Monday, January 20, 2014

Flexibility Importance

My Sciatic Nerve Pain

I trained for months to run my first 10K. Two days before the race I started to experience pain and numbness in my leg. I had trained hard for this race. I ran it despite the pain. Turns out I was experiences sciatic nerve pain. I have since realized how important stretching is at my age. 

My first 10K Accomplished 👉Read More

Piriformis Syndrome is a neuromuscular disorder that occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed or irritated by this muscle causing pain, tingling and numbness in the butt and along the sciatic nerve down into the lower thigh and leg.  The main course of treatment is loosening up this muscle by stretching. 

Flexibility and loosening up your muscles is very important to maintaining a healthy body. Lack of flexibility is probably one the single most important factors affecting our quality of life as we age.  My goal is to stretch all my muscles at least twice a day.

The Benefits of Stretching:

  • Increase muscle flexibility and improve daily performance.  
  • Increase joint range of motion and  help your mobility and improve balance.
  • Improve circulation which increases blood flow to your muscles. Blood flowing to your muscles brings nourishment and gets rid of waste byproducts in the muscle tissue. 
  • Frequent stretching keeps your muscles from getting tight which helps maintain your posture.
  • Provide stress relief and relaxes tight, tense muscles that often accompany stress. 

Proper Stretching Tips

Warm up first -- Stretching muscles when they're cold increases your risk of pulled muscles. Warm up by walking while gently moving your arms for five minutes.

Hold each stretch - It takes time to lengthen tissues safely. Hold your stretches for at least 30 seconds, and up to 60 seconds for a really tight muscles. 

Don't Bounce -- Bouncing as you stretch can cause micro-tears in the muscle, which leave scar tissue as the muscle heals. This tissue tightens the muscle making it even less flexible.

No Pain -- Stretching should be pain free. You've gone too far if you feel pain. Dial it back until you don't feel any pain, then hold the stretch. 

Relax and breathe - Don't hold your breath while you're stretching and stretch both sides to make sure your joint range of motion is as equal as possible on each side of your body.

Before & After - Light stretching after your warm-up then followed by a more thorough stretching regimen after your workout is the best. 

My Goals

Right now my biggest goal is stretching out my leg, hip and butt muscles.  Here are some of my favorite stretches to help keep me mobile! Hold each stretch for 30 to 60 seconds on each leg at least twice a day.


These are great stretches when you are working on your computer.  Just take a minute or two to stretch out those leg muscles. Stretching your muscles everyday will help maintain a healthy body. 

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