There over stretching can occur when the movement or action focusing more on the insertion point or joint rather then the belly of the muscle (i.e. straight leg versus bent leg hamstring stretches). When we are taking about the lumbar, decompression or lengthening through the use of pelvic anchoring and muscular breath work is much more effective then stretching. Also, lengthening of the lumbar spine in conjunction with the rest of the posterior chain will lengthen AND stabilize.
During acute strain or injury stretching can further irritate and prolong healing cycle.
Myofacial release is a very important part of maintaining proper muscular length and effectiveness.
I HIGHLY recommend you look at www.foundationtraining.com. Their program focuses on effective length of musculature and joints combined with proper effective tension of muscle and joints. Not just flexibility. There is also a lot of emphasis on lumbar stability and decompression. It has changed the life of clients and myself.
Hope this helps,
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT IDEA NANCY. THERE HAS ALWAYS BEEN CONTROVERSY ABOUT STRETCHING. TO SOLVE MY OWN QUESTION MANY YEARS AGO, I WATCHED THE ANIMALS. tHE DOG ALWAY STRETCHES WHEN HE IS LAYING DOWN FOR A TIME AND, STANDS UP. SO DO MANY OTHER ANIMALS. BUT, THEY DO NOT KEEP STRETCHING A CERTAIN AREA. AND, WHEN THEY RUN, THEY DO NOT STRETCH AFTERWARDS. THEY PLOP DOWN. JUST MY OWN LITTLE STUDY. GOOD LUCK BRIAN ROZZI.
Thanks Adradne. I am concerned with clients who want to stretch out too often I.e. When the lumbar spine has been irritated and stretching is overused ( I suspect) to try and resolve the discomfort. My concern is that over stretching may further destabilize the lumbar and not add to the healing. Ie with use of ice or heat. As our clients do look to us for advice I want to suggest best practice that is both useful and safe.
I think the question is a bit broad. Do you mean stretching too far, or stretching too often, or holding the stretches too long?
Broadly speaking I agreed with Karin here.
Aristotle talked about the golden mean“. for example self starvation is bad, as is gluttony. The same is true with the stability/mobility equation. Even in yoga, which a lot of people equate with ‘stretching’ the discipline is as concerned with strength and stability as it is with flexibility. There will always be those who are attracted to the extremes (what I call the Xtreme Goldfish phenomenon), but health and wellness generally rides between those extremes.
I personally don’t recommend stretching to my clients, but I leave up to them if they want to do some. I agree with Karin and as Susan said there is a of controversy around stretching with many schools of thought out there. I also believe that stretching is up to the individual and not “one size fits all” approach.