late spring by 0s7iRTF


									                                            Late Spring Newsletter

                       Get Gardening!
                                         The weather is finally making a sunny, warm
                                        change, the trees are in bloom and the grass is
                                        getting greener! Are you ready to start planting,
                                        mowing the lawn, and pruning the shrubs? Is
                                        your body?

                                        The Canadian Physiotherapy Association
                                        has some great tips to help you get started with
                                        the gardening season, and prevent injuries that
                                        may result from this seasonal work. Here are
                                        some of their suggestions!

☼ Don't Vegetate, Cultivate!- Did you know that 30 minutes of gardening
gives general health benefits similar to a brisk walk? It also helps to increase
your endurance and strength!

☼ Get Ready to Go!- Warming up your muscles and joints before you start
working will help decrease risk of sprain or strain. See our article below on
some stretching tips. Also, be sure to have all the right tools for the job
maintained and ready for safe use!

☼ Know Your Limit, Garden Within it- Over working muscles and
joints leads to injury, so pace yourself. Take breaks when you are tired, spread
heavy lifting and digging tasks over a week, and avoid over-use injuries by
doing different activities throughout the day.

☼ Tool Time- Make sure the handle of the tool matches the size of your
hand. This will help reduce chance of overuse injury and strain to the
muscles. Also, hold your tools with a comfortable grip. Holding too tightly
can cause injury.

☼ Posture Makes Perfect...Sense!- Find the "easy zone"- a comfortable
posture for your body to work in, and try to do your work in this "zone". If you
have to get into an awkward position, incorporate a slow, reverse stretch every
15 minutes to reduce strain. Don't forget to lift with your legs, and avoid
twisting and reaching!
                         Featured Question:
                     How Can Stretching Help Me?
Stretching daily is extremely important for everyone;
whether you exercise regularly, participate in sports, or
are working around the house. Stretching is the only way
to help relax muscles, realign muscle fibers, cool your
body temperature and increase flexibility.
Unfortunately, most of us do not take the time in our
busy routines to stretch, which usually leads to sprains,
strains and other injuries. In this article, we will describe
different types of stretches, and provide basic guidelines
to help you improve your flexibility and well being!

       Are There Different Types of Stretches?
       There are a number of different types of stretching exercises that can help
       reduce the risk of injury as well as improve athletic performance. Two of the
       most known types of stretches are static and dynamic.

       Static stretching involves reaching as far as you can, without pain, in one
       direction and then holding the stretch for 15-60 seconds. This type of
       stretching is used to increase the length and the flexibility of your muscles. For
       example, when touching your toes, try to hold it for 30 seconds, as this time
       frame is the most effective for stretching the hamstrings.

       Dynamic stretching involves a series of movements that work multiple muscle
       groups. Controlled body movements gently take you to the limits of your
       range of motion. The movements do not involve any bouncing or jerking, as
       lack of control could cause injury. For example, when you want to stretch out
       your chest, shoulder, back and arms, move your arm and shoulder in slow,
       controlled, big circles.

       Static vs. Dynamic, Which is Better, And When?
       For years, static stretching was a mainstay in athletic warm-ups because it was
       thought to prevent injuries and enhance performance. However, new research
       has shown that dynamic stretching is much better suited for this task since it
       increases your body and muscle temperature, elongates your muscles and
       stimulates your nervous system to prepare for the responsiveness that your
       sport demands. Studies comparing static versus dynamic stretching in pre-
       athletic warm-ups have shown that dynamic stretching helps prevent injuries
       and boosts performance better than static stretching. In fact, doing static
       stretches before a big game or key practice session may actually decrease
       athletic performance for at least an hour afterward by reducing leg strength
       and power. Dynamic stretches are also a great way to warm up your body
       before doing various chores such as gardening, spring-cleaning or washing the
Static stretching should still be an important part of your training routine, just
not before you workout or play a sport. Instead, static-type stretches should be
part of an effective cool-down routine following your activity. By
incorporating these stretches, your muscles will have the opportunity to cool
down, realign and improve your flexibility!

Does Stretching Help With Injuries?

                                 Stretching plays a central role in physiotherapy
                                 treatment for muscle strains and pulls, as well as other
                                 musculoskeletal injuries. When muscles are injured,
                                 static stretching is an important and effective part of
                                 rehab. For example, hamstring injuries are a common
                                 athletic injury, which are treated by physiotherapists.
                                 Static stretching plays a major part in the rehabilitation
                                 of these injuries because it increases muscle flexibility
                                 and relieves pain caused by muscle stiffness.

It is important to remember, though, that aggressively stretching an injured
muscle will only make things worse, so it is important to wait at least 72 hours
before starting gentle stretching exercises, and contact your physiotherapist if
you have any questions or concerns.

Adults with tight hamstrings can also benefit from static stretching.
Researchers have reported that static stretching is twice as effective as
dynamic stretching for increasing flexibility in non-competitive athletes with
tight hamstrings. Static hamstring stretching is a great way to decrease risk of
injury, and help improve your overall range of motion!

The Bottom Line
Dynamic stretches are best used as a warm-up before exercise, sport or
activity to prevent injury and boost performance. They are not helpful when
your muscles are already stiff or injured.

Static stretches maximize flexibility and are best used as part of a cool down
following physical activity. They also should be used as part of a physiotherapy
treatment program for specific muscle injuries.

How I Can Incorporate

For more information and advice on developing a stretching program that fits
your exercise routine and daily activities, contact one of the licensed, trained
physiotherapists at Peak Physical Therapy. They will work with you in
designing a stretching program that will provide you with the most benefits.
                            New Articles!
Check it out! We have recently added over 60 new articles to our patient
resource library including the following:

Patient Guides:

      Rheumotoid Arthritis
      Adult Shoulder Fractures
      Elbow Fractures

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