You have suffered an injury, which is finally healing. You want to speed up the recovery process to get back to your normal routine. While the doctor hasn’t released you to exercise, they did say you could begin some light stretching. Here’s what you need to know about stretching as you heal from an injury.
- Never stretch without a doctor’s approval. Some injuries shouldn’t be stretched because they aren’t well enough yet. For instance, you wouldn’t stretch a pulled muscle since it will only make the situation worse.
- Don’t stretch if inflammation is still present. Even a minor injury that doesn’t require a doctor’s visit should be monitored. Don’t do any stretching until the inflammation goes down.
- Don’t take too long to start stretching. This is the opposite of the earlier tip. As an injury heals, scar tissue can form. This type of tissue limits range of motion and makes it harder to stretch. Start stretching after the inflammation goes down – with doctor approval.
- Be consistent with your stretches. Make sure you stretch correctly and on a regular basis. You will help the injury to heal faster and prevent future injuries.
- Don’t push the limit too far. Stretching is designed to increase range of motion and flexibility, so you do have to push the limits of your muscles. However, you need to know when to stop to prevent further damage.
- Use different types of stretching for the most benefit. Combine static stretches with dynamic stretching or ballistic stretching to get better results. Make sure you know how to do each stretch safely and correctly.
Stretching can be an important part of recovery from an injury. Just make sure you do it safely and are careful not to cause further injury.