Osteopathy Manual Practice and Stretching

Osteopathic Manual Practice


With the warm weather coming back, you see many people running through our streets and beginning to enjoy the benefits of warmer weather and outdoor activities. With an increase in activity I encourage everyone to ensure they are completing a proper warmup and cool down including stretching. When doing so I am often asked many questions about the importance of stretching. I thought I would take a moment to help answer some of these questions.

  1. Why should you stretch?

Muscle tension plays a very important role in injury prevention and recovery. Our muscles pull our bones creating movement in our limbs, allowing us to move. Our muscles and ligaments help protect our joints from injury from the strains of forces generated during daily activities.

  1. What does stretching do?

Since flexible joints require less energy to move through a wider range of motion, flexible bodies improve overall performance by creating more energy-efficient movements.Tight muscles will pull on our joints in inefficient ways, having an effect on our posture, making it harder for our muscles to perform. This can decrease our joint mobility which leads to increased joint degeneration. A classic example is low back pain as a result of hamstring or hip flexor tension.

Muscles also have an effect on the tension on our circulatory system.  Reduced blood flow has a profound effect on our body and its rehabilitation, thus helping our circulation helps to promote tissue generation and prevent tissue degeneration.

  1. When should you stretch?

Before your workout, time is better spent warming up with dynamic stretching. A dynamic stretch is an active stretch of your muscles. Examples of this are butt kicks and walking with high knees, these help to improve range of motion and loosen up muscles that you are going to use on the road. They also increase heart rate, body temperature, and bloodflow, so you feel warmed up sooner and run more efficiently.

Your traditional (or static) stretching is best completed after a workout. These stretches are best held in a position of slight discomfort (not pain) and held for 30 seconds.

  1. Is stretching enough?

Sometimes our muscles and joints get to a point where we can heal on our own.When the bodies get to this point we start to get aches and pains that do not heal.With any injury it is important to be sure to get properly diagnosed and treated accordingly.

  1. Can osteopathy help?

Osteopathy applies the knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the body, to disease, disorder and dysfunction. Osteopathic Manual Practitioners use their hands and provide a gentle approach, to identify and restore function to musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive, reproductive, or nervous systems.

  1. Am I covered for insurance?

Most insurance plans include the services provided by Osteopathic Manual Practitioners

~Thomas Eagles B.Sc. Kin, R.Kin. D.O.M.P., D.Sc.O.