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Do You Really Need To Stretch?

Posted in Physiotherapy on Jan 11, 2019.

Stretch victoria BC

Do You Really Need To Stretch?

Stretching has long played an important role in the world of sport and fitness, with many athletes stretching religiously before and after exercise in hopes of preventing injuries. Lately, this practice has been called into question with many people wondering if stretching really makes a difference to athletic performance. The answer, like most things, is not black and white, as we explore a little in this article.

A brief introduction to stretching

Stretching is a type of movement that increases flexibility by lengthening muscle fibres to the end of their range. Stretching before and after exercise has been thought to reduce the risk of injury, improve athletic performance and reduce muscle soreness after exercise.The two most common types of stretching are static and dynamic stretching. Static stretching is when you lengthen your muscle and then hold that position for a period of time.

Dynamic stretching uses movement and momentum of the body to stretch muscles to their end range, without holding the stretch at the end.

What does the research say?

Some research has suggested that static stretching before an activity can actually reduce power, strength and performance. However, these reductions were shown to be minimal and not noticed at all if the stretches were held for less than 45 seconds.  It has also been found that stretching does improve flexibility but only for a short period of time. A few minutes after stretching, your joints move further, and with less resistance, so you may have improved flexibility immediately after stretching.

Why stretch at all?

One thing that is undeniable is that stretching feels great, with many people feeling more relaxed and reporting a rush of endorphins after a good stretching session. It is also difficult to test the long-term effects of stretching specific muscles showing abnormal tightness. A long-term static stretching routine will improve your overall flexibility, and this is thought to help prevent injuries, although the evidence is inconclusive. If you’re an athlete, the decision to stretch or not can be a personal one. A warm-up prior to intense exercise that includes some form of dynamic stretching is generally recommended for reducing injury risk, but of course is no guarantee. Strength and balance training may have a far greater impact on reducing injuries in the long term.

Your Victoria Shelbourne Physiotherapist is able to guide you on the best stretching advice for your individual activity and they may be able to identify some areas where improving your flexibility will help to reduce injuries and improve performance. Call us today or book online.

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Shelbourne Physiotherapy, Pilates & Massage is a locally owned health company with 3 locations in beautiful Victoria & Saanich, British Columbia. Our clinics offer Physiotherapy, IMS (Intramuscular Stimulation) & Dry Needling, Kinesiology, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Sports Rehabilitation, Post-Operative Rehabilitation, Vestibular, Dizziness & Balance Rehabilitation, Women's health (peri-partum and incontinence), Acupuncture, Hydrotherapy, Scoliosis Treatment,  Clinical Osteofit Classes, Osteoporosis TreatmentAquatherapy, Pool Therapy, Real Time Ultrasound, Arthritis and Osteoarthritis Treatment, Electrical Modalities, Pelvic Floor Physio, Pelvic Pain Physiotherapy, Incontinence Treatment, Thoracic Ring Approach Physiotherapy TreatmentSports Physiotherapy, Chronic Pain Treatment,  Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), Aquatic Therapy, Yoga, Yogalates, Saanich PhysiotherapyPolestar Pilates, Stott Pilates, Clinical Pilates, PIlates Instructor Training in Victoria BCScoliosis Treatment and Custom Knee Bracing, Physiocanhelp.ca.

Our clinics are approved providers for WorksafeBC (WCB) Physiotherapy and ICBC Physiotherapy, Kinesiology & Rehabilitation. We are proud members of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA), the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Therapy(CAMPT), Sport Physiotherapy Canada, SportmedBC, British Columbia Association of Kinesiologists (BCAK), Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP), Vestibular Disorders Association, ISST International Schroth 3D Scoliosis TherapyInternational Society for Medical Shockwave Treatment (ISMST), Think Local Victoria, Canadian Federation of Independent Business(CFIB),  the Orthopaedic Division of the CPA and the Physiotherapy Association of British Columbia (PABC) We have a clinic located in the Gordon Head Recreation Centre in Saanich

Shelbourne Physiotherapy staff provide clinical instruction at our Victoria Clinic for students in the UBC Faculty of Medicine. We are an accredited facility for UBC Dept. of Physical Therapy Student Practicums. 

Our 3 Victoria Physiotherapy clinics are modern and provide a relaxed healing atmosphere with private rooms available. Many Physiotherapy clinics in Victoria work out of a single room or a basement that does not offer the equipment, resources or space to help you recover properly. Our convenient locations make our clinics easy to access from all the neighbourhoods of Victoria, Saanich, Esquimalt and Oak Bay such as Dockside Physiotherapy GreenFairfield, James Bay, Oaklands, Fernwood, Harris Green, Jubilee, Hillside QuadraGonzales, Rockland, Gordon Head, Cadboro Bay, Uplands, Downtown Victoria, Cordova Bay, Arbutus, Camosun College Lansdowne Campus and the Songhees. We offer appointment times ranging from 7:00AM to 7:00PM for your convenience.Our Multidisciplinary Health Clinic is located right across the street from the Hillside Shopping Centre. we share a building with the Shelbourne Medical Centre which has a walk in clinic and many great General Practitioners.

Think Local First Shelbourne PhysiotherapyWe are a friendly, local Victoria & Saanich owned and community based health company designed to meet your individual needs. Our mission is to provide Physiotherapy and related services to the communities of Victoria, Saanich, Oak Bay, Victoria West and Esquimalt and help keep these residents active and healthy. We strive to creatively and professionally maximize client functioning and promote life-long wellness.

Our experienced and dedicated Health Care Professionals include Victoria & Saanich Physiotherapists Penny Salmas, Jennifer Kolot, Mark Gottfried, Nicole Gill, Jenna Peters, Brad Curry, Andrew Mills, Meena Sran, Phil Lawrence, Jessica Shave, Kim Lobb, Kathy Murdoch, Laura Werner, Rosie Chamberlin, Ruan Le Roux, Nina Bai, Seung Bai, Eimear Brogan, Faralay Vander Schilden, Kira Crover,  Sarah HubbsIsaac Davies, Mary-Anne LevsonAlex Thompson , Victoria Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist Miriam Haistein,  Hilary Beck and Blair Braz. Our experienced Victoria BC Kinesiologists include Kira CroverHeidi Nottelman, Larry Muir, Radek WiecheckiLindsey Tabish and Madeline Juba. Our experienced Victoria & Saanich BC Registered Massage Therapists include Taryn Krizan, Selena Curvelo, Jennifer KoebernickKathy Pantalon, T'airah Bowker RMTMolly Scott, Jessica Bundy RMT and Rebekah Neubert. Our Certified Victoria Pilates and Yoga Instructors include Sharon McAuley, Dana Carter, Chris Csak, Alex ThompsonAmanda RostsHolly Newton, Regina Flueck, Rhiannon King and Jenny Stewart.


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