Overstretching? Should you be worried?

overstretching cartoonI hear this a lot- ‘I want to gain benefit from stretching, but I don’t want to injure myself and defeat the purpose of stretching to begin with.’  This is a valid point.  Many people will strain a muscle or surround connective tissues from over stretching.  There are two main pieces to this:  the muscle and the surrounding connective tissue.  When a muscle is over stretched it creates micro-tears in the muscle fibers.  This can lead to soreness and the ‘pulled muscle’ feeling.

Stretching also targets the surrounding connective tissues. Over stretching the connective tissue can cause the tissue to not rebound like it should and can lead to it loosing it’s inherent elasticity.  If this is done routinely it can cause surrounding joint instability.

So, how can you prevent over stretching injuries?  SIMPLE!  You want to make sure your stretching routine is designed by a professional.  Then, start by making sure your body is warmed up.  Stretching when the tissues are warm will help the muscles have more flexibility in them.  Next, be cautious and move till you feel a nice comfortable stretch and STOP.  It should never be painful.  By following these two simple rules, you’ll be safer from injury!

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