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Your Athletic Trainers Corner, September 2007 - To Stretch or Not
September 03, 2007

In This Issue...

- What's New at Sports Injury Info
- Feature Article - "To Stretch or Not To Stretch"
- Coming Soon to SII

- Submit your sports injury story

Whats new at Sports Injury Info

New Pages
With school starting and the high school athletic season beginning, sports injury season is upon us. Below you will find links to the newest additions to Sports Injury Info...

Sports Injury Anatomy

Ankle Ligaments
Ankle Tendons

Sports Injuries

Achilles Tendon Rupture
Hamstring Injury
Quadriceps Strain
Stress Fractures
Ulnar Collateral Ligament Sprain

Sports Injury Prevention

Heat Illness Prevention
Knee Braces

Feature Article - To Stretch Or Not To Stretch

Do you stretch before you work out? How about before you run or play basketball? Do you feel like it helps keep you from getting injured?

I hear all the time from my patients that they don't stretch, or they don't stretch very much with their athletic activities. Really, it isn't surprising.

Stretching is boring. It doesn't really feel good, especially if you are really tight, and it takes time out of your day. Most people don't like to stretch, and so they don't.

Is it necessary to stretch before activities? Not necessarily. A good warm up is probably more important than stretching. Easing into activity and allowing the muscles to get warm and have increased blood flow before you hit the higher intensity is important. You are probably more likely to suffer a hamstring strain if you fail to warm up well than if you fail to stretch.

So why do we always tell people to stretch before they run, or play? Because it allows for a regular stretching routine. If you run everyday, and you stretch before you run, then you end up stretching everyday. And that is how stretching can help prevent injuries.

Just like anything else in life, to get better at something, you have to do it often. To become more flexible, you have to stretch often. It isn't a matter of hours per week...more like minutes. Repetition and routine is more important.

Whether you stretch before your game, or after your run, first thing in the morning, or just before bed, if you stretch regularly, you are less likely to suffer from injury.

How do I know?

Because injured patients that I treat who have poor flexibility get better when they stretch regularly. They see me three times a week, and so they are stretching at least three times a week. Their flexibility improves, and they start to feel better because their joints and muscles are working more efficiently, taking stress off of the injured tissues.

So, stretch! A five minute daily investment in your health and well being is worth it, and will pay off in the long run.

Coming Soon To SII

New pages on sports injuries, including elbow and shoulder injuries, as well as prevention techniques. More sports injury surgeries including meniscus surgery.

If you have something specific that you would like to see on SII, please let me know. I would love to have your suggestions for future pages.

Share Your Sports Injury Story

Sports injuries are filled with frustrations and questions. Sometimes, just hearing about how someone else dealt with the same problem you have makes things seem a little less scary.

If you have suffered from a sports injury - from ACL tears to sprained ankles - share your story with all of the visitors at SII. Tell us about your worries, your experiences, and how you dealt with your sports injury. Help brighten others day by sharing your experiences.

Or just stop by and read about others sports injury stories. You might learn how to prevent or deal with your own sports injury. Please share your story now!

Until Next Time,


Stay off the Sidelines!

Sports Injury Info

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