You should stretch before and after working out to increase your range of motion and prevent injury.
Yoga and Pilates, for example, may include specific stretches as part of their routines.
Overstretching, on the other hand, can result in injury because it pushes your muscles far beyond their normal range of motion.
Here, we’ll talk about what it feels like to overstretch your muscles and what you can do to avoid or treat any injuries that may result.
How do you know if you’ve stretched yourself too far?
It’s common to feel a slight tug on the muscle when you’re stretching correctly. Despite the fact that stretching properly may not feel completely comfortable at first, pushing yourself a little harder will help you gain flexibility over time.
According to the University of Rochester, begin your stretch slowly until you reach a point of muscle tension; hold for up to 20 seconds, according to their recommendation. As a rule, “stretching should not cause any discomfort.”
When you feel a sharp or stabbing pain, you’re stretching your muscles too far. You’re putting yourself at risk of injury by overstretching.
According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), feeling sore the day after stretching is another sign of overstretching. Soreness after stretching can be alleviated by cutting back the intensity of your workouts, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Injuries such as strained and sprained ankles
It is possible to sustain a strain or sprain from overexerting oneself while performing a stretching routine, but this is less common.
It is possible to overstretch or overexert a tendon or muscle, which connects a muscle to bone, resulting in a strain.
Overstretching or tearing of a ligament results in a sprain (connects bone to bone).
Assisting in the treatment of aches and pains
If you suspect a strain or sprain, the first step is to rest and discontinue the activity that caused the injury. The R.I.C.E. treatment begins with this step.
R.I.C.E. also includes the following additional steps:
Ice. Ice or cold packs work best when applied as quickly as possible to the injured area. Do not apply ice for 48 to 72 hours after an injury unless it is absolutely necessary.
Compress. Wrap the injured area in an elastic bandage, taking care not to over-tighten it. If swelling causes the bandage to become too tight, be prepared to loosen it.
Elevate. Lift the afflicted area toward your torso. Maintain an elevated position at all times, including when icing or sleeping.
Over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications like acetaminophen, ibuprofen (Advil), or ibuprofen (Ibuprofen) can help alleviate some of your discomforts if taken according to label directions.
Make an appointment with your doctor if you don’t see any improvement after following R.I.C.E. for several days. Some injuries require casts, while others necessitate surgery.
How do you avoid overstretching?
The best way to avoid overstretching is to keep your muscles, tendons, and ligaments within their normal range of motion, so stay within that range.
Warming up completely before participating in any sport or beginning any exercise will help you avoid overstretching. Warm-up your muscles by doing some light cardio and possibly some targeted exercises.
You can also position yourself in the following ways to avoid injury from overstretching:
the importance of drinking plenty of water, avoiding exercising when you’re too tired or in pain, and wearing appropriate clothing and footwear
Stretching too far can lead to a sprain or a strain.
If you want to avoid overstretching or extending your range of motion beyond what you’re capable of, you can take steps like these:
exercising in the proper manner, warming up properly, using proper form during workouts and stretching, and using the correct footwear while hydrating
Try the R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) protocol if you overstretch and injure yourself. Consult your physician if R.I.C.E. treatments do not relieve your symptoms after a few days.