Why Stretching Is Essential In Sports Injury Prevention

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A sports injury can be debilitating to both the body of the athlete as well as to his career. The athlete suffers physically due to pain. His body requires care and some time to heal itself. In addition, his performance may suffer because he must put training and practice on hold until his body heals.

In order to prevent both short-term and long-term debilitating injuries to professional and amateur athletes alike, every sports physiotherapist is trained to focus on warm-up and cool-down stretching. Properly performed stretching has a number of muscular benefits that help prevent sports injury.

Preparing for action

The athlete must be physically prepared for the game. Warm-up stretching prepares the muscles for the demand of the sport. It decreases the risk of muscle pulls and strains by warming the muscle temperature and increasing blood flow and oxygen supply. Stretching also prepares the athlete for action mentally and gives him the confidence he needs for good and safe performance.

Cooling down

As essential as the warm up, cool-down stretches help eliminate waste products, such as lactic acid. These waste products build up in the muscles during intense activity. Cool-down stretches also help prevent blood pooling and can help prevent muscles from becoming tight and sore.

Increasing flexibility

Stretching helps increase and maximize the range of motion in joints as well as muscles. The muscles and joints of an athlete must be capable of meeting the demands of flexibility placed on them. Injury often occurs when the athlete exceeds his existing range of motion.

Improving coordination

Maximized range of motion in limbs and joints also gives the athlete enhanced balance and coordination. This allows him to maintain his mobility. It makes him less prone to become off-balance and injured. This is especially true for an athlete who participates in a sport which requires a high degree of coordination such as gymnastics or basketball.

Elongating muscles

Stretching helps reduce the risk of injury by slowly lengthening the muscle. It makes the tendons and muscles more limber and can prevent pulled muscles or tendons during play.

Helping build muscle mass

Stretched muscles are more limber and can be worked to their full extent when building muscle mass. An athlete who do not stretch, or stretches improperly, cannot build long and full muscles. As a result, his performance suffers and he is at increased risk of injury.

Stretching is a crucial part of sports physiotherapy. In helps prepare the athlete for maximum physical performance and minimizes the risk of sports injury.


Aubrey Reeves is a freelance blogger who specializes on green and healthy living. Stay tuned for her healthy natural tips and guides about pain management and Queen St Physiotherapy by visiting <a href=”http://queenstphysio.com.au/”>http://queenstphysio.com.au/</a> .

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Comment: 1

Violetta January 8, 2013 12:42 pm

that, it would serve you better to bump your mialege up to 50 to 60 miles per week, peaking a couple of months before you run the relay, and holding that higher mialege up to a couple of weeks before the actual event. Then taper down to 35 or 40 miles per week two weeks before the run and 20 miles or so the week before the run.I’d suggest you do one long run per week, starting with 10 miles and building up to about 20 miles at the peak of your training as suggested above … now here’s a big difference: split the long run into two sessions, so do a combination of 5 and 5 miles for 10 (give or take), and 10 and 10 miles for 20 on the same day. You could even do three sessions just to get your body used to cooling down and revving up. In other words, you want to simulate the conditions you will be experiencing during the relay.Good luck! You will do fine, and remember to eat and stay hydrated before, during (eat small amounts of food often such as chips, pretzels or hard candy), and after each leg of the run. Let me know how it turns out.marsh

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