By: Dr. Carolyn McNeill
Maybe one of the universal truths we all know. We need to stretch more. We’ve all heard it, over and over again, that we need to stretch. Sore after that workout? Stretch. Too many hours at your desk? Stretch. Pulled something in your back putting your sock on? Stretch. Stretch, stretch, stretch. But what does stretching do? And is it the be all and end all to a happy, healthy life?
Stretching is important. No doubt. It is a way to gain flexibility; to passively achieve a range of motion. But I would argue, more important than flexibility, is mobility. Mobility combines flexibility with strength. The ability to actively achieve a range of motion. People can be too flexible. But they can never be too mobile.
An example of mobility vs flexibility is standing on one foot and, without your hands, bringing your knee up towards your chest. That’s mobility. It’s how much you can control the motion. If you then grab that knee and pull it further, that’s flexibility, the range you can reach, but without the ability to control it by just using your muscles and control.
Passive flexibility isn’t overly useful and doesn’t usually lead to decreases in injury or increases in performance. But working on your mobility can do both. It can help you get a little more rotation in your golf swing, get more out of that tennis serve, or decrease the likelihood of sustaining an injury at your next workout class.
Movement, flexibility and especially mobility, will keep our bodies healthier no matter what your goals are.
For more information on improving your mobility, call (613) 454-1239 or go online to book an appointment (www.ocsiclinic.ca) with one of our trained therapists!