Injuries that people suffer are often associated with a lack of mobility at the site where the injury occurred. The natural instinct for most individuals is to stretch an area that is sore in an attempt to make it more flexible, thinking that this will resolve the pain. This association is understandable since injured areas will often have tight muscles guarding them.
But what if that instinct is wrong? What if the muscle tension that is felt around an injured area is the result of the body’s attempt to stabilize a compromised or vulnerable area? Is stretching going to be helpful at all?
The reality is that many pains are actually the result of weakness in muscles that are asked to perform work that they are just unable to perform. Stretching, therefore, is going to be ineffective.
The human body responds to the stresses that are placed upon it. The more it is asked to do, the more it will be capable of doing. This may sound obvious. But in practice this means that in order to perform a specific task better, going up the stairs for example, and doing it pain free, it is necessary to practice climbing the stairs.
The body will get better at tasks that it performs repetitively. The term ‘overuse injury’ is constantly misused. Individuals must change their mentality when it comes to recovering from an injury, from ‘rest and avoid’ to ‘gradual return to activities’ thinking.
Alex is a Registered Physiotherapist and Clinic Owner of Gemini Health Group [email protected]