By Peter Thomason
I am a specialist MSK Physiotherapist and Director of Hallamshire Physiotherapy Clinic in Sheffield.
The following blogs were part of my MSc in Advancing Neuromusculoskeletal Practice at the University of Nottingham in 2022.
If stretching is the answer, then what is the question? I used to believe that treating musculoskeletal conditions was simple; strengthen what is weak and stretch what is tight. The biopsychosocial model has however proven it is not so straightforward to manage pain. But what does the evidence suggest when it comes to flexibility? Is stretching still the gold standard?
READ MORE https://physiopete.home.blog/2019/10/24/stretching1/
Stretching is well known about and used worldwide. An international survey revealed 53% of physically active adults normally stretch and 80% of personal trainers in the United States prescribe it (Nuzzo 2019). We may stretch because we have been advised by a medical professional, or because it just seems like the right thing to do. But why do we actually do it?
READ MORE https://physiopete.home.blog/2019/11/24/why-do-we-stretch/
When we talk about strength training, what comes to mind? Perhaps an image of Arnold Schwarzenegger, with his large muscles and well-defined physique. But did you associate it with flexibility? Strength training has been recognised for so long as a way to improve the size and strength of our muscles. The concept that it can actually improve the length is relatively new.
READ MORE https://physiopete.home.blog/2020/01/02/strengthen-to-lengthen/
There are a few relevant studies available that actually compare static stretching with eccentric loading for flexibility, but they all conclude the same thing; both result in significant improvements in flexibility, but there is no significant difference between the two interventions.
READ MORE https://physiopete.home.blog/2020/01/08/stretching-vs-eccentric-loading/
I can only recall 2 situations where my lack of flexibility has limited me (I’m not a very flexible person). The first time was during a game of twister, where I couldn’t quite reach my foot over to the blue circle. The second occasion was when I went bouldering and I was unable to lift my leg high enough to reach the foothold.
READ MORE https://physiopete.home.blog/2020/01/08/flexibility/