So often it goes like this…
A few weeks ago, while sitting at a table at a wedding reception, the gentleman next to me leaned in and said, “I have a confession to make.” I quickly became a little nervous. Dramatically, he continued and said, “I don’t stretch.” Nervousness turned into confusion until my wife chimed in, “He knows you’re a physical therapist.”
During some social occasions I may or may not have claimed that I am an architect to avoid, “Hey, you’re a PT? What do I do for (insert pain or condition here)?” It is not that I don’t want to help the person, but in the context of a wedding reception… you get the idea.
This gentleman was not asking for help right then and there. Regardless, I wanted to give this nice young man who has back pain while playing basketball and strength training some amazingly fancy exercises and stretches to eliminate the pain. Then I’m the hero and he tells his friends and family all about me. I then start a social media influencer account to be the Back Pain Healer Whisperer™©. And then I make millions.
Back to reality. I have no right or legitimate idea of what he needs (especially when it comes to stretching) until I examine him. Despite what most of us have been told countless times, not everyone needs to stretch and there is no evidence that stretching reduces the risk of injury. Stretching just to stretch may not be the answer.
Many people are likely in need of stretching/mobilizing, however that would be specific to that individual and for the activity they are wanting to do. It’s more likely that people need strengthening of some specific structures. And then there’s that whole “strengthen to lengthen” thing which can be covered another time.
So, how do we know what is needed?
We only know with a thorough examination. This is something that cannot be done in the middle of a wedding reception.
What do you need? Schedule now and we will create a plan that matches your unique physical abilities and needs with your performance goals.
Dr. John De Noyelles, PT, OCS, CSCS
Resolve Physical Therapy