PERFORMANCE PAIN RELIEF
How Well Do You Move?
Flexibility is the ability to move muscles and joints through their full range of
motion or as Michael J. Alter states in Science of Flexibility, (3rd edition)
Flexibility refers to the extensibility of periarticular tissues to allow normal or
physiologic motion of a joint or limb.
Flexibility is acheived by stretching. Stretching has numerous benefits, but only if performed properly. Listed below are some of the benefits of proper stretching that can be attained by virtually everyone:
- Stretching can reduce the risk of injury, especially sprains and strains.
- Stretching can reduce or eliminate back problems and pain.
- Stretching can optimize the learning, practice, and performance of many types of skilled movements.
- Stretching can promote development of body awareness.
- Stretching can enhance one's physical fitness.
- Stretching can reduce muscular soreness.
- Stretching can reduce muscular tension.
- Stretching can increase balance and symmetry of the body.
- Stretching can improve posture.
- Stretching can promote physical and mental relaxation.
- Stretching can increase self-discipline and self-knowledge.
- Stretching can release chemicals, known as endorphins that act as natural pain suppressant.
- Stretching can enhance sex!
- Stretching can reduce pain associated with menstruation.
The 10 FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF FASCIAL STRETCH THERAPY
- Synchronize Breathing with movement
- Tune Nervous System to current conditions
- Follow a logical Order
- Achieve range of motion Gain WITHOUT Pain
- Stretch Fascia, not just muscles
- Use Multiple Planes of Movement
- Target the entire Joint
- Get maximal lengthening with Traction
- Facilitate body Reflexes for optimal results (PNF)
- Adjust stretching to present Goals
BASIC STRETCHING FACTS
- We loose 10% of our range of motion for every 10 years we age.
- Many factors affect flexibility such as: age, dehydration, adhesions, lack of elasticity of connective tissues in muscles or joints, muscle tension, gender, hormones, length of ligaments or joints, lack of coordination and strength in the case of active movement, inflammation, pain, fear, body mass, temperature, medication, training, vocation, postural misalignments and more...
- The tissues need to be warmed up well, before they are stretched.
- To achieve a maximal stretch, you must elongate a muscle by moving the origin as far away as possible from the insertion and consider the connective tissue involvement.
- Flexibility does not exist as a general physical characteristic, but it is joint specifc and joint action.
- Real gains in flexibility will occur when you actually train for flexibility on a regular basis.
- Visualization is a powerful tool; to envision muscles lengthening and relaxing while self stretching and being stretched is advantageous.
- The right kind of stretching for a specific activity or sport must utilize the correct nervous system to be maximally effective.
- Sacromere's are capable of on increasing over 50% of their resting length.
- Flexibility must be balanced with strength to be fully functional.
- A combination of stretching techniques is necessary for optimal flexibility.
- A great deal more research is needed to validate the importance of flexibility!
* Comparison of the relative contribution of soft tissue structures to joint resistance:
**Medical advise should be sought before an athlete with any of the following conditions begins or continues stretching:
- Recent fracture of a bone
- Acute inflammatory or infectious process in or around a joint is suspected or known
- Diagnosed with or suspected Osteoporosis
- Recent sprain or strain
- Sharp or acute pain with joint movement
- Any known or suspected neuromuscular damage