by Paula Allia

Exercise comes in many forms. There are exercises for strength, power and/or endurance. There are also sport specific exercises.

Along with these exercises, the elongation of the involved tissues is important.

Improper flexibility can be harmful and cause unwanted movements that go undetected. Over time, the culmination of these movements can cause a body to break down.

Fitness Together, in downtown Naples, has been serving the local neighborhood for over 15 years. Stretching is included in a workout program no matter what type. Last year, FT implemented full sessions of stretching for the body. The stretches are designed to enhance flexibility while allowing the muscles to function in a more optimal position.

There are different types of stretching and techniques that are performed. Dynamic stretching warms up the muscles and enhances the ability to work through various motions and be ready to act and react. These stretches can be used for warm ups for an activity; sport specific stretching can be utilized.

Passive stretching is done with the muscle in a relaxed state, allowing the elongation to occur. These techniques try to decompress the joints from the compressive forces that occur in order for the body to relax.

The aging body tends to be more compressed and decompressing is key to allow the body to function with better quality. Bodies are not made equally.

Who better to visit to get the answers than a physical therapist that specializes in orthopedics and manual therapy for over 39 years!

Strengthening within the available range of motion is also pertinent to the quality of life. If this is done on all sides of the joints, good postural stability and core strength will allow better function in the extremities.

In many instances, people are imbalanced in the muscles and this causes the body to not function properly. The body compensates for the imbalances.

Stretch Together is a program used to identify areas of issues. Some issues are evident by the trained eye in the way someone sits, walks, stands, or runs.

Areas of concern should be addressed and proper implementation of exercises should be done to maintain good mobility.

The anatomy that cause tightness are muscles, connective tissue, ligaments, the condition of discs, and the types of joints. Some joints have laxity in the ligaments and thus are considered hypermobile while others have a tight congruent joint due to arthritic spurs, tight ligaments, and are thus hypomobile.

Another area of concern with stretching is to understand what exactly is being stretched. Nerves, arteries, and veins, run within or along muscles so these structures must be taken into consideration.

Stretching and strengthening properly can prevent or prolong an injury. For example, most people have heard of bursitis or rotator cuff problems in the shoulder. This can be caused not only by injury but from a combination of tight muscles and imbalanced strength.

Sciatica is another diagnosis out there that is commonly used. The real question is what is causing this sciatica? Investigating the body and stretching the right structures for this diagnosis help to guide the professional in order to make a difference and lessen the symptoms.

Overall, stretching is necessary component to keeping the body functioning at its best. Come in today or call (239) 263-9348 to discuss your concerns in order for us to assist you. You will be extremely glad you did.

TO YOUR HEALTH! For further information please call Paula Allia, PT, DHSc, at the downtown Fitness Together – (239) 263-9348.

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