5 Ways Stretching Improves Your Long-Term Health

Apr10th 2022

Are You Making Sure to Incorporate Stretching into Your Daily Routine?

Are you familiar with the extensive health benefits of stretching? According to Mayo Clinic, consistent stretching improves your joints’ range of motion, increases flexibility, and protects you from injury.

If stretching is not a part of your current daily routine, your body is missing out on some serious health benefits. But the good news is, it’s never too late to start. 

If you want to start improving your flexibility and joint health but are not sure where to start, contact Synergy Manual Physical Therapy today. Our skilled team of movement experts can create a personalized stretching plan for you, based on your individual mobility limitations. Together, we’ll go through safe and effective stretches and work diligently towards your fitness goals.

Why is stretching so important?

Do you work from home or in an office? After hours, do you find yourself binge-watching TV or scrolling through your social media feeds? If your answer is yes, you may want to think about how much time you’re spending each day sitting down.

Though it might not seem like it, excessive sitting can be very dangerous. A sedentary lifestyle places you at a greater risk to develop certain chronic diseases that lead to early death. Incorporating stretching and movement into your daily routine now will likely lead to a much healthier you in the future.

According to organizations like Mayo Clinic and the American Physical Therapy Association, correcting your areas of inflexibility through routine stretching can benefit you by:

  1. Restoring and maintaining your joints’ and tissues’ ideal range of motion
  2. Improving your efficiency and quality of movement during a variety of functional tasks, which leads to improved athletic performance, better productivity at work, and better quality of life
  3. Correcting abnormal or compensatory movement patterns that may otherwise increase tissue tension and tissue damage
  4. Reducing your risk of injury
  5. Increasing blood flow and circulation in your tissues and boosting tissue health

Many people also find that maintaining a consistent stretching routine helps them relieve emotional stress.

Did you know that stress is associated with changes in your nervous system that influence the structure and tension in your musculoskeletal tissues? By alleviating tension in the body through stretching, you help trigger changes in the nervous system that ultimately alleviate mental tension, too.

As you can see, including stretching into your daily routine is highly beneficial. Stretching can also be an enjoyable way to practice self-care each day and give our bodies the mindful attention they deserve.

Why should I create a stretching routine with a physical therapist?

In order to receive the full benefits of stretching, you’ll want to perform movements that target your specific mobility or tightness issues.

Seeing a physical therapist will help you understand which stretches will be the most effective for you. Your therapist can also prevent potential injury by showing you the proper way to perform unfamiliar movements.

During your first appointment with a physical therapist, your range of motion will be tested. This allows your therapist to clearly identify which areas in your body have tense or tightened tissues that could benefit from proper mobilization and flexibility exercises.

Your therapist may also detect underlying postural imbalances that are contributing to inflexibility. For instance, you may have tight hamstrings because of weakness in your core or a poor ergonomic set up at work.

If you haven’t been examined by a physical therapist, you may not know what factors are contributing to your pain. So, stretching your hamstrings won’t provide you with lasting relief, since the underlying triggers will still be there!

Your physical therapist can also help you optimize your stretching plan by:

  • Teaching you how to stretch properly. Physical therapists rely on the science of body mechanics to build highly effective and customizable stretching routines.
  • Showing you different stretching techniques. Holding a stretch statically is just one way to work on your mobility. Learn more ways to stretch in physical therapy.
  • Adding manual therapy to your routine. Manual techniques like joint mobilizations and massage improve joint alignment, reduce swelling and stiffness, and break up painful adhesions.
  • Assessing your movement quality before and after stretching. Your therapist will help you see the “before” and “after” changes in your movement patterns to give you extra feedback and motivation for keeping up with your stretching routine.

Ready to start improving your health? Contact Synergy Manual Physical Therapy today!

Stretching is an extremely important part of body maintenance, injury prevention, and overall health.

By now, you know that you should be stretching every day. But if you don’t know where to start, you can find help with our skilled physical therapy team. Contact Synergy Manual Physical Therapy today if you’re ready to learn about the stretches that will help you feel and perform your best.


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