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Ep 320 – Why You Shouldn’t Stretch If you Are Injured & In Pain

Why You Should Not Stretch if You are Injured?

Stretching is not what it all said to be.  Yes stretching has benefits such as blood flow, coordination, and can help get you more flexibility but guess what?  There is minimal evidence for stretching and the prevention of injury.

If you ended up getting injured you are likely suffering some tightness, immobility, stiffness, and pain.  Most people jump right into stretching and they think that stretching while injured will help.  WRONG!  It will not help because your body is in spasm.  Essentially, it is in protection mode and that is dictated by your nervous system.  Your body is so smart that its nervous system sends a signal to the muscle and surrounding areas that tells them to “tighten up,” contract and protect that area.

If you stretch in this state, you are only going to be fighting an uphill battle because the nervous system controls everything.  You are not going to stretch intensely and magically get the pain, spasm, and dysfunction to release and I have never seen this personally or professionally happen!

By stretching during the pain you can likely injure the body more and you should move the best you can given your state.  You need to go through ranges of motion, contract muscles, and do it within a painless state if possible.  By doing this you will relax the body rather than putting it through more pain.  When you relax the nervous system, then and only then can you start to work on other areas.

Final thought, stretching is better to help movement patterns but should be done prior to injury NOT during an injury.