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Is it Possible to Stretch Too Much?

Short answer: yes.

 

Not only is it possible, it’s probable that you are stretching too much. Stretching is a common problem behavior when it comes to joint pain. Here is why.

Stretching in itself is not bad at all. In fact it is a very beneficial therapy that I use in treatment plans all the time. The problem does not lie in the act of stretching but in doing so when that is the last thing you need. This can be tricky because a lot of times the joint feels like it needs to be stretched even when it doesn’t. If we think about the mechanics alone, stretching serves as a way to loosen the connective tissue surrounding joints. But often times these joints are already unstable, and because stretching is essentially the opposite of stabilizing, it can do more harm than good. So you are only further destabilizing a joint and creating muscular imbalances, making the problem gradually worse over time.

The solution? Take a big step back and assess your mobility.

 

Test Range of Motion

Before doing any kind of therapies, it is important to recognize where exactly the problem lies. This is where a professional comes in handy, but of course it is possible to test your mobility on your own (just much more difficult). There is a variety of tests and assessments to determine whether or not stretching is appropriate for the joint in question. Once you determine the restrictions or weaknesses surrounding a joint you can implement different therapies. Stretch where there are restrictions and strengthen where there is weakness and instability.

Seeking out professional help is always recommended to ensure appropriate therapies are applied.