Stretching is a form of physical exercise in which a specific muscle or tendon (or muscle group) is lengthened in order to improve the muscle's elasticity and to achieve a more relaxed state. The result is a feeling of increased muscle control, mobility, and motion. Stretching is commonly used as part of a physical therapy program to improve range of motion, make it easier to accomplish daily tasks, and to alleviate muscle cramping.
Stretching muscles and tendons can be accomplished with a variety of techniques:
- Passively with the use of assistive devices
- Actively with specific therapeutic exercises
- Manually when a therapist uses their hands and specialized techniques to stretch soft tissues.
Stretching isn't appropriate for all muscle and joint problems. Make sure you contact our office first and see one of our clinicians for the right stretching prescription.