Although some people are naturally more flexible than others, for most people decreased flexibility is a normal sign of aging. For others it may be the result of illness, injury or being overweight. Being able to move one’s joints through a complete range of motion is something that is too often taken for granted or ignored as a part of physical fitness. Usually it’s only when something happens to deprive us of this ability, that we pay some attention to it. However, in most cases it is not too late. Physiotherapy can help you regain or improve your flexibility so you can look and feel better and function at your optimum.
Flexibility improves performance and decreases risk of injury
Picture this: You are unable to bend over or raise your leg to put your socks and shoes on. You force and tug until you get the socks half way up. By this time you are sweating, aching and tired. The situation is similar for arthritis sufferers, those who suffer with low back pain, muscle strains and sprains. Getting dressed, reaching overhead, throwing, jumping can all be a challenge when flexibility is compromised.
Flexibility improves posture
Muscular imbalance is one cause of poor posture. The effects of gravity or bad postural habits often lead to poor posture. Stretching and flexibility training can realign muscles and help you achieve good posture, which not only makes you look better but decreases pain and fatigue.
Flexibility reduces muscle soreness
When your muscles are sore after a game or heavy training, the last thing you should do is rest. Your muscles need to be stretched to get rid of tension and reduce soreness. Stretching increases joint elasticity by sending nutrients and synovial fluid which lubricates the articular cartilage of the joint. This helps to prevent early degeneration of the cartilage and increases range of motion.
Flexibility improves muscle coordination
Improved flexibility shows in improved neuromuscular coordination. By increasing the time that messages travel to the brain and back, opposing muscle groups are assisted to function in a more coordinated fashion.
Who would benefit from improved flexibility?
- Athletes and dancers who need to improve strength, endurance, range of motion and overall fitness.
- Arthritis sufferers, those with low back pain and those who do a lot of lifting on their jobs.
- People recovering from a knee replacement or other form of injury that limits flexibility.
- Sedentary workers.
- Home makers – flexibility improves the ability to reach and perform the myriad of tasks during the day.
As you can see, improved flexibility benefits everyone. At Panorama Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic, our Surrey Physios address a lot of complaints arising from reduced flexibility and range of motion. Please come in and talk to us to see how you can benefit from and how to improve your flexibility.
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