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Exercise Muscles

Should You Stretch Your Hamstrings?

This week we have a health topic from Casey Westbrook, with Austin Physical Therapy, that should interest anyone getting started with an exercise program and might be inclined to overdo it.  For the couch potato suffering from back pain he also offers a word of caution.  As you will learn, the conventional recommendation for stretching your hamstrings won’t fix your back pain.  For athletes, he also offers a word of caution.

For the full article, be sure to read the newsletter edition on this subject. Unfortunately, the graphics did not transfer well into this format so what you have here is only a reminder that there is more if the topic interest you.  If not yet on the emailed newsletter list and you would like to be added, just let me know.

If you have questions about hamstring stretches be sure to read the email edition or give Casey a call (256-883-9494.)  And, if interested in reading the research behind Casey’s recommendations, the articles listed below will help fill in the details.

1. Current Concepts in Muscle Stretching For Exercise and Rehabilitation

2. Stretching versus strength training in lengthened position in subjects with tight hamstring muscles: A randomized controlled trial

If like most people I encounter, you may think of physical therapy as a medical specialty that helps people recover after acute injuries.  More often, daily habits and lifestyle are the source of our injuries.  Back pain for example is often attributed to a recent event.  The more common cause is an imbalance of muscles resulting from our lifestyle.  For a person willing to put in the effort, learning to rebalance muscles is often the winning therapy.

In a busy day, it can be challenging to find time for the exercises needed to stimulate healthy bone and muscle growth.  If the weekday routine has been your challenge then consider a weekend walk.  For a breath of fresh air, a delightful view of birds migrating north and evidence that Spring is on the way, join me Saturday morning.

Nancy Neighbors, MD

By Nancy Neighbors, MD

... Dr. Neighbors provides a blend of traditional family medicine and evidence-based lifestyle medicine in Huntsville, Alabama. When indicated, lifestyle change is recommended as the first line of therapy.

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