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Texas Physical Therapy Specialists Reveal Why Stretching Before Exercise Can Lead to Injury

November 25, 2010

Recent studies have shown that stretching alone does not help prevent injury. Physical therapists at Texas Physical Therapy Specialists (TexPTS) are trained to use the latest scientific evidence, rather than conventional wisdom, to educate patients and provide the best possible outcomes.

Austin, TX (Vocus/PRWEB) November 23, 2010

Ask almost any physical therapist, athletic trainer, or sports medicine physician if someone should stretch before exercise, and they would respond with a resounding “Yes” in most cases. However, if asked for proof that doing so is actually helpful, this individual would be hard pressed to show research that supports this claim. In fact, recent studies have shown that stretching alone does not help prevent injury. Physical therapists at Texas Physical Therapy Specialists (TexPTS) are trained to use the latest scientific evidence, rather than myths couched as conventional wisdom, to educate patients and provide the best possible outcomes.    

The myth of stretching to prevent injuries is discussed in a 2008 New York Times article. A study conducted at the University of Nevada found that athletes generated less force in their leg muscles after static stretching. “This is a neuromuscular inhibitory response to static stretching,” says Malachy McHugh, the director of research at the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. The stretched muscle will stay weak for up to 30 minutes, making the occurrence of injury more likely while the muscle is weak.

“Factors such as higher levels of fitness and greater strength are more important in the prevention of injuries,” states Dr. David Browder, DPT, OCS, physical therapist and Clinic Director at TexPTS in Austin, TX. “In other words, it’s not that stretching shouldn’t be a part of an athlete’s training, but it should be in conjunction with other factors to achieve optimal performance.”

A November 2010 study in the British Journal of Sport Medicine surveyed 2377 adults, who regularly participate in physical activity, for 12 weeks to research the effects of static stretching before exercise on injury. It was found that stretching alone does little more than reduce bothersome soreness. Furthermore, in a 2008 study by the Centers for Disease Control, it was found that knee injuries among female college soccer players were cut in half when they followed warm-up routine that included both dynamic exercises and static stretching.

Duane Knudson, a professor of kinesiology at California State University, recommends warming up the body and loosening muscles by starting with aerobic activity, usually light jogging. Ever seen marathoners stride before starting a race? They are trying to warm up their body. This part of the warm-up should only take 10-15 minutes and include a 5 minute recovery. Next, dynamic stretching (stretching while moving) that is specific to the sport should be incorporated. For example, runners should do squats and lunges. This will increase power, flexibility, and range of motion.

“In order to treat patients effectively, I must stay up to date with current research,” says Browder. “The latest scientific evidence about stretching before work-outs is a great example that advancements are constantly made in health care. TexPTS feels responsible for making sure that patients receive the best treatment possible, based on all research available. We have embraced the latest research and incorporate it into patient care with our continuing education, professional development, and training activities.”

When physicians refer patients to physical therapy, patients have a choice regarding who they see. To learn more about TexPTS visit TexPTS.com.

About Texas Physical Therapy Specialists:

Texas Physical Therapy Specialists (TexPTS) is a private physical therapy practice with locations throughout San Antonio, Austin, and Tyler. Known for teaching and training physical therapists all over the U.S., TexPTS physical therapists pride themselves in being spine experts. They deliver hands-on physical therapy based on the newest research to achieve the best results for patients with bad backs, achy joints, wounded hands, and work injuries. Along the way, the TexPTS family has fun and makes friends with their patients (and their pets, their kids, their in-laws, and neighbors”¦.). Perhaps this is why they were voted the Best Private Physical Therapy Practice in the U.S. in 2009 by their peers in the American Physical Therapy Association. For more information visit TexPTS.com or find TexPTS on Facebook.com.

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For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2010/11/prweb8009500.htm


Source: prweb