The subject of stretching – when and how to stretch – often comes up in discussion with my patients. A recent article published in the Senior Living section of About.com gives a useful perspective on stretching for senior folks.I particularly concur with the author’s comments (below) about the vicious cycle of poor postural habits and consequent disuse. As she says, when poor posture is simply the result of limited stretching and poor body alignment, we can do something about the situation rather than simply putting up with pain and discomfort and thinking “it’s just due to getting old”.
Over the years, we develop habitual ways of using our muscles to move and position ourselves. Poor posture and a lack of flexibility may be the result of a legitimate medical problem or may be the result of limited stretching and improper body alignment. When muscles get tight and stay tight, they cease to be elastic and they restrict movement. That sense of restriction, or stiffness, often leads to disuse. Disuse causes weakness and tightness, which in turn causes a vicious cycle of more disuse, weakness, and tightness.
Read the article here: http://seniorliving.about.com/od/exercisefitnes1/a/stretching.htm