Understanding the Negative Impact of Static Stretching on Chronic Pain

Scott Lamb
March 31, 2023 0 Comment

I’ve seen many clients with chronic pain caused by overstretched muscles as a kinesiologist. While stretching is an important part of any workout routine, static stretching can have a negative impact on chronic pain. Here, we’ll talk about static stretching and chronic pain, and how muscle activation techniques may be better.

Definition of static stretching

Static stretching involves holding a stretch for a long time without moving. Think of touching your toes and holding the position for 30 seconds. For those with chronic pain, static stretching may not be the best option.

Chronic pain and static stretching

Chronic pain can actually be worsened by static stretching. Firstly, it can overstretch muscles, causing them to lose strength and activation. As a result, chronic pain can occur since the muscles can’t support the joints.

Static stretching can also cause microtraumas in the muscles. Over time, these micro-traumas can add up and cause chronic pain.

Finally, static stretching can lead to muscle imbalances. When one muscle is overstretched, the opposing muscle gets tight, resulting in a muscular imbalance. As a result, the joints can’t move properly, causing chronic pain.

Muscle activation techniques: benefits

A better option for chronic pain sufferers is muscle activation techniques (MAT). Exercises designed to activate under-active muscles are used in MAT to identify and correct muscle imbalances.

Muscle activation and strength can be improved with MAT by activating under-active muscles. Providing better joint support can reduce the risk of chronic pain.

MAT can also reduce micro-traumas within muscles. MAT helps to prevent injuries by identifying and correcting muscle imbalances.

A final benefit, MAT can help improve muscular balance by addressing both overactive and underactive muscles. MAT can help to reduce chronic pain by correcting muscle imbalances.

Final thoughts

Static stretching is an important part of any workout routine, but chronic pain can be negatively affected by it. People with chronic pain can benefit from muscle activation techniques because they increase muscle activation, reduce injury risk, and improve muscular balance. MAT can help reduce chronic pain and improve overall performance as a kinesiologist.

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