One of the best ways of improving your movement, alleviating aches and pains, and improving overall health is by improving your flexibility. Whether you’re active or sedentary, stretching is something your body can definitely benefit from. A lot of people struggle with flexibility because it’s not something they address or think about improving on a daily basis. Joints and muscles can feel “tight” and limit you from optimally moving. The more you become less mobile or “flexible”, you’ll notice that simple things like bending over to tie your shoes or pick up something from the ground can be difficult or even painful. On top of that, bad habits can negatively affect your low back, eventually leading to more serious conditions.
The biggest problem is that not a lot of people are aware of the importance of flexibility or mobility. A lot of joint problems can be fixed simply by just stretching and not a lot of people know that. Unfortunately, a lot of people limit themselves from doing things because they feel tight or stiff and won’t move until “it passes.” In reality, you were made to move so the only way to make that tightness or stiffness “pass” is by stretching!
What does physical therapy have to do with flexibility? Muscles can develop trigger points and become tighter from working out and sports activities.Your muscles are wrapped in connective tissue called fascia. This tissue often becomes tighter, especially with frequent use or injury. Having myofascial release performed by a physical therapist helps to restore the normal function of the muscle and fascial systems. Hands on physical therapy and massage help to gently break up trigger points and adhered muscle tissue. Having a routine PT and massage treatment can help you feel your best.
Here are some tips to help maintain your flexibility:
- Dynamic warm-ups before a workout
- This will help introduce and prepare movement to your body
- End your workout with light stretching
- After a workout, this will help maintain muscle length
- Aim to move through your full range of motion
- Move your arms and legs through their entire range of motion and hold a stretch at the top! This will train your muscles to relax
If you need help with improving your overall movement and health, get an appointment for physical therapy today!