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Your Athletic Trainers Corner - Does Stretching Prevent Injuries?
April 05, 2008

In This Issue...

- What's New at Sports Injury Info
- Feature Article - "Does Stretching Prevent Injuries?"
- Sports Injury Questions
- Ankle Sprain Solutions Launches!

Whats New at Sports Injury Info

New Pages
Below you will find links to the newest additions to the website.

Sports Injuries

What is a Bankart Lesion?
Does VMO Strengthening Help With Patella Femoral Syndorme?
Learn About a Dislocated Patella

Feature Article
Does Stretching Prevent Injuries?

There has been a lot of attention recently in the media about whether or not stretching can prevent injuries. I have seen a lot of traffic on blogs and major news websites regarding this issue. Like every issue, there are always two sides. And unfortunately, neither one seems to be able to make a compelling enough argument to definitively answer the question.

A recent article in the NY Times was clear as mud when it comes to answering this question. Basically it comes down to making a personal decision whether to stretch or not. You can find all kinds of research that says it doesn't help, and jus as much that says it does.

There are a few things to remember when it comes to stretching. I have always recommended stretching to my athletes and patients. I tell them to stretch before and after practice. I do this not necessarily to prevent injuries for that specific practice, but to get them to develop a normal routine of stretching.

Muscle injuries are going to occur. If there was a sure-fire way to prevent them, I would have a whole lot fewer patients in my clinic every week. But, from clinical experience, poor flexibility can result in abnormal stresses on the body's tissues. That can lead to overuse injuries and abnormal movement patterns.

So, recommending stretching to my patients is more about long term flexibility and preventing abnormal movement patterns than preventing the acute muscle strain. For prevention of acute injuries, I believe a good warm up prior to activity is much more effective than stretching alone.

The other thing to remember when you are going through a stretching program is that static stretching is not nearly as effective as functional stretching. The difference? Static stretching usually places a muscle in its longest position and then stretches it for 30-45 seconds. Functional stretching tries to achieve a muscle position that is not in its longest state, and the stretch is held for a much shorter time...2-5 seconds.

Functional stretching more closely replicates the stresses placed on tissues during activities, and it helps to restore normal movement patterns. I use functional stretching with my patients everyday, and I have seen the results. It restores normal movement patterns and it helps to reduce abnormal stresses on the joints.

Whether you stretch regularly or not, flexibility does have its place in athletic performance. Adding a good stretching routine incorporating a proper warm up and some functional stretching could improve your performance and help reduce abnormal movement patterns and stress on your joints and muscles. It may even prevent some muscle strains. Remember though, it isn't necessarily when you stretch, but that you do.

If you are interested in a good stretching program for the lower body, download a free copy of Flexibility Solutions. (the article will open in a new window in Adobe Acrobat - just choose save a copy to download it to your computer) This 10 minute program covers several lower body functional stretches and is a good way to improve your flexibility.

For more information on flexibility, visit Improving your flexibility

If you have any trouble with the download, let me know.

Sports Injury Questions

If you have visited the site in the last few weeks, you may have noticed the new section - Sports Injury Questions - It is a place where you can ask your sports injury question and get it answered.

The response so far has been overwhelming, with lots of great questions and answers. Here are just a few of the most recent questions.

Question - After a Knee Arthroscopy 
Six months ago playing sport I fell. My knee swelled and I had a locking feeling (there was no pain or indication at the time that it was more than just ...

Question - Calf Injury With Running 
I have been a keen runner for 8 years and have completed numerous half and full marathons. I am a 41 year old male.

I have been training for the London ...

Will I miss work after shoulder scope and decompression 
I am scheduled for a shoulder scope and decompression on May 9th 2008. The surgery is on Friday and I have work on Monday. I am a high school teacher....

Back of Knee Pain, Down Into Calf Up Into Hamstring 
It has been about 3 months off and on.

I had been working the lower body a lot at the gym because upper body was out of action a bit (large Tear Rotator ...

Lateral Release after an ACL Reconstruction  
Two years ago, I had an ACL Reconstruction (patellar tendon graft). It seemed to go pretty well... less pain than expected for the first several months ...

Question - IT band  
I have had problems with my hip and IT band, especially my right knee. I tend to have a throbbing pain at the side of the knee. Turning my hips will ...

My Ankle Is Not Healing Well 
I am a 32 year old male, physically not over weight. It's been 1 year since I had a surgery on my broken ankle (Fibula & Tibia broken into 2 parts). I ...

Grade 2 Ankle Sprain - Pain After 12 Weeks 
I sprained my ankle (grade 2) 12 weeks ago and I still get a dull aching pain (after light jogging) and there is some residual swelling which is making ...

Question - Patella Tendonitis Issue 
I have been trying to get rid of patella tendonitis in my left knee for 7 months now.

It started in my left and I noticed this when running and doing ...

If you have a question or an answer - stop by and contribute!

Ankle Sprain Solutions Launches!

On April 1st, Sports Injury Info launched its first downloadable ebook, Ankle Sprain Solutions. The response so far has been extremely positive.

As a subscriber to The Athletic Trainer's Corner, I want to offer you a special discount on this ebook. It normally sells for $19.95, but for the next month I am going to offer you a %50 discount off the normal price.

If you have ever suffered from an ankle sprain, or if you have ankle pain, this guide can show you exactly what you should be doing to recover from your injury. It will take you from injury all the way back to playing sports...with step by step illustrated instructions and week by week exercise progressions.

To get your special price of just $9.00, go to Ankle Sprain Solutions, click on the "Add to Cart" button on the sales page and then enter PRELAUNCH into the discount code box. Update your cart and then you are ready to check out.

This offer is only good through the end of April, so don't delay. If you have any problems at all with your order or download, let me know - just email me at

Until Next Time,


Stay off the Sidelines!

Sports Injury Info

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