Whilst the human body is very good at adapting and tolerating forces, injuries occur for multiple reason which are sometimes unavoidable no matter how hard we try (impact/accidents). Fortunately, most injuries can be avoided through self-management techniques. These come in the form of, but not limited to massage, stretching, joint mobilizations, muscle strengthening and activation. The purpose of these techniques is to restore or maintain normal movement and function of the body.
We often force our bodies into suboptimal positions through-out our normal activities of work, exercise and home duties. It would be naive to think this won’t have consequences such as muscle tightness, joint restriction, poor muscle activation and synergy which can have a negative effect of joint and muscle functions. If a joint or muscle doesn't have full movement or function then compensation commonly occurs at another point in the body in order to continue to achieve the task at hand. That’s where these self-management techniques come into play, with their purpose being to restore normal movement and function to the body to avoid compensations.
If we don’t use a joints full movement or a muscles full capacity regularly then we end up with a reduced ability to do so.
Stretching: By exposing our muscles and joints to end of range movements, we're able to maintain the full joint movement and muscle function. This reduces the risk of compensation via other joints and muscles. If tightness prevents our hips from reaching the range required to sit in a chair, then an increased movement and pressure can occur in the lower back, which it isn’t designed for, leading to discomfort from staying in this position for an extended period of time.
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