Stretching is an important aspect of any healthy spine. We have found that for more spinal maintenance programs there is about 6 exercise and stretches that are needed to maintain a healthy spine and minimize flare ups. We teach these as a regular part of our Patch and Fix programs and are available upon request.
Can We Lose Our Flexibility?
Stretching helps people with their flexibility, and it is important to remember that flexibility is a dual trait. This means that we are born with flexibility. We have the ability to lose it, AND we have the ability to get it back.
How Long Should I Hold My Stretches?
The answer to this varies depending on what type of stretch you are doing. Is it a static stretch? Is it a dynamic stretch? Is it an assisted stretch? Generally speaking, most people do static stretching where they lengthen the muscle and hold the stretch. We have found that a full 30 second stretch is what is needed to stretch a muscle. This is a minimum! A one minute stretch is the best. With the first 15 seconds of a stretch, there is guarding reflex that occurs with the body during the stretch. It is not until after this guarding response that the body will relax enough for you to fully stretch your muscle tissue. This is why we tell patients the minimum is 30 seconds and the best is 60 seconds. 60 seconds ensures that you will get a full 45 seconds to lengthen the muscle tissue!