The Importance of Flexibility and Chiropractic Care: Enhancing Range of Motion for Optimal Health
Flexibility is the second key to human movement, and it is defined as the range of motion of a given joint or group of joints, or the level of tissue extensibility that a muscle group possesses. The importance of flexibility in the human body is undeniable.
At ChiroFit Studio Clinic in Chatsworth, we perform a thorough exam on the first visit, which includes an inspection of posture and range of motion of areas of complaint. During this exam, we learn which muscles are tight and we come up with a treatment plan that includes stretching, self-myofascial release (SMR), in-office myofascial release therapy, and instrument-assisted soft tissue therapy.
Stretching, one of the two ways to increase the range of motion in muscle tissue, can improve flexibility. Static, dynamic, active isolated, and Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) are the different types of stretching that can improve flexibility.
Self-myofascial release (SMR), the other way to increase the range of motion in muscle tissue, is a self-myofascial release stretching technique that has been embraced throughout the fitness and rehabilitation industries. This technique is an effective and simple way to improve flexibility, muscle recovery, and movement efficiency, inhibiting overactive muscles, and reducing pain with just minutes of application.
SMR can be done with a variety of tools beyond foam rollers, such as medicine balls, handheld rollers, or other assistive devices. SMR focuses on the neural and fascial systems in the body that can be negatively influenced by poor posture, repetitive motions, or dysfunctional movements.
These mechanically stressful actions are recognized as an injury by the body. Adhesions reduce the elasticity of the soft tissues and can eventually cause a permanent change in the soft tissue structure, referred to as Davis’s Law. SMR focuses on alleviating these adhesions (also known as “trigger points” or “knots”) to restore optimal muscle motion and function.
Increasing flexibility in tight muscles is essential to avoid muscle imbalances, improve joint range of motion, improve neuromuscular efficiency, reduce soreness and improve tissue recovery, and decrease the overall effects of stress on the human movement system. If you are unsure how to stretch, you can take a stretching class or do an online video that focuses just on stretching exercises to improve the range of motion throughout the body.
Foam rolling should be done before static or dynamic stretching activities to improve the tissue’s ability to lengthen during stretching activities. Foam rolling can also be done as part of the cool-down. Foam rolling activities should be performed on tissues identified as overactive during the initial exam at ChiroFit Studio Chatsworth.
The American Council on Exercise defines flexibility as the range of motion of a joint or group of joints and the extensibility of muscle tissue. Different areas of our body possess varying levels of flexibility, which can significantly impact our overall mobility and well-being. In this blog post, we will explore the significance of flexibility and how chiropractic care at ChiroFit Studio in Chatsworth can help improve and maintain an optimal range of motion.
The Role of Flexibility
Imagine being able to touch your toes effortlessly, yet struggling to stand up straight or bend backward. This scenario highlights the fact that different muscles and joints within our body possess varying levels of flexibility. Many individuals who spend prolonged hours sitting at office desks often develop tight hips, leading to decreased flexibility. To counteract this, regular movement breaks throughout the day are recommended to prevent inflexible hip muscles.
Addressing Tight Muscles
At ChiroFit Studio, we understand the importance of addressing tight muscles and increasing the range of motion. Our comprehensive approach includes in-office and at-home flexibility training to improve muscle flexibility and extensibility.
Stretching is an effective way to enhance flexibility. Different types of stretching techniques can be employed, including static stretching, dynamic stretching, active isolated stretching (AIS), and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF). Static stretching involves holding a stretch position for 30-60 seconds, while dynamic stretching involves moving in and out of a stretch. Active isolated stretching focuses on a complete joint range of motion, holding the endpoint briefly before returning to the starting point. PNF stretching, a technique we frequently utilize at our clinic, combines stretching and muscle contractions to optimize flexibility.
Self Myofascial Release (SMR)
Another valuable method to increase flexibility is through self-myofascial release (SMR) techniques, commonly performed using foam rollers. SMR helps release muscle adhesions and trigger points, promoting improved flexibility, muscle recovery, and pain reduction. Applying pressure to specific areas can enhance tissue mobility and motion efficiency, correcting muscle imbalances and reducing hypertonicity.
Myofascial Release Therapy (MRT)
Myofascial release therapy, performed manually or with instrumental assistance, focuses on restoring normal mobility and glide between muscular tissues and nerves. MRT aids in breaking down dense scar tissue, reducing joint and muscle limitations caused by adhesions. This technique also stimulates the lymphatic system, promoting inflammation reduction and improving fluid circulation.
Instrumental-Assisted Soft Tissue Therapy (IASTM)
IASTM involves using specialized tools to precisely locate and treat soft tissue dysfunctions. This technique introduces controlled microtrauma to affected areas, triggering a local inflammatory response that stimulates the reabsorption of scar tissue. As a result, the affected soft tissues can be remodeled, allowing for improved movement patterns and enhanced flexibility.
The Benefits of Chiropractic Flexibility Care
Incorporating chiropractic care into your flexibility routine can provide numerous benefits. ChiroFit Studio in Chatsworth offers thorough examinations to assess posture and range of motion. Our tailored treatment plans often include stretching, self-myofascial release (SMR), in-office myofascial release therapy, and instrumental-assisted soft tissue therapy. By integrating chiropractic care, you can experience improved muscle balance, joint range of motion, neuromuscular efficiency, tissue recovery, and decreased trigger point sensitivity.