Physiotherapy articles

The stretch Protector of injuries?

The probability of injury is very high in triathlon

Our collaborator Healthing, tells us in this article the benefits that flexibility can have in the practice of a sport, such as triathlon

Triathlon is a unique sport, which covers three disciplines: swim, Bicycling y run. Triathlon distances can vary greatly and injuries can occur as a result of individual event discipline, or as a result of a combination of all three.

La probability of injuries related to excessive use it's huge. Each triathlon discipline has characteristic areas of the body that are susceptible to injury, mainly from excessive use, mechanical in nature.

The lower extremity, particularly of the career component, causes most injuries, such as muscle and tendon tensions, followed by stress fractures y plantar fasciitis

It is generally accepted that increase flexibility of a muscle tendon unit promotes better performance and decreases the number of injuries.

Most sports medicine coaches, athletes, and staff use methods of Stretching as part of the training routine for athletes. Many would agree that it is an integral part of training and preparation.

It is usually accepted the idea that Previous stretches when practicing a sport have a positive effect in injury prevention. However, there is much clinical evidence to the contrary.

What is flexibility?

Is range of motion in a joint (for example: the hip), or a series of joints (for example: the spine). It is a joint or series of joints used to produce a particular movement.

It is important to highlight some points regarding flexibility.

First, the flexibility is joint-specific.

That is, you can not say that someone is flexible just because they can touch their toes. It is possible that the same person can not even reach and scratch the lower part of his back because his shoulder has little flexibility.

Second, the flexibility is sport specific.

A front row rugby forward cannot be expected to have the same flexibility as an Olympic gymnast, because it is not necessary for his sport. In fact, in a contact sport like rugby, being so flexible would be detrimental to your body.

Why is flexibility important?

Good flexibility allows the joints to improve their range of motion. For example, flexibility in the shoulder muscles allows a swimmer to "slide" his arm through the water by lifting his shoulder. This allows the joints to easily adjust to the required angles without undue stress on the tissues around them.

El stretching is also part of rehabilitation programs in sports injuries. For example, it is accepted that a muscle tear will heal with scar tissue. This scar tissue tends to be functionally shorter and has more resistance to stretching than normal, healthy muscle tissue. Thus, stretching is used at an appropriate time in the healing process to help lengthen this contracted scar tissue.

Good flexibility improves posture and ergonomics. The flexibility, since it allows a good range of movement, can improve motor performance and skill execution. Skill execution and reduced risk of injury will greatly improve if the body has the flexibility necessary for that particular sport.

Everything depends on the sport that is practiced

The stretching recommendations depend on the type of sport activity that the athlete practices. Sports that involve jumping movements and intense stretching and shortening cycles require a muscular tendon mechanism prepared enough to store and release the energy that such sports demand.

If the athletes of these disciplines do not possess a mechanism with these qualities, the demands can exceed the capacity. What implies a increased risk of injuries in this structure.

Studies have shown that stretching can greatly influence tendon viscosity And making it much more compatible, therefore, in sports that require high intensity stretching and shortening cycles, stretching can prevent injury.

Conversely, when sport has low intensity stretching and shortening cycles, a compatible mechanism is not necessary and flexibility may not offer any benefit or protection.

The conclusion

That is why, and by way of conclusion, it is important adapt the stretching cycles to the level and frequency of training of the athlete involved, taking into account absolutely all the traits and characteristics of this, such as: age, height, weight, sex, type of sport, previous injuries, diet and any other detail that allows the coach and athlete to have references so that its sports performance is the maximum possible.

Javier Key

Physiotherapist / Collegiate Number: 8461


Healthing, Calle Serrano, 61. 4th floor


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