Here’s Why Stretching May Not Help Your Pain
Sarah Whiteley | February 1, 2023
Why People Use Stretches To Help With Their Pain
The majority of people have experienced pain at some point in their life. In fact, one estimate suggests that up to 8 million people in the UK live with chronic pain.
To be honest most people that come to us have actually tried traditional methods first.
Can these approaches like resting, stretching, painkillers, and even speaking to your G.P. reduce the level of pain you are in?
YES!…. BUT….. It doesn’t always mean that the pain isn’t going to return.
In most cases the pain does return. Instead of getting pain free, the pain becomes manageable, which results in a whole host of new problems down the line as the body finds new ways to overcome this.
I can imagine that doing a stretch gives you that satisfying pull in the muscle… making you think it is doing the right thing. It will most likely relieve some tension but it won’t get rid of your pain.
These traditional methods like resting, pain killers, heat and stretching are all going to reduce your pain but they will not fix the root cause of the problem.
Benefits Of Stretching
Stretching a muscle does have its benefits. It can increase the range of motion of a specific joint by lengthening the targeted muscle group.
This can reduce the risk of injury during sports and also provide some pain relief but these effects are only short lived.
Post-isometric relaxation is a method of stretching which is known as the most effective at increasing the range of motion of a joint.
But despite the benefits of stretching, it probably isn’t going to fix the root cause of the problem and make sure your pain stays away.
Why It Might Not Work For You
Muscle tensions come from postural adaptations and tensions caused by contraction. If we use these muscles a lot they become tighter/shorter…
Now think about the above comment for a second… So if you use the muscle a lot it will become tighter/shorter. If you stretch the muscle you might increase the length of the muscle and feel better as a result BUT…. your body still wants to use this muscle a lot so it will only become tighter again over time.
Therefore the problem, pain, or stiffness will only return again.
Use of a muscle → Tightness in the muscle → stretch → relief and increase in range of motion → use of the same muscle → MUSCLE TIGHTNESS COME BACK!!
If you have tried stretching as one of your approaches you will know that one stretch is not enough to get rid of the pain… you will often find yourself having to resort to doing stretching exercises almost every day to try and help reduce tension in a muscle.
How would you feel if I told you there is a quicker and more effective way to get pain free rather than focus on stretching?
Well at Prosport we can do exactly that!
The ProSport Way
At ProSport we use exercises that are specifically designed to get you moving as efficiently as possible.
This means that there should not be any muscles overcompensating or working harder than another. Therefore if we can achieve this whilst doing the things you want and need to be able to do there will not be any muscle tensions which results in less pain.
We do implement stretches into your rehab yes! But… Only 20% of what we treat is to manage the pain a patient may be experiencing. The remaining 80% of rehab is focused to prevent certain muscles working harder than others.
The key is to be specific to the things that you need and want to do.
We won’t give you the clam exercise to strengthen your glutes…. As this is not applicable to someone wanting to get back to running, walking or sleeping comfortably.
We use strategies to get the nervous system happy, loading muscles that are required to use when you are doing the things you do day to day.
How To Get The Best Out Of Stretching
Yes stretches can be effective at increasing the range or motion or reducing tensions in a muscle… but to get the best results from stretches you need to use these with exercises that will get YOU back to moving as efficiently as possible.
To do this your therapist will need to assess your movements and strength to give you exercises that get you moving pain free and doing the things you love this summer!
If you’re struggling with pain, maybe you’ve tried stretches and they just didn’t work, or maybe the pain is stopping you from moving forward in life, we want to hear from you.
Just click here or call 01484 443173 to book your appointment right now.