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The Power of Stretching

In my chiropractic practice, I come across people who love to stretch before exercising, while others refuse to do so and only stretch afterwards.  Regardless of your preference, there are benefits to stretching.  Specific research has provided mixed results on this topic, but here are some things we know for sure due to the power of stretching.

The Power of Stretching

Increases Flexibility – Stretching helps improve your flexibility by increasing your range of motion. It enables you to move your joints in a more functional manner.(1,2)  This includes static stretching and foam rolling.


Increases Blood Flow – Stretching increases blood flow to the muscles, which helps provide oxygen and nutrients to the muscle and joint tissues.(3)


Improves Coordination and Balance – Stretching also helps to improve coordination and balance, essential to any exercise routine.


Helps Prevent Injury – Stretching, by contributing to improvements in flexibility, “…also aids in the prevention of injuries to the musculoskeletal system.”(3) As such, stretching helps prevent muscle strains and other types of injuries.


Reduces Muscle Soreness – Stretching before and after exercise can help reduce muscle soreness. When you stretch, you help increase blood flow to the muscles, which helps remove waste products such as lactic acid, one of the primary causes of muscle soreness.(4)


Stretching is just one way, or one aspect, to a complete warm up and exercise routine.  Especially if you have achy joints and sore muscles as a result of exercising, try adding some stretches before you begin to see if you can benefit from the power of stretching.

Resources:

1 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26642915/
2 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33459990/
3 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3849057/
4 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16284645/

Dr. Kalaba is a chiropractor in Tucson, AZ, practicing gentle chiropractic care and providing health tips to help you live the best rest of your life.

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