Stretching is an integral part of living a healthy, active lifestyle, so you should do it even if you don’t need to reduce joint pain.
However, stretching before any activity can be especially helpful to people suffering from joint pain or arthritis. It does so by lubricating your joints and enhancing and maintaining range of motion. It doesn’t just help during your activity either, by reducing pain in the short-term, your body will feel better long-term.
Keep in mind, stretching properly is just as important as stretching at all.
There are two types of stretching that people will typically do: Dynamic and Static. Here is a quick explanation of both of them and how when used at the proper times, your stretches will be much more effective:
Dynamic stretches are ones that are done by mimicking a lesser versions of actions you might perform in the activity you’re about to participate in. For example, if you’re playing basketball or tennis, you may want to do some front and lateral lunges and high kicking back and forth.
You should always do these style stretches for 5-10 minutes before performing static stretches, because they will prepare your body for activity and stretching by increasing blood flow and muscle temperature.
Static stretches are the more commonly used version of stretching. This is the style of grabbing and holding a particular pose that stretches out an individual group of muscles, such as touching your toes or holding your ankle to your buttocks. This is recommended to prevent muscle pulls and ligament strains.
You should avoid static stretching of a cold muscle because you could injure yourself. A warmed up muscle will be more flexible allowing you to get the full effect of a static stretch.
By stretching properly, you will be able to reduce joint pain during and after activities. If you’re seeking some stretches that could help you with a particular injury or pain, don’t be afraid to ask the experts. We have on-site Kinesiology graduates that are happy to offer advice in-person or over the phone.