Decreased flexibility may be the result of aging, illness, injury, post-surgery, a chronic physical condition 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. Physiotherapy can help you regain or improve your flexibility so you can feel more comfortable, experience less pain and function at your optimum.
Flexibility improves performance and decreases risk of injury
Having adequate range of motion of the joints and adequate length of the muscles enables more effective movement and technique which then decreases the risk of injury associated with activity. Whether it’s a golfer having a more effective, fluid swing or a house painter performing his work more efficiently with less strain on his back and neck, having increased flexibility benefits everyone.
Flexibility improves posture
Muscular imbalance is one cause of poor posture. Sustained poor posture can lead to pain and injury. Stretching and flexibility training can help you regain correct muscle balance and help you achieve good posture, which then decreases pain and fatigue and can have a positive effect on your lifestyle.
Flexibility reduces muscle soreness
When your muscles are sore after work or training, they need to be stretched to get rid of tension and reduce soreness. Stretching stiff muscles helps regain their elasticity and remove toxins which relieve pain and stiffness. Stretching joints also helps by increasing joint elasticity by lubricating the articular surface of the joint with increased flow of synovial fluid. This helps to prevent early degeneration of the cartilage and increases range of motion, thereby preventing or minimising the effects of joint disorders such as arthritis.
Flexibility improves muscle co-ordination
Improved flexibility of the joints and muscles allows the body to perform tasks with increased co-ordination as the muscles work in a more balanced way together when the joints are able to achieve adequate range of motion with required movements. If there is a lack of flexibility, muscle imbalance may occur, leading to impaired co-ordination with movement.
Who would benefit from improved flexibility?
- Anybody involved in sport that needs 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 any other form of injury or surgery 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 SportsPhysioSA we address many complaints arising from reduced flexibility. Please come in and talk to us to see how you can benefit from improving your flexibility.
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