Your High School Gym Teacher Did This!
Did you know stretching before activity does not actually prevent injury?
According to the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport: Stretching may increase (yes, increase) your chance for injury.
“Stretching is often viewed as an empirically accepted method to prevent sports injuries,
including tendinopathy,” write the authors, led by Janne A. Peters from the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands.
“However, there is no scientific evidence that confirms this,” they point out March 31 in Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport.
Peters and her colleagues examined 10 articles that studied methods of preventing tendinopathy.
There was no evidence that stretching was beneficial but some that it might increase the risk of injury in people who already had problems with their knees or the patellar tendon. This was also true for so-called eccentric training, a method of doing muscle contractions.
Researchers found three interventions that did prevent injury:
1. Soccer-specific balance training (this study was obviously performed on soccer players, the results may or may not apply to all sports.)
2. Hormone replacement therapy seemed to lower risk for “structural Achilles tendon changes” in women. (This is obviously not an option for a lot of people.)
3. As the researchers call it: shock absorbing insoles. We call them Orthotics and have been using them for our patients for over 20 years. It is nice to see the work we have been doing is being validated by research.
How should you warm up for athletic performance?
The warm up should start slowly and progress from low intensity to higher intensity.
It should be sport specific, meaning the warm-up should mimic the movements the athlete will be performing that day. As we read above, this is NOT the time for static stretching, warm-ups should be “dynamic.”
The exact warm-up exercises will vary for different sports, a general warm up may look like this:
1. General Warm-Up: Light jog, bike, stair stepper, rowing machine (an aerobic exercise that incorporates the upper body would be best) until just start to break a sweat.
2. Dynamic Warm-Up: There are numerous exercises that could be done here. Jumping jacks, butt kicks, straight-leg kicks, mountain climbers, high knees, burpees, etc…
Progress to lunge jump, squat jump, bounding, power skips, carioca, running and sprints.
3. The warm-up is to increase blood flow, warm up muscle tissue and prepare the body for athletic performance, design it specifically to your activities.
4. You may do the high school static stretched after you exercise.
What else do we do to prevent injuries?
We call it our Young Athletes Program.
After a thorough examination which includes range of motion testing, orthopedic evaluation, neurologic evaluation, muscle testing, posture and foot exam and X-ray evaluation we implement an individualized program to correct muscle imbalances, improve posture, normalize joint function and PREVENT INJURIES!
We may use one or all of the following: manipulation, modalities, super-pulsed laser, whole body vibration, sports massage, diet and nutrition, orthotics and an exercise program.