Stretching is an important part of maintaining muscle and myofascial health. It is something that can easily be done at home as a part of your maintenance routine if you know how to go about it the correct way. However, if you’ve developed an injury or are experiencing ongoing pain, you will likely need professional guidance from a massage therapist or physical therapist to go about it safely and to develop an appropriate treatment plan.
Why Stretching is Utilized by Massage Therapists
Stretching is a great way to improve mobility and to loosen areas that have become tight. When an area becomes tight, it runs the risk of not receiving adequate blood flow. This is one of the main contributing factors when it comes to developing trigger points or “muscle knots.”
If you do develop tightness in your muscles, your massage therapist may decide to guide you through a series of stretches that will work to reduce tightness in the area. Many people that receive massage therapy are also sent home with a series of stretches to complete on their own time that are designed to work well with their specific problem areas.
Why to Avoid Stretching Injured Muscles Without Professional Guidance
- You could do the wrong type of stretch and make the pain worse
- You may hold the stretch for too long and exasperate the injury
- You may overextend your range of motion and cause additional strain
The points mentioned above are a few of the reasons why you should avoid stretching on your own if you are experiencing pain. It goes without saying that stretching is an important part of muscle maintenance that you can do on your own in most scenarios, but if you are experiencing pain or are injured, it is best to wait for professional guidance.