Read on for why sore muscles happen plus some … From ice baths to anti-inflammatory creams, pills and lotions, there are lots of ways to help ease inflammation and pain from exercise. However, research has shown that stretching can help improve flexibility, and, consequently, the range of motion of your joints. A meta-analysis of 12 studies published in the Cochrane database looked at the impact of stretching on DOMS. A good cooldown will always work all your major muscle group. Acute muscle soreness that causes persistent discomfort characterized by constant pain, swelling, and impaired movement should never be stretched. Does that fall under the injury-reduction heading or the soreness-reduction heading? I know Alex believes in proper studies (as do I), but this is my personal experience. Post-run stretching is all about lessening muscle tightness and tension at the beginning of the next day’s run. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: The evidence from randomised studies suggests that muscle stretching, whether conducted before, after, or before and after exercise, does not produce clinically important reductions in delayed-onset muscle soreness in healthy adults. @alex You can do static stretching to relieve your calves, hamstrings, hips, and quads. In particular, I’m open to the possibility that individually tailored stretching targeted at specific areas of weakness, inflexibility or imbalance could help people avoid or treat certain injuries. Debates about what stretching can or can't do have gone on for years; advocates claim it not only reduces muscle soreness but also improves performance and … Just as trainers rush the field to stretch a football player’s calf when he tumbles to the ground with a calf muscle spasm, post-run stretching helps relieve tightness that results from the stress of workouts. In my case, I’ve dealt with some psoas and hip flexor issues. (I know that is not worded very well, but that is the best way I can think to describe right now… almost like chronic stretching continually weakened me). Research suggests that stretching before or after exercise does not reduce risk of injury, and nor does it ease muscle soreness. If your muscles start becoming sore one to two days after exercising, you may be experiencing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). In many cases, stretching does the opposite of what it’s promoted for. @Sean: I wouldn’t say that’s a “flaw” in the studies. Here’s a forest plot of some of the results, from the BJSM summary: As the Cochrane Review notes, people generally stretch for one of three reasons: There’s plenty of evidence that the second point is misguided: stretching actually seems to harm athletic performance in many contexts. When you combine relaxation with effective stretching such as Yoga or the cutting edge techniques in the Hyperbolic Stretching guide, you've got a surefire recipe for rapid recovery and muscle strength. 1 Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) typically arises within the first day after exercise and peaks in intensity at around 48 h. 2 This review is an update of a Cochrane review first published in 2007. : 63 It is thought to be caused by eccentric (lengthening) exercise, which causes small-scale damage (microtrauma) to the muscle fibers. Lift your left leg resting your foot upon the inside of your right leg, Make the action of reaching forward with your right hand bending the hip and trying to touch your toe (if you can touch it, pull it back slightly), Hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds before alternating, Take a step forward with the right leg to put yourself into a lunge, Hold your torso steady and straight while pushing your hips forward creating a stretch from the front to the back, Position your hands flat upon the floor on either side of you, Slowly and gently extend your arms raising your chest upward off the ground (ensure your shoulders are kept firmly down), Start standard upright with your feet shoulder-width apart, Turn your right ankle outward as you raise your leg and rest it on the left knee, As you do this assume a squatting position using your right elbow as leverage, If you’re battling to hold your balance, get a partner or practice focusing directly before you, Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms hanging loosely at your sides, Interlock your fingers as you position your hands behind you, Pull your hand up away from your body which will squeeze and retract your shoulders, Open your chest and allow yourself a full range to stretch before holding. strengthandflex.com uses affiliate links to support the site. However, I wanted to highlight the fact that this review does not address chronic stretching, especially with the title of your entry being “Stretching doesn’t prevent or reduce muscle soreness” (because, maybe it does in the long term). The analysis incorporated 12 studies, including one very large randomized trial with 2,377 participants. Debates about what stretching can or can't do have gone on for years; advocates claim it not only reduces muscle soreness but also improves performance and reduces injury risk. If you do end up hurt, you'll only have the lightest recovery to tend to. Of course, it makes sense that abnormally limited dorsiflexion would be associated with increased risk of Achilles tendinopathy. 10) Foam rolling/massage. There are few other sources of wisdom that combine as much valuable, practical info in one place. Here's a closer look at how, as well as what you can do to begin working past your aches and pains using stretching. There are references showing that Achilles tendonopathy is related decrease dorsiflexion, for instance (I’m too lazy to look that up right now though haha). Sore muscles are a pain that you surely do not want to live with even for a day. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20940647 These findings were consistent across settings (laboratory vs field studies), types and intensity of stretching, populations (athletic or untrained adults of both genders) and study quality. @Hilary: Yes, absolutely. And as a result, it seems plausible that routine soleus stretching would reduce that risk. All gains are a result of microtears which have healed, but you don't want your muscles to be stretched while they're sensitive and slightly damaged from a good, healthy workout. There’s still a little wiggle room here. Does Stretching Help Sore Muscles? The best available evidence indicates that stretching does not reduce muscle soreness. The British Journal of Sports Medicine just published an analysis of the most recent Cochrane Review on stretching to prevent or reduce muscle soreness. How quickly is water absorbed after you drink it? There are two main types of soreness that you'll encounter. Stretching gives flexibility and less chance for … So yes, if you stretch, for example, your soleus before and after your run, you will not have a positive impact on soleus soreness or performance relating that particular run. Any exercise that pushes you to any degree past what your muscles are used to will end up leaving you slightly sore. My trainer stresses the importance of stretching to me and I’m just wondering if this is a widely held notion. Does Stretching Give You Lean Muscles? [UPDATE: Welcome Reddit Running and Running Times folks! This effect, though statistically significant, is very small. Yoga is a time-tried art and exercise that brings your whole mind and body into alignment. 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