post exercise soreness
Talk to our team of Physiotherapists to devise the most appropriate dynamic stretching program prior to your exercise – this can benefit the weekend warrior going for a run, surf or cycle etc, right up to the elite sports people that we look after.

Those people with specific injuries may need to stretch these areas in order to prevent them causing further problems
Physiotherapist uses stretching and joint mobilisation to gain range of movement in strutcures that have lost range. This can be either a joint, or your soft tissues (muscles/ connective tissue/ ligaments)

Upper back pain

Thoracic spine (upper back) pain

The main cause of this problem is injury to the small joints either side of the spine.

Risk factors for the development of this problem include:

Poor seated posture – or spending too long sitting
Limited thoracic extension – due to slouching posture
Reduced mid back rotation – again due to prolonged sitting and not enough movement of these joints.
Muscle imbalance between the chest muscles and the back muscles.
Treatment for this injury includes mobilization of the stiff and injured joints, massage, dry needling or acupuncture and stretching to help settle the affected area. A rehabilitation program is then devised to treat the risk factors and causes of the injury.

To help prevent this happening follow these simple exercises:

Lie over a rolled up towel on the floor placed horizontally across your back. Stretch your arms up over your head and feel the gentle stretch as your encourage your upper back to extend. Hold each position for 30 seconds and try to do 3 levels of your back.

Lie on your back on a Swiss Ball – then relax the arms out to the side at 90 degrees and keep them there for 30 seconds – rest for 30 seconds and repeat three times.