I found out I had scoliosis when I was sixteen, but my spinal curvature had mostly fused into shape at that point. There weren’t many treatment options, apart from pain management or surgery (which was recommended against.) Since it was my understanding that this would be something I would just have to suffer with for the rest of my life, I figured there was nothing else I could do which meant every time I had a twinge in my spine, I would pop in to see my chiropractor and help me stretch out.
Almost every time I went for treatment, my chiropractor would give me stretches to do. Yet, every time I walked out of the clinic; I would forget their stretches immediately. After all, why should I stretch on my own, when I could just come in to have them manipulate my muscles and joints for me?
(As a small side note, while I refer to chiropractors in this post, it is applicable to physiotherapists, massage therapists, acupuncturists, and any other health care practitioners. I am not endorsing one type of therapy over another and you must do what is best for you.)
Often, we only change when there is no other option.
I maintained this mindset for years until COVID-19 hit. Suddenly, going to see a chiropractor during a pandemic was both terrifying and difficult to schedule. My back was in pain from curling up in odd positions on the couch with no one to fix it so after much hesitation, I decided to give stretching a try.
Using WeStretch’s back injury routine, I started off feeling like it wasn’t doing anything since the stretches were so simple and basic. Still, I continued through to the end of the routine.
Afterward, my back was warm, moving easily, and feeling significantly better. I was shocked because my back pain could have been relieved earlier if I had tried stretching for a few minutes, as my chiropractor recommended.
Why does a chiropractor want you to stretch on your own?
A chiropractor- or any health practitioner for that matter- wants what is best for you. Their goal is to get you back to normal and, ideally, better than normal. You will improve blood circulation and heal the muscles that were worked on by stretching in between appointments.
This means your chiropractor can build off their previous work, rather than just redoing what they did before. By following their instructions and recommendations, you’re showing them respect and acknowledging that you trust their knowledge. Yes, they may need you to come back for multiple sessions of chiropractic care, but the process becomes more efficient with regular stretching.
By regularly stretching, you can help your chiropractor by allowing them to focus on the severe issues, rather than the mundane ones that you can solve yourself. That’s where WeStretch comes in. Working with a local physiotherapist and thoroughly researching the ways the human body can safely move, WeStretch was created to be a stretching app that is useable by everyone- regardless of age, physical ability, or body type. We help with chronic pain that you can work to relieve by yourself.
It’s important to take your health into your own hands.
Thanks to WeStretch, I have been doing physically great. When restrictions eased and I was able to visit my chiropractor again, I realized that it had been over five months between appointments. They realigned my spine but were impressed by how well I had been able to maintain my mobility and range of motion.
Typically, I had only been stretching for ten to twenty minutes a day, focusing on different parts of my body. That had been enough to keep my body moving freely. When I went in for my chiropractic adjustment to help improve my posture, I only needed minor adjustments to get back to normal.
When you realize that your health is primarily in your hands, you have to approach it differently. Solve as many problems as you can on your own first, instead of relying on others.
Of course, always seek out help when you need it. These healthcare practitioners will always be there for you when. When you start taking a proactive approach to your health, you will consistently feel better than if you simply react when the pain appears.
Now is a great time to start feeling your best. Stretching doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective, but it will only work once you start doing it.
Read about how one of WeStretch’s users with cerebral palsy used stretching to regain the mobility he had in his youth.
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This article is not intended to act as or replace medical advice. Please talk to your healthcare practitioner if you have any concerns.
Written by Kayla Willsey
Updated June 24, 2021