“You should stretch more” – what I would say to anyone with any semblance of lack of mobility!
I sprouted this for years without hesitation – until the patient’s I have advised would start coming back with mixed results;
- Some would feel great
- Some would feel great…….for 10 minutes
- Some would get sore…..but then feel great
- Some would just feel sore!
Why would this be? I feel there are many variables, however the biggest one that I just did not contemplate for many years is that some TIGHT muscles just don’t need STRETCHING!
In fact, they need something else – they need STRENGTHENING!
An example of this could be our tight HIP FLEXORS! Some of our hip flexor muscles attach from the spine to the front of the upper thigh. Their main job is to flex the hip, however, if our inner “core” (those deep muscles that attach to the spine from vertebrae to vertebrae) are either weak or not activating when they should, the hip flexors put in overtime and now act as stabilisers, rather than just movers. In essence – they are doing 2 jobs for the price of 1 – and they get tired. No wonder they sometimes are tight, sore and painful.
If we were to stretch this muscle group – all we would do would be to cause MORE tightness – due to our nervous system thinking it needs more stability, thus working the hip flexors harder, causing more tightness.
So how do you work out if a muscle requires stretching or strengthening – a proper assessment from the practitioners here at the Sports & Spinal Group.