Does stretching decrease the chance of getting injured?

Brian Yee
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Most people present with imbalances in muscle forces. This may include anterior - posterior muscles and specific muscles affect joint mechanics. It is recommended that you have a qualified health practitioner assess your body mechanics to make recommendations what muscles should be elongated, and then other that should be stabilized to improve the efficiency of you body.

Also consider tight muscles may be due to an underlying irritated nerve. Many people with old sciatic nerve injuries feel tightness in their hamstring, however attempting to over-stretching the hamstring can aggravate the nerve again.

Yes, in most cases. If there is an imbalance in flexibility between muscle groups, research has shown that people are more likely to be injured. For example, if an individual has tight hamstring muscles, they are at an increased risk of hurting their back. The goal of stretching should be to correct any imbalance that you may have. Those people who stretch on a regular basis also have less soreness (known as delayed-onset muscle soreness) after a workout. There are many types of stretches, and the optimal form may vary depending on the person and their specific goals. It has been suggested that optimal stretching technique should include1-4 repetitions per muscle group and be held statically for 15-60 seconds each. If you have questions or experience excessive discomfort while stretching, contact your local health care professional. For additional information regarding a personalized stretching program, see a local physical therapist or certified personal trainer.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.