2013 – S….T….R….E….T….C….H….I….N….G

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By Wendy Fritz To stretch or not to stretch – that is the question! There are usually two reasons for stretching, namely; to prepare the body in readiness for strenuous exercise or to improve and increase the range of motion of various body parts. The first motivation for stretching is important for dancers and athletes as they need to prepare for their next training session and stretching helps prevent injuries. Stretching and limbering for this category of people is done on a daily basis in order to regain the flexibility of the day before. However, the second reason for stretching also applies: dancers and athletes also have to increase body movements; for example, stretching the hamstring enables the dancer to lift his or her leg higher when kicking. For most people, stretching is done for the second reason and is used to obtain freer and easier movement of body parts. Therapeutic massage therapists, need to put ourselves in the category of dancers and athletes as their job is incredibly physical and some of the techniques or strokes they use are very repetitive. They require strength, flexibility and stamina. Often, even if they are using their bodies correctly while working, they carry tension in areas such as the shoulders. Because TM therapists generally work with their arms extended in front of us, pressure is placed on the shoulder movers and scapula stabilizers in that the muscles are often locked in a lengthened position. When stretching, TM therapists should focus first on the muscles that would typically be contracted while they are working; in other words, stretch the pectoral muscles first before stretching the shoulder movers and scapula stabilizers. Stretching is easy but if done incorrectly can do more harm than good! It is important, not only for TM therapists as therapists but also for their patients, to know the various types of stretching: Passive stretches – a muscle is placed in a “comfortable” stretch and held there, usually by the force of gravity; Ballistic stretches – the person bounces in any given position in quick, sudden movements; Assisted stretches – this is similar to passive stretching where the muscle is placed in a “comfortable” stretch and then assisted by gentle pressure and PNF (Proprioceptor Neuromuscular Facilitation) stretches – also known as the Contract-Release method – after a muscle has been placed in a “comfortable” stretch, a contraction is elicited in that muscle by meeting the force of the contraction with an opposing force, usually by a partner or with the help of an exercise band It should be noted that modern thinking regarding stretch opposes ballistic stretching (known as “bouncy” stretching) as it is believed to do more harm than...

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2013 – Home care rehabilitation exercises for snapping hip syndrome

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Quadriceps stretch: Stand an arm’s length away from the wall, facing straight ahead. Brace yourself by keeping the hand on the uninjured side against the wall. With your other hand, grasp the ankle of the injured leg and pull your heel toward your buttocks. Don’t arch or twist your back and keep your knees together. Hold this stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times. Hamstring stretch on wall: Lie on your back with your buttocks close to a doorway, and extend your legs straight out in front of you along the floor. Raise the injured leg and rest it against the wall next to the door frame. Your other leg should extend through the doorway. You should feel a stretch in the back of your thigh. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times. Piriformis stretch: Lying on your back with both knees bent, rest the ankle of your injured leg over the knee of your uninjured leg. Grasp the thigh of your uninjured leg and pull that knee toward your chest. You will feel a stretch along the buttocks and possibly along the outside of your hip on the injured side. Hold this for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times. Iliotibial band stretch (standing): Cross your uninjured leg in front of your injured leg and bend down and touch your toes. You can move your hands across the floor toward the uninjured side and you will feel more stretch on the outside of your thigh on the injured side. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds. Return to the starting position. Repeat 3 times. Iliotibial band stretch (side-leaning): Stand sideways near a wall, your injured leg toward the inside. Place the hand of your injured side on the wall for support. Cross your uninjured leg over the injured leg, keeping the foot of the injured leg stable. Lean into the wall. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds and repeat 3 times. Prone hip extension: Lie on your stomach with your legs straight out behind you. Tighten up your buttocks muscles and lift one leg off the floor about 8 inches. Keep your knee straight. Hold for 5 seconds. Then lower your leg and relax. Do 3 sets of 10. Side-lying leg lift: Lying on your uninjured side, tighten the front thigh muscles on your injured leg and lift that leg 8 to 10 inches away from the other leg. Keep the leg straight. Do 3 sets of 10. Source: Tammy White McKesson Provider Technologies...

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