The Risks of Static Stretching for Chronic Pain: An Overview
My clients often come to me with chronic pain caused by overstretched muscles. Although static stretching is an important part of any workout routine, it can actually increase the risk of chronic pain. Muscle activation techniques may be a safer and more effective alternative to static stretching for chronic pain.
Defining static stretching
Static stretching involves holding a stretch for an extended period of time without moving. People are familiar with this type of stretching, which involves touching your toes and holding the position for 30 seconds. Even though static stretching can improve flexibility, it may not be the best option for chronic pain sufferers.
The Risks of Static Stretching for Chronic Pain
Static stretching can actually increase the risk of chronic pain for several reasons. The first is that it can overstretch muscle fibers, resulting in weakened muscle activation and strength. Consequently, the muscles are no longer able to support the joints properly, resulting in chronic pain.
Static stretching can also cause microtraumas within the muscles. Micro-traumas may not be immediately noticeable, but over time they can accumulate and cause chronic pain.
Finally, static stretching can lead to muscle imbalances. Overstretching one muscle can cause the opposing muscle to become tight, creating a muscular imbalance. As a result of this imbalance, the joints are unable to move properly and can cause chronic pain.
The Benefits of Muscle Activation Techniques
A safer and more effective alternative to static stretching for chronic pain sufferers is muscle activation techniques (MAT). Through a series of exercises designed to activate underactive muscles, MAT identifies and corrects muscle imbalances.
MAT improves muscle strength and activation by activating underactive muscles. As a result, better joint support can reduce the risk of chronic pain.
Micro-traumas within the muscle fibers can also be reduced with MAT. MAT can assist in preventing injuries by identifying and correcting imbalances in muscles.
By addressing both overactive and underactive muscles, MAT can help improve muscular balance. MAT helps to reduce chronic pain by correcting muscle imbalances and ensuring that muscles work together effectively.
Static stretching is an essential part of any workout routine, but chronic pain sufferers must understand the risks it can pose. With muscle activation techniques, muscles are better activated, injuries are reduced, and muscular balance is improved. To reduce chronic pain risk and improve performance, I strongly recommend incorporating MAT into your workout routine.