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Lessening Pain With Stretching

By Stephen R. Farris

How many times have you heard that stretching should be done before any activity? Chances are, your doctor or chiropractor may have suggested this, along with your coach from junior high, or the fitness instructor at the gym you work out at.

More than likely, you probably shrugged it off. I mean, why would I need to stretch before going to work, standing all day or sitting at a desk. It's just a job, right. It's not like you're going to compete in a marathon, or play football or basketball. 

So what's the big deal about stretching? Pretty much everything that has to do with keeping your body (muscles, joints, ligaments, etc.) mobile and flexible. That's what the big deal is.

The importance of stretching normally starts the moment you get up in the morning. You definitely want to do some simple stretching techniques to get the muscles awake, and get the blood flowing after being asleep all night.

If you work out early in the day (before work), you should stretch in order to help prevent injuries and so you'll be more limber when running, walking, cycling, or swimming.

What Types of Stretching Exercises Should Be Done?

In all honesty, just keep it simple to begin with. Eventually, you might want to advance to a few harder ones. You might also consider trying yoga or tai chi. Both emphasize stretching just about the major components in your body, such as your muscle and tendon groups. Experts suggest stretching these groups, your neck, back, shoulders, core area (trunk), hips, legs and ankles at least a few days a week. However, if you are into competition sports, then you should stretch prior to competing.

How Long Should I Hold a Stretch?

This is actually a great question. A lot of folks are unsure about the length of time to hold a stretch position. But the answer is quite simple. According to the experts, holding a stretch for at least 60 seconds is sufficient. You can even break it down into intervals, such as 4 sets of 15 seconds, or 3 sets of 20 seconds each.

To find out more about stretching or exercising, visit with your local chiropractor to hear the tips and suggestions they can offer to help you get started. Don't forget, if you are experiencing pain in your back, neck and joints, they can help provide relief for those as well.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Surprise, Ariz.

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