In physical therapy, several different types of stretching are recognized. There is static stretching, dynamic stretching, passive stretching, active stretching, assisted stretching, and solo stretching; however, the two most common forms of stretching utilized are static stretching and dynamic stretching. Classically speaking, most of the stretches that are performed by those in physical therapy are performed in a manner that is static. That is, once the ideal position has been achieved, the individual remains in that position for a pre-determined amount of time. This typically ranges from as little as 10 seconds or longer. These types of stretches are typically performed for at least three repetitions. Stretches that are held for short periods of time, such as 1 second to 5 seconds are referred to as “dynamic”. Each of these types of stretches is typically performed up to ten repetitions at a time.
The Benefits of Static Stretching
According to those that are trained in physical therapy and have experienced physical therapy, the main benefit associated with static stretching is primarily based on the soft tissues property that is referred to as “creep”. Basically, this is a word that describes how a soft tissue within the body changes its overall shape when it is subjected to a slow, sustained amount of force. Essentially, static stretching is highly beneficial in optimizing the flexibility of the individual. In turn, the person not only becomes more mobile, but, their health is also optimized.
The Benefits of Dynamic Stretching
Numerous studies indicate that dynamic stretching has a higher number of benefits than static stretching. First, the tissues in the body quickly receive the nutrients that they require on a regular basis. Next, the blood circulation within the body is enhanced. The synovial fluid of the joints is moved and assists in lubrication, and individuals experience both improved range of motion and improved health. When a person engaged in dynamic stretching, they move more. This increases the warmth of the tissues and optimizes the neural control within the body by reinforcing the pathways associated with motion within the body’s nervous system.
According to medical professionals, a stretch is a type of mechanical-based process that is designed to lengthen the soft tissues within the body. Static stretching and dynamic stretching are both considered to be mechanical-based processes. However, it is important to note that the tone of the muscles within the body is directly mediated by the nervous system. As a result, a positive impact must be made on the nervous system. In order to succeed in this endeavor, neurological reflexes must be stimulated. The two main ones are the reciprocal inhibition and the reflex of the Golgi tendon. By performing both static stretching and dynamic stretching, both of these reflexes will be stimulated and will optimize the response of the nervous system. If you would like to engage in these types of stretching exercises or would like to optimize your flexibility and range of motion, call us today for more information on static and dynamic stretching: 303-832-5577