According to medical dictionary, Stretching exercise is a therapeutic exercise maneuver, using physiological principle, designed to increase range of motion or extensibility of pathologically shortened connective tissue structure. Athletes, players or people use stretching in an attempt to reduce risk of injury, to alleviate cramps and to improve function in daily activities by increasing range of motion. Physiologically, myofibrils of muscle help to stretch muscle.
Stretching is harmful when it is performed incorrectly. In some condition like hypermobility, instability or permanent damage to tendon or ligament and muscle fibre, it’s need to take care about stretching exercise.
Static stretching is a type of isometric stretching in which elongation of muscle with application of low force and long duration (usually 30 sec). It’s important to note that these stretches must be pain-free and are often used to enhance the person’s flexibility, especially after sustaining a strain injury to the muscle.
Dynamic stretching is a form of active stretching that is performed by engaging the desired muscle’s antagonist through the joint’s range of motion with short duration.
Pre contraction stretching:
According to physio-pedia, this form of stretching involves a contraction of the muscle being stretched or its antagonist before stretching. PNF is the most common type, see below. Other types of pre-contraction stretching include “post-isometric relaxation” (PIR). This type of technique uses a much smaller amount of muscle contraction (25%) followed by a stretch. Post-facilitation stretch (PFS) is a technique developed by Dr Vladimir Janda that involves a maximal contraction of the muscle at mid-range with a rapid movement to maximal length followed by a 15-second static stretch.
Proprioception Neuromuscular Facilitation:
MIT explains that it is not really a type of stretching but a way of combining passive and isometric stretching that result in maximum static flexibility. This type of stretching was originally developed as a treatment for stroke patients.
Ballistic stretching uses momentum to force a limb beyond its normal range of motion. This is done by bouncing in and out of positions – for example, swinging your leg up on to a bar with force at a height you wouldn’t be able to reach in a controlled movement. For the general population, ballistic stretching is likely not useful and, according to MIT.
Rebeka is a Registered Physiotherapist with degrees from BPT, Faculty of Medicine, DU (NITOR),Pediatric physiotherapy(BCCW), Tapping in Orthopaedic and Sports injury, Physiotherapy and corporate Health. She has worked in a variety of settings, encompassing Orthopaedics, Neurology,Pediatrics, Geriatric,Sports and Gynaecology Physiotherapy through Mayfair Wellness Clinic.