Stretching before exercise increases flexibility and elasticity, thus, decreases the chance of injury. People should focus on stretching the muscles that will be activated during the workout. So if it is leg day, the hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, and calves all need to be stretched. This prevents these muscle groups from tightening up during an exercise.
Not only is it essential beforehand, it is just as important if not more to stretch post-session. In fact, if a muscle group has been continually contracted throughout a workout, stretching can help muscles return to their normal length. In addition, it can decrease recovery time and alleviate soreness.
It’s important to stay committed, as studies show that flexibility from regular stretching can disappear after 4 weeks of inactivity.
The benefits of stretching include:
• Muscles release tension.
- Range of motion increases.
• Help muscles resist stress, thereby, prevent muscle and joint strains.
• Prepare the body and heart rate for strenuous exercise.
• Improved blood flow.
• Reduce the severity of painful menstruation (Dysmenorrhea).
- Body releases endorphins, making people more energetic and relaxed.
However, DO NOT stretch if:
- There is a bone fracture, acute sprain or strain.
• Range of motion is limited due to other pathology
• The joint is inflamed or infected.
• There is pain doing stretches.
Stretching determines how far a joint can bend, twist, or reach. When it is done incorrectly, it can be ineffective or dangerous as it can cause tears, instability, and damage to tendons/ligaments. It is controversial still which kind of stretching is beneficial before or after exercises.
If you are stretching before exercises definitely you need to some kind of warm up exercises before you stretch. Thus, it is important to consult a physical therapist to see which stretching exercises can be incorporated when dealing with an injury or condition.
Many people believe that surgery alone can lead to full recovery. However, without proper care and rehabilitation, any work/progress completed during surgery may be undone. Post-surgical rehabilitation concentrates mainly on increasing strength and mobility. The physical therapist will provide appropriate modalities, manual therapy, and exercises to improve patient’s endurance, strength, and flexibility.
They will work with the patient to create an individualized treatment program that will cater to the patient’s surgicial procedure, pain level, and goals, allowing them to bounce back successfully. Physical therapy for post surgery should focus on progessing patients to a pain free state without limitations and risks of future injuries.
Surgerical procedures that often recommend follow up physical therapy somer common surgeris include :
- Rotator Cuff Tear
- Hip, Shoulder, and Knee Joint Replacements
- Ligament Tears of the Knee (ACL, LCL, MCL and PCL)
- Tendon Rutprue Repair
- Arthroscopy and Meniscus Repair
- Spinal Surgery
- Additional Operations Resulting in Weakness or Stiffness
Physical therapy can reduce pain/discomfort from surgery with techniques such as electrical stimulation, ice, hot pack, massage and manual therapy. Once the pain subsides, the treatment program will focus more on the challenges of each surgical procedure.
For instance, if a patient received a knee replacement, the therapist will prescribe strengthening and range of motion exercises to promote recovery. Patients can also experience weakness from being sedentary after surgery, but physical therapy can help increase muscle mass to its previous levels.
Without physical therapy, there are possibilities of re-injury or prolonged recovery, post surgical complication like stiffness, contractures, weakness. It is necessary for the patient to be aware of what activities to avoid and how to safely perform daily activities to prevent future setbacks.
Physical therapy will also help patients return to regular activities quicker as it enhances healing in damage tissues. Thus, physical therapy is essential in achieving a safe and fast post-surgery recovery.