Are you stretching the wrong way?

Are you stretching the wrong way?

So often I see many of my patients that come into my office and they show me what they are doing and how they are stretching and wondering why they are not getting better. Some have pain and others just want to get back to yoga or exercising but feel retricted and this restriction is getting worse. They get so much advice from the internet (Dr. Google) or from their friends or other healthcare providers, but usually means they are doing the wrong thing and going in the wrong direction.

Here are a few examples of what I mean..

1. Usually when something is really tight we like to stretch it. It totally makes sense. The problem is we need to figure out why you have that tightness. I have had people come in with the diagnosis of a hamstring pain. You start asking questions and figure out the hamstring pain and tightness is dural tension that is coming from a your back. Fix the back and you fix the tightness. Hamstring stretches will never fix this. Actually in this case it could make you worse.

2. Another example that I see all the time is tightness in the hips. They stretch and do figure 4 and pigeon but they continue to have tightness. They have been stretching for years and not get any results. The problem is your hip. You need to stretch your hip joint in a different direction to open the hip up to allow you to do pigeon. That stretch is different for different people depending on what we find in our evaluation. I can open up the hip with results within 1-2 treatments, but then depending on how tight you have been, it can take more treatment to get you to end range and to have full mobility. But their figure 4 opens up and they are able to do pigeon similar to the other side.

3. One last example is the tightness could be coming from an imbalance in your muscles. Work on figuring out the imbalance to get to the source of why it is tightnening up, then the tightness will go away.

These are just some examples of just some of the different reasons I have to look for when tightness happens in the body. You can only find this out by asking a lot of questions and getting a thorough evaluation to start ruling out different sources.

I usually will usually get to the source of the pain first, then asking more questions on what they are still limited by and getting to the why the pain started in the first place. This is common with my athletes that come in. You fix the pain, then you have to assess what they are doing in their training that is creating the pain in the first place. It usually leads you to other problems you have to work on. But the goal is to help you from having this happen over and over again.

Here is a great example of scenario where we came to fix the problem, his calf tightness, but found tightness in another area that was creating the calf tightness.. This patient consistently gets medical gastroc pain and tightness. We are working on this and can see his hip is so tight. He likes to rotate his toes to the outside. Guess what? He likes to run like that as well, putting more stress on his medial gastroc which is tightening up. I fix the pain, then figure out the source, and are fixing that as well.

If you or you know someone that seems to be bothered by those nagging injuries, you can CLICK HERE to speak to one of our therapist’s for FREE to see if we might be able to help you.  Feel Free to share this Blog with others. We want to be a resource to you and anyone you know. We see people all the time that have tried every kind of treatment without results. At mPower Physical Therapy in Dallas, we like a challenge and take it head on and get results.

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