Therapeutic exercises are used as part of a rehabilitative program designed to restore muscle and joint health. Your clinician at First Team Medical Clinics recommends the most effective exercises for your particular situation, including passive and active stretching for restoring posture. Whether you’ve suffered a traumatic injury or developed spinal issues over time, participating in a supervised rehabilitative program can speed your recovery and reduce inflammation and other issues causing discomfort.
During passive stretching, you don’t engage your muscles to move through the stretches. Rather, it’s a technique in which you remain relaxed as an external force created by an outside agent (your First Team Medical Clinic's clinician), moves the targeted area through its range of motion.
Other devices, such as therapy bands, are often incorporated to aid in passive stretching. You can also be your own “external force” by using one hand to move your leg through passive range of motion exercise. The key is to keep your muscles relaxed and passive as you move through your prescribed routine.
As you may have guessed, active stretching requires some effort. Active stretching generally falls into two categories: active-static and active-dynamic. Both are beneficial in the rehab process.
Active-static stretching requires you to move into a position that causes the intended muscle to contract and then hold that stretch for 10-30 seconds. For example, to perform an active-static stretch, sit on the floor with your legs straight and flex your ankles. Holding that position for 30 seconds creates an active-static stretch for the calf muscles. Traditional yoga workouts incorporate a series of active-static stretches.
For an active-dynamic stretch, you move your muscles through their range of motion without stopping in any position. For example, the active-static calf stretch above becomes a dynamic calf stretch if you repeatedly point and flex your ankles rather than holding them in the flexed position.
Posture is more than just standing up straight. To obtain good posture, your spine, hips, knees, ankles, shoulders, neck, and head all need to be in proper alignment. Muscles are the supportive structures that help hold the body’s skeletal system in postural alignment. When you stretch and strengthen your muscles, it gives them the functionality they need to do their daily job of keeping you standing tall and balanced.
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