Stretching is good for your muscles. This has not been a news for a long time. Studies have shown that warming up before the start of fitness, to prepare the body for strenuous exercise, or to relax and restore the body by stretching after the end of strenuous exercise can play a role in relaxation and recovery.
But are we likely to stretch too much? Presumably, there are moments in our memory: When you stand or sit back and stretch your back, you will suddenly feel a sharp pain, and then you know that something is not good. So is a stretch that is good for the body really hurting us?
First of all, you are more likely to stretch too much, causing pain and even muscle torn. However, it’s not so much that stretching itself hurts you, it’s just that you are over-stressed. Our muscles contain a special sensory receptor cell called the muscle spindle. When you stretch, the cell sends a signal to the neurons in the muscle, telling the central nervous system that you are overstretched. In the end, the muscles will contract and tighten to fight the tension. This kind of reaction can cause pain, which is why people feel pain when trying to stretch at the beginning. It is also the reason why people feel pain when trying to touch the toes. This pain caused by cascading nerves is rapid and intense.
However, this problem is solved. According to physiologist Jeffrey Jenkins of the University of Virginia School of Medicine, you can prepare your muscles in advance to prevent the nerves from suddenly twitching and causing pain. In fact, this is a problem of endurance. If you stretch for more than six seconds or more each time, the pain will be lessened. Because, as time goes by, the tendon stretches the receptor, that is, the muscle spindle neurons that stay on the muscle fibers react to inhibit muscle contraction caused by stretching.
Jenkins suggests that if you have mental fears and obstacles in insisting on stretching for more than six seconds, then you can tell that sticking will make you no longer feel pain and make you more flexible. However, if you really endure great pain, stop because you may indeed be tearing your muscles. In fact, it is difficult to distinguish between pain from tearing and healthy stretching.
The most important thing is to understand yourself – the degree of pain you need to endure yourself. If you find yourself uncomfortable far more than usual, you may need to stop. At this time, the possibility of muscle tearing is higher than the possibility of benefiting from stretching. In fact, in 2017, researchers tested the degree of pain in static stretching in 22 women who liked to exercise. Twenty-two women were divided into two groups, one group stretching until they felt real pain, while the second group stopped only when there was a slight discomfort. The results show that there is no benefit in pushing yourself to the point of pain.
Stretching is good for you anyway, but keep in mind that if you really feel a lot of pain because of stretching, then the disadvantage of stretching is greater than the benefits. Don’t worry, in fact, whether you can touch your toes does not have much to do with your overall health.