Do you find sometimes that you treat an area that is causing you pain and you make sure you do stretches on that side to soften and lengthen the muscles yet still the tension and pain keeps on coming back?
When we get a problem, for example pain in the shoulder, we may choose to do something about it ourselves or by visiting a therapist who can assess the problem and work on that area.
As we come away from the session some stretches may be suggested to help soften and lengthen the muscles and stop them from returning to their tense position that caused us problems in the first place.
But do we do these stretches on both sides of our body?
Quite often the answer is ‘no’.
Tension on one side may be causing pain on the other
Although we feel tension and pain on one particular side, the other side may also be tense but because we are focused on the pain we don’t notice that.
For example, sometimes we may sit and watch television twisting our body, and in particular our neck, to see the screen because we have our feet up on the sofa. In doing this, one side of our neck may become tighter. If we continue to sit crooked, the tightness on one side can stretch and stress the muscles on the other side causing tension and pain. It is the side with pain that we tend to focus on yet the tension on the other side has caused some of the problem.
Stretch on Both Sides
Stretching on just the side of the problem may soften and lengthen the muscles in that area, alleviating the pain but if you don’t stretch the other side which may also have tension the problem may start all over again because one side is still tight.
Remember to stretch on both sides.
Don’t just focus on the pain
Our attention will always naturally be drawn to the area of pain but try stretches on the other side and see if you can sense tension there are well.
So whether it’s neck, shoulders, arms or legs – stretch on both sides
Do you find that if you only work on stretching one side that the problem is more likely to re-occur?
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