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Keeping your muscles, tendons and ligaments flexible through regular stretching is important. It helps prevent scores of different injuries and has an anti-aging effect on the body. Many of our patients may have been able to avoid their back pain, neck pain or shoulder pain with just stretching.

One of the most important reasons to stretch is because it lengthens your muscles and increases flexibility. Many muscle tears and strains could be avoided if those muscles weren’t so short and tight. Stretching the larger muscles of your quadriceps, hamstrings and calves helps to lengthen your lower back muscles thereby increasing the benefit of stretching..

Static stretching, or stretching performed without any bouncing or movement should be done before and after exercise to reduce your risk of injury. You may want to do some light calisthenics prior to stretching cold muscles.

Do not rush through your stretching routine.. Even a mildly pulled muscle can cause pain and hinder your ability to exercise for quite some time. Take your time when you stretch, even if it cuts into your exercise time.

Reaching for a little bit more is a good way to cause an injury. Just relax and breathe and be in the moment. Visualization is a great tool when it comes to stretching. Keep a mental image of the muscle group you’re stretching and watch it elongating. Breathe deeply while you’re stretching to help create a stronger brain / muscle connection.

If stretching causes more pain, it’s best to stop. With proper treatment and proper stretching on your own time, you’ll be able to avoid injuries and keep all areas of your body feeling great.
The Atlas team is here to help answer your questions. Please feel free to contact us today.