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The Lunacy of Stretching

Photo courtesy of pixelflicker


There is probably no more harmful practice to your musculoskeletal health than the crazy notion of stretching.  I know this goes directly against the accepted wisdom of the day, that’s why I’m writing about it.  If you want your spine to be healthier, you need to work on stabilizing your spine not loosening it.


Think about it this way.  If you’re like most people, you spend a good portion of time sitting.  When you sit, your spinal muscles weaken from disuse.  Weak muscles can’t provide stability.  They have poor tone, react slowly, and get easily injured.  More than that, they make vulnerable the joints they’re designed to protect.  In this case, does it make any sense to further weaken them by lengthening them with stretching?  I hope you can see that it makes no sense at all.


What about how tight I feel and how good I feel after stretching?  That’s a great question.  People feel good after eating candy too but they eventually get fat.  The clear answer is that many people do feel better after stretching but it’s only short lived.  The reason stretching feels good is because of what happens neurologically inside the muscle.  The stretching activates certain nerve endings that momentarily block the pain.  The overall effect is to functionally weaken the muscle which is exactly you don’t need.


If you stretch regularly you are to be congratulated for your diligence.  My recommendation though, is for you to switch to simple exercises that will make you stronger.  Better yet, find out which specific exercises will give you and your spine the most benefit.  We would be happy to help you with that.  You’ll get much more benefit in the long run.


I’d love to hear your feedback.  Does this idea about stretching make sense to you?


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