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The Home Stretch

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Regular Chiropractic Care and Effective Stretching
Starting a stretching program is appropriate for most people. As we want to get the most out of our stretching routine, it's important to ensure that our musculoskeletal system is working at peak capacity.

Regular chiropractic care performs these essential services by detecting, analyzing, and correcting spinal misalignments. Left uncorrected, such misalignments cause muscles, ligaments, and joints to become tight and irritated and also cause irritation to spinal nerves. By correcting spinal misalignments, your spinal nerves are free to conduct information properly between your brain and the rest of your body. Your musculoskeletal system is enabled to do its job properly. The result is that regular chiropractic care helps to optimize the functioning of our muscles, bones, and joints, thereby making our stretching and exercise time useful, healthful, and profitable.

Thanks to effective public health campaigns regarding healthy lifestyle choices, many people have incorporated regular, vigorous exercise, a nutritious diet, and getting sufficient rest in their daily routines. For many people, an additional important component of a healthy lifestyle is regular stretching.

Regular stretching provides numerous benefits, including enhanced flexibility and adaptability of your musculoskeletal system, that is, your bones, muscles, and joints.1 As a result, regular stretching helps improve overall mobility and range of motion. Regular stretching helps reduce injury by improving circulation, bringing increased supplies of oxygen and critical nutrients to the large muscles of your thighs and legs and the small muscles of your back. As a bonus, regular stretching helps to reduce stress. It's clear that stretching activities provide a very big return for a modest investment of time and effort.2,3

In order to derive the greatest benefits from your stretching program, knowledge of stretching "best practices" is essential. First, it's critical to conceive of stretching as a journey rather than a destination. In stretching, we have to give up all our notions of how much we think we should be able to achieve. On any given day, our muscles will be tighter or less tight. On any given day, it will be "harder" or easier to obtain the stretchability of the day before. The best practice is to pay attention to your body, focus on what you're doing, and work with what you have on a particular day. This "centering" approach is in direct contrast to trying to force your muscles to conform to the stretching length you think they should achieve. Using force while stretching will always result in injury. Instead, the activity of stretching calls for a calm, steady, and methodical approach.

What is it that you're doing when you stretch? Primarily, you're using a process of visualization. You're visualizing the particular muscle getting "longer". When you do a stretch for your hamstring muscle group (there are three muscles that comprise this group), you have an image in your mind of the muscles of the back of your thigh and you're "seeing" these muscles lengthening. You're not actually "doing" anything other than performing the activity of the stretch itself. In other words, you're not actively making the hamstrings longer. But you are "seeing" them lengthen in your mind, and the result is an effective stretch, that is, increased length and flexibility of the hamstring group.

Pictures of the quadriceps muscle group (the muscles on the front of your thigh), the hamstring muscle group, the calf muscles (the surface gastrocnemius and the deeper soleus), and your spinal muscle groups will provide great assistance with your visualization process. Such images are widely available on the Internet. Your "Zen-like" process of visualization will make your 10 or 15 minutes of stretching time more effective and may also be applied to various other tasks throughout your day, providing additional ongoing benefits to your health and well being.

1Peck E, et al: The effects of stretching on performance. Cur Sports Med Rep 13(3):179-185, 2014
2Morrin N, Redding E: Acute effects of warm-up stretch protocols on balance, vertical jump height, and range of motion in dancers. J Dance Med Sci 17(1):34-40, 2013
3Avloniti A, et al: The Acute Effects of Static Stretching on Speed and Agility Performance Depend on Stretch Duration and Conditioning Level. J Strength Cond Res 2014 Jun 17 [Epub ahead of print]

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Testimonial

I slipped on ice in December, landing hard on my behind. I was in excruciating pain and could barely move. It was a Saturday night but I called the office and left a message (new patient, too, found them on Google.) I received a call back first thing Monday morning, they got me right in that day, and I just completed my 3- month treatment plan. I feel so much better and am happy to have found Dr. Ide and his staff.

  ~Amy Hawker

Dr. Ide and his staff are awesome. I had all but given up and I saw his ad. I am s happy to be out of partial pain and I have only gone twice, I cannot wait for the end results. Just to be pain free. Dr. Ide, I thank you so much.

   ~ Patsy Dimond-Spencer

Dr. Ide and his staff have given me my life back. The day I called to make my first appointment I had been suffering from a migraine and severe neck pain for 6 days. This was also after receiving multiple pain injections from my primary physician with no relief. His staff not only verified my insurance was accepted at this location before even offering me an appointment time (which multiple offices will not do this) over the phone but I was able to make an appointment for the same day. Dr. Ide took the time to obtain pertinent patient history and not only explain but he also showed me on my x-rays why I was experiencing pain. He addressed the root of the problem instead of pushing prescriptions to subside your symptoms. HE discussed my POA in detail and reiterated why finishing therapy and continuing home therapy was important. I was hesitant and nervous about my first adjustment but again, he took the time to walk me through each step. Paired with my weekly adjustments I also receive massage therapy. Monica, the massage therapist is incredible. She takes the time to ask specific questions before the massage to ensure she provides the best care possible. Kasey, Dr. Ide's assistant is extremely personable and continues to make sure you feel comfortable throughout your visit. The front staff also provides a warm and welcoming environment. Within my first month of treatment, I'm able to go das without a headache now and I have reduced the frequency of my pain medication. I highly recommend Dr. Ide and his staff!

    ~Leah Craig

Very friendly staff and knowledgeable doctor! After doing a 3 month program, I no longer have daily headaches, back pain or neck pain. Most doctor's adjust your back and send you on your way - Dr. Ide makes sure to turn it into a lifestyle change by improving your posture and fixing any issues you may have. I would definitely recommend him over any chiropractor.

    ~Lauren Dunigan

I always have good service and leave feeling good! The people are nice and all know my name. I really like how they do business for senior citizens... that's a big plus!
~Nancy Matson

Very extensive in the examination. Not like other chiropractors I'd seen who just do a quick adjustment. They diagnosed the problem and are working to correct it with me. They have even went so far as to work out payment arguments for the things my insurance wouldn't cover.

    ~Brandon Ogle

I had neck and shoulder pain since 2010. Ever since I started going to him I have felt better and better!

    ~Andrel Jacobs 

I had ankle problems all my life in my left foot. Dr. Ide adjusted my ankle for me and within one adjustment my ankle felt the best ever. Thanks Dr. Ide!

              A.H.
              Fenton, MI

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