In stretching, as with any physical activity, it is possible to
injure yourself. Muscles, tendons and ligaments can be strained
or torn. For your knowledge, tendons attach muscles to bone, ligaments
attach bone to bone. Tendons and muscles have good nerve supply
and good circulation. They heal quickly (however, this is relative
to the condition of the individual, age of the individual, and the
health of the individual. The worse the physical condition, the
older the individual, the poorer the health, the slower the healing
process). Muscles heal more rapidly than tendons, since they have
more blood supply.
Ligaments, on the other hand,
have poor blood and nerve supply. They heal slowly, and sometimes,
never heal properly.
You should not feel any sudden
tears, rips, or rapid burning sensations when stretching. Injuries
can be avoided by moving slowly and listening to your body. You
may feel discomfort, pulling, and mild burning in the muscles when
you hold a stretch for a few minutes (which I recommend as you become
more comfortable with stretching). Breath deeply when you feel these
sensations, as you bring fresh oxygen to the muscle tissues which
helps with their recovery. As the muscles stretch and relax, the
position becomes more comfortable.
Don't be discouraged if a certain stretch seems impossible at first.
There were many I could not do at all when I started, and some
took years for me to accomplish. Persistence and determination
will help you achieve your goals.
is possible to injure onself in any physical activity. Consult
your physician if in doubt about your physical condition
before embarking on a stretching program. The author of
howtostretch.com accepts no liability for any injuries sustained
while practicing any of the stretches described within.