Posts Tagged ‘Connective Tissue’

“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!”

– Dr. Seuss

Some experts claim that stretching is a bad idea and they aren’t wrong! If you stretch too much or attempt to stretch without the right goals or proper instruction, it could lead to disastrous outcomes. Most people are unaware of the components of good stretching. Determining goals and learning what type of stretching that works best for you are most important to avoid pain and injury.

Stretching can not only prevent injury but help to promote health and wellness.

Stretching can not only prevent injury but help to promote health and wellness.

The 2 main goals to consider when stretching are whether you want to just prep the muscles for strenuous activity or whether you would like to lengthen the muscles to increase range of motion and improve movement? If you are getting ready for a work out or about to do strenuous activity the type of stretching that would be better suited for you would be Ballistic, which involves bouncing , or a short duration static stretches, which involves holding a stretch for a short period of time. You also want to make sure that you are stretching target muscles that you will be utilizing. If you are looking to improve your range of motion and optimize movement while recorrecting your posture, then you would be more suited to visit a specialist that can help teach you Static, Active Isolated, and/or PNF stretching that would include the proper movements, adequate amounts of pressure and durations, and tips to avoid overstretching.
The idea behind stretching, either for activity prep or for increasing range of motion, is to avoid injury. Stretching increases blood flow to the area which increases localized temperature making the muscle fibers more pliable and easier to reduce muscular tension. The increase in blood flow also brings nutrients to the area that assists in the recovery of muscle tissue from activity and injury. With benefits like that, it should be an easy choice that stretching is a good move, but remember to stretch smart and stretch well. Always remember to seek professional advice on stretching from professionals such as chiropractors, massage therapist, personal trainers, and rehab specialists!

“Never confuse movement with action.”
– Ernest Hemingway

    Have you every had your coat caught in the door causing you to pull you back or maybe had the cord from the vaccuum caught on the table and when you pulled on the cord it caused the table to move or knocked something off the top? This is a scenario that can be frustrating and disruptive. Now what if something like this happened in the body?

    In our bodies we have connective tissue that links everything inside of us together and should move smoothly for normal functioning. Imagine a suit of spandex material that is extra tight that runs in between the skin and the muscles and wraps around every muscle, every muscle fiber, every organ, down to every cell. Now think about when an injury occurs in a muscle, when it starts to heal it will attach itself to the connective tissue for support. This is a good thing in the fact that it helps with recovery, but it’s a bad thing because it will limit the fluid movement of the connective tissue and cause other adhesions throughout the body which causes a disruption in the normal function of our body. If the adhesions persist without treatment, the disruption can become worse and affect other parts of the body and even lead to “dis-ease” of the body’s functions.

    There are several ways to prevent the connective tissue from getting too limited and in turn causing additional problems to your body. The first is fairly simple; stretch! Stretching allows the muscle fibers to break free of the connective tissue. If you aren’t sure what stretches would be best for you, seek the assistance of a professional. Second is a form of therapeutic massage calledMyofascial Release. Myofascial is a fancy way of saying connective tissue and muscle area. Myofascial release involves deeper more focused application of pressure and slower movements that allows not only the connective tissue to break from from the muscle but helps to flush out toxins from the adhesion site, which aides in the recovery of the muscle. Nutrition and hydration levels also play a role in reducing the adhesions and increasing muscle recovery.

    With these treatments in mind, you now have a way to decrease the limitations in your muscles, allow you to function easier with less frustration, and move, feel, and BE better!