I’m sure you many of you have heard that it’s important to warm up before a workout, but have you ever been told why?
Have you ever thought about the tasks you do on a daily basis and what those do to your body?
Would you laugh if you were told that you should warm up or stretch on a daily basis even if you’re not exercising?
Would you laugh if you heard that walking, standing or sitting often and for long periods of time can be hard on your shoulders, lower back and hips?
Hard work can have multiple meanings.
When we think of hard work, we think about construction workers or people lifting in the gym. We may even think about our neighbor who enjoys running marathons. Rarely do we think about how sitting, standing or walking for a long time can impact our joints and muscles.
Just like there are different styles of exercise to achieve different health goals (i.e. strength training, endurance training, etc), there are also a variety of stretches with unique purposes.
The way we move is determined by our range of motion or ROM at our synovial joints (Page, 2012). A synovial joint is where bones join together with a membrane of fluid. There are six kinds of synovial joints in the human body like the hinge joint that can be found in your knee as well as a ball-and-socket joint that can be found in your hips and shoulders.
There are three kinds of stretches: static, dynamic and pre-contraction.
A static stretch involves holding a muscle in specific position to allow and create tension. This style stretch is repeated and can be done on your own or with a partner.
A dynamic stretch is an active stretch will moves a limb through its full ROM. This style of stretch can also be repeated and done on your own or with a partner.
A pre-contraction stretch involves a contraction of the muscle being stretched such and can be performed with resistance provided by a band, strap or partner.
Both static stretching and dynamic stretching commonly suggested, especially by Dr. Cao to assist patients with treatment; however, studies show that dynamic stretching may have more benefits than static stretches.
A 2009 study examined the effects of dynamic and static stretching on vertical jump and activity of the muscle tissue. Researchers found a signification increase in activity in the muscle tissue after participants engaged in dynamic stretching in comparison to static stretching (Hough, P.A., 2009). “In this investigation electromyographic activity was significantly greater after dynamic stretching compared with static stretching indicating an increase in muscle activation post dynamic stretching.”
Researchers also found that there was an increase in neuromuscular mechanisms, meaning the contact between the brain and muscle fibers were able to increase communication. Dynamic stretching may better assist in preventing injury because of this.
A pre-contraction stretch, may be suggested to assist ROM and flexibility. Similarly to dynamic stretching, muscle activation in this kind of stretch may remain the same or increase after the stretch is executed (Page, P., 2012).
Developing strength and flexibility in both joints and muscles can lead to less pain and a decreased chance of daily injury. Stretching regularly can also increase circulation by assisting blood to flow into your muscles and lower stress levels.
While we love seeing you in the office, we also enjoy hearing that you’re doing well and don’t need to see us. If you’re interested in learning about stretches that may help in conjunction to chiropractic treatment talk to Dr. Cao during next visit or give us a call.
Page, P. (2012). Current concepts in muscle stretching for exercise and rehabilitation. International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, 109-119.
Hough, P. A. (2009). Effects of Dynamic and Static Stretching on Vertical Jump Performance and Electromyographic Activity. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 507-512.
Perrier, E. T. (2011). The Acute Effects of a Warm-Up Including Static or Dynamic Stretching on Countermovement Jump Height, Reaction Time, and Flexibility. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 1925-19231.