Muscles can often become weak and then tight following injury or disease. Stretching programmes can help to make muscles more supple and improve the range of motion at a joint.
What are stretching programmes?
Stretching programmes are sets of physical exercises which are designed to improve the extensibility of the muscle. The muscle is intentionally flexed or stretched in order to improve elasticity, giving the patient a feeling of greater muscle control and tone. The stretching program itself will be designed specifically to each patient according to their presenting compliant.
What podiatry related conditions can stretching programmes help with?
Stretching programmes can be an effective when used within the treatment of the following conditions;
- Morton's neuroma
- Plantar fasciitis
- Shin splints
- Tight calves
- Muscle stiffness
How do stretching programmes work?
Stretching programmes work by improving the flexibility of muscle. Muscles are surrounded by a tough connective tissue known as fascia. When trauma occurs, the fascia surrounding the muscles in the affected area becomes tight, which in turn increases the amount of pressure on the muscle itself and on the surrounding nerves. This can lead to pain and limited movement. Stretching exercises elongates the muscle fibres, reducing tension and improving elasticity.
Stretching a muscle will not increase the actual length of the muscle but it will allow the body to extend the existing muscle fibres further, leading to improved flexibility.
What are the benefits of stretching programmes?An appropriate stretching programme can be beneficial in a number of ways, it can;
- Improve circulation which in turn improve healing rates
- Reduce the likelihood of future injury
- Improve the elasticity of the muscle fibres
- Increase the range of motion at the joint
- Can help to alleviate muscle pain and cramping
Similar treatments / services that could help?Other treatments available to help improve
- Steroid injections
- Ultrasound therapy
- Orthosis/insole devices
- Padding and strapping
- Trigger point therapy
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