Why You Should Stretch- Even If You See A Chiropractor
For years, this was a monthly, if not weekly, routine for me. I found out I had scoliosis when I was sixteen, but my spine had mostly fused into shape at that point. There wasn’t much we could do about it, 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 to help it. So, every time I had a twinge in my spine, I would pop in to see my chiropractor.
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 move my muscles properly for me, right?
(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 practitioner. Chiropractic care has simply been my go-to for years. 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 in a pandemic was both scary and difficult to schedule in. Now my back was in pain from curling up in odd positions on the couch with no one to fix it. 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, and afterwards, my back was warm, moving easily and feeling significantly better. I was shocked! All this time complaining and in pain, and all it took was a quick stretch?
Why do they want you to do work on your own?
Thinking about it, though, a chiropractor- or any health practitioner for that matter- wants what is best for you. Yes, helping you feel better is their source of income, but think of them like a piano teacher. The piano instructor wants you to practice in between lessons, not only in your lessons. That’s how you improve your skills, and they can teach you new concepts so that you can become an accomplished musician- plus, they want to know that what they are teaching you is actually helpful. They don’t want to have to keep slogging through the same material because you didn’t bother learning it between the last three lessons.
It is the same with your chiropractor. Their goal is to get you back to normal and, ideally, better than normal. With stretching in between appointments, you help your blood circulate and heal the muscles that were worked on. This means your chiropractor can build off their previous work, rather than just redoing what they did before. That, as well as by following their instructions and recommendations, you’re showing them respect, by acknowledging that you trust their knowledge. Yes, they may need you to come back for multiple sessions, 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, we have created an app that is useable by everyone- regardless of age, physical ability, or body type. We help with the daily issues that you can tackle yourself.
It's important to take your health into your own hands.
I still haven’t been able to see a chiropractor in months, but thanks to regular stretching, I have been doing just fine. When you realize that your health is primarily in your hands, you have to approach it differently. Instead of relying solely on others to fix you, you solve as many problems as you can on your own first. It’s much like getting up to make your own food when you’re hungry versus waiting for someone else to prepare a snack for you.
Of course, always seek out help when you need it. These health care practitioners will always be there for you when you, but in taking a proactive approach to your health, you will consistently be feeling better than if you simply react when the pain pops up. Now is a great time to start feeling your best. Stretching doesn’t have to be long or complicated to be effective, but it will only work once you start doing it. Download WeStretch today for an easy way to begin.