Restore Flexibility with Physical Therapy
When we think of staying fit, we tend to think mostly about building strength and endurance, without giving too much thought to maintaining flexibility. But staying flexible is quite important, and it becomes even more important as you get older.
Of course, staying flexible isn’t always easy, especially if you’ve been injured or if you lead a fairly sedentary lifestyle. Rebuilding flexibility isn’t easy either, and without professional guidance, you can wind up increasing pain or even injuring yourself.
At Medical Access, our team offers patient-centered physical therapy options aimed at helping patients restore and maintain flexibility, no matter their age or their level of physical activity. Here’s how we can help you stay healthy and mobile.
Physical therapy for greater flexibility
The human body is built to move, but unfortunately, many of us lead lifestyles that are largely sedentary and inactive. That means we tend to be a lot less flexible, and our muscles, joints, and connective tissues “stiffen up.” Jumping into an exercise routine on your own can quickly result in injuries and setbacks, especially when your body isn’t used to the new strain.
Physical therapy helps rebuild flexibility by introducing your body to stretches and exercises slowly to avoid strain and injury. At Medical Access, each physical therapy treatment plan is carefully customized and adjusted for each patient’s health needs, fitness levels, and goals.
During your therapy plan, you’ll build on incremental successes as you work toward your goal through exercises at our location and at home. Depending on your needs, our team may incorporate massage and other treatments, as well as lifestyle guidance to help you get the maximum benefits from your therapy.
Benefits of staying flexible
Staying flexible offers plenty of benefits for your health and wellness, including these three.
Avoid joint pain
Joints depend on regular use to stay healthy and help prevent arthritis and other damage. By keeping your joints flexible, you retain their full range of movement, and that helps circulate special joint fluids that lubricate the joints and maintain cartilage health. Flexibility is important for all your joints, but especially for weight-bearing joints, like your knees and hips.
Stiff muscles don’t work the way they should, and that means when you’re active, you’re more likely to experience muscle strain or tears. The same is true for tendons and ligaments.
Tight, inflexible muscles and tendons can also cause excess strain on other structures. For instance, tight hamstrings can lead to knee pain, while tight calf muscles can contribute to tendonitis. Staying flexible helps balance the demands on your muscles and other tissues to help prevent strain and injury.
Improve coordination and balance
Falls cause millions of serious injuries every year, and they’re a major cause of injuries in older people. Keeping your muscles flexible helps improve balance, so the risk of falls is reduced. Better balance also helps improve posture so that you can avoid common medical problems like back and neck pain.
In addition to improving movement, physical therapy’s focused routines improve circulation to your joints and connective tissues. More blood flow means your tissues get more oxygen and nutrients, and waste and toxins are flushed out more quickly.
Plus, being more flexible makes it easier (and more enjoyable) to stay physically active, so you can reduce your risks of:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Depression and mood disorders
It’s easy to think you can stay more flexible just by stretching more. But unless you know what you’re doing — and what types of exercises your body can withstand — you can wind up with injuries and a lot of pain. Working with a physical therapist is the best way to get the exercise your body needs to rebuild flexibility, without damaging muscles, joints, or other structures.
To get started on your customized physical therapy program at our offices in Germantown, Rockville, and Beltsville, Maryland, and Alexandria, Woodbridge, and McLean, Virginia, call or book an appointment online with Medical Access today.