Stretching and Body Maintenance

When I retired from athletics and moved into the fitness world I noticed many similarities but also great differences. I had treatment usually once every two weeks in the running days mainly because it was easily accessible. In the fitness world I find that many train as hard as athletes or at least as frequent and yet body maintenance is overlooked by most. I have fallen into this trap myself usually waiting to feel significant pain before I visit a specialist. I’m on my way to a chiropractor as I write as lack of sleep last night due to neck and shoulder pain got too much. I know better and yet still make the same mistakes. So here are some tips that should help guide you to the correct person should you want to prevent injuries or require treatment.

Stretching and Body Maintenance – why?

The benefits aren’t always realised straight away but you will thank yourself later. Lower back pain, poor posture, tight pectorals can all have an affect causing the body to become imbalanced. This can affect how you stand, walk eventually causing pain that will reveal itself in the not too distant future. Correcting issues early is the best way to prevent pain or injuries down the line.

Soft Tissue Massage Therapist

Therapists who manipulate soft tissue of the body. Manual techniques are used which can include fixed or moveable pressure to an area. The rubbing and kneading of soft tissue helps in relaxation and pain relief.

Physiotherapist

Physiotherapists are health professionals who help individuals to recover from injury or illness or work towards preventing an injury from occurring. Methods used involve prescribing exercises to strengthen or increase mobility, massage and other techniques include acupuncture. Acupuncture involves fine needles being inserted into the body to treat or prevent pain. This treatment encourages the body to produce endorphins to assist in pain relief.

Chiropractor

Chiropractors are health professionals who diagnose, treat and prevent issues connected to the musculoskeletal system. This involves using their hands to treat disorders ranging from bones, muscles and joints. A variety of methods are used during treatment from acupuncture to manipulation of the spine. Manipulation of the spine involves applying force to areas surrounding the spine such as joints, muscles or bones. The force applied can involve sharp thrusts to stretching muscles to improve range of movement.

Personal Trainer

There are many Personal Trainers available. Some are more therapeutic and others concentrate on strength and conditioning or aesthetics. Many are self employed or work in gyms. If you require strength and conditioning for sport ensure that you work with a Personal Trainer or Strength and Conditioning Coach that has extensive knowledge in your chosen sport or sport in general to maximise result.

Build a good team around you that will help keep you in great shape to maximise your results in the gym and keep you training for longer by minimising the risk of injury.

If your unsure always speak to your healthcare professional to advise you accordingly.