As You Age, Stretching Becomes More Important
As you age, your range of motion is reduced, and you lose the flexibility you enjoyed in your youthful years. Your muscles shorten and become less elastic, while your joints become weak and their range of motion reduces. This article discusses the importance of regular stretching in old age.
Importance of Regular Stretching for Seniors
Reducing Effects of Arthritis and Low Back Pain
Lower back pain is rampant in older people, mainly due to their susceptibility to common back problems like spinal stenosis and osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by the continuous degeneration of tendons between your facet joints, resulting in low back pain. Although this pain isn’t constant, this type of arthritis can cause sciatica if it’s not managed correctly.
Fortunately, regular stretching has been shown to manage osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis. Stretching will improve your flexibility and increase your range of motion to release stiffness in the troubled joints. Since the symptoms of osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis cause severe pain, it might be difficult for you to stretch the affected joints.
But you can reduce this pain by warming up your joints and muscles by applying heat before stretching. You can also warm your muscles and joints through strength training or functional workouts, and cold therapy is necessary after stretching to reduce joint swelling.
As you grow, your body’s connective tissues lose their water content, causing your muscles and joints to lose flexibility and resistance. The tightened tendons and ligaments will result in poor posture. But you can fix this problem with regular stretching, loosening the pulled ligaments, cartilages, and muscles for a full range of motion.
Increased Blood Circulation and Energy
Apart from elongating your muscles, stretching also increases blood circulation and essential nutrients throughout your body. This results in increased energy levels, which is vital for the well-being and independence of seniors. Low-intensity stretches like dynamic stretching are very effective in elongating your muscles and increasing circulation.
As you grow older, you’ll have trouble maintaining balance, and you’ll become more susceptible to tripping, which puts you at the risk of getting hurt. But with regular stretching, you’ll improve your balance and stability because it keeps your joints and muscles strong. Stretching also improves flexibility in your hamstrings, lower back, and quadriceps, which are necessary for better mobility and stability.
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Alexandra Hughes of The Pennsylvania BalletThe Equinus Brace has really helped me get rid of the tight and achy muscles that contributed to my stress fracture. The brace helped relieve my tired muscles and stretch the entire leg, from toes to the thigh, providing complete relief. After a few weeks, I noticed a change in my ballet performance.