Stretching May Not Prevent Injuries

Aug. 30, 2002 — From tip top competitors to weekend warriors, few dynamic individuals would think of engaging in strenuous work out without to begin with stretching those triceps, biceps, hamstrings, and quads. The idea that stretching reduces the hazard of damage during work out could be a once in a while questioned principle of sports pharmaceutical, but modern inquire about suggests it may be wrong.

Analysts investigating five major studies concluded that extending prior to or after exercise does little to anticipate either harm or muscle soreness. They estimate that extending would anticipate one training-related injury in 23 years.

Consider author Robert D. Herbert of the University of Sidney in Australia tells WebMD the considers offer persuading evidence that extending is of small esteem for anticipating injury and soreness.

“The (damage) findings were in army initiates, so it isn’t clear in the event that they apply to other groups like proficient or recreational athletes,” he says. “We would like to see the studies reproduced in these populations, but the finest prove we have does not support a part for extending.”

Sports medication expert Angela D. Smith, MD, opposes this idea. She tells WebMD the clinical evidence on stretching is contradictory and deficient. A previous competitive ice skater, Smith is an orthopedic specialist and the quick past president of the American College of Sports Medication. She has also coached skating and was the group doctor for the U.S. world skating team.

“It is very difficult to do a good ponder on this, and many are not exceptionally well designed,” she says. “Within the armed force enroll ponders [cited in this survey], injuries like lower leg sprains, contusions [bruises], and fractures were included. These are wounds that have nothing to do with adaptability.”

She says her possess investigate on youthful ice skaters strongly suggests that fitting stretching makes a difference reduce knee injuries. And thinks about within the elderly have appeared that extending makes a difference anticipate falls and hip fractures.

The pre-activity regimen Smith suggests begins with a warm-up exercise such as sit ups, thrust ups, or bouncing rope, followed by isolated extending of the muscles to be used. Competitors who primarily use their upper bodies, such as swimmers, pitchers, and racket sports players, should center on their triceps and biceps. Those who use the muscles in their lower body most, such as runners, ought to stretch hip flexors, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. Each extend should last 15 or 20 seconds.

“The tremendous larger part of people have to be compelled to warm up and get their muscles ready for strenuous movement,” Smith says. “That’s true for serious competitors and weekend warriors alike.”

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