To Stretch or Not to Stretch for DOMS!!!

Reference: Herbert RD, de Noronha M. Stretching to prevent or reduce muscle soreness after exercise. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007 Oct 17;(4):CD004577.

Many people (excluding myself) stretch before and after engaging in athletic activity…why?

Because we have been brainwashed that the ritual helps reduce risk of injury, reduce soreness after exercise, and enhance athletic performance. Is that really true?

The Question: Does stretching help prevent or treat delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS)?

The Cochrane Review Answer: The evidence indicates that muscle stretching does not reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness in young healthy adults.

Personal Comment: Remember, all the studies reviewed were on a healthy population. I will not deny that sometimes a specific stretching routine just before an activity may be necessary and valuable for a patient dealing with a specific musculoskeletal problem, all we are saying is that not everyone needs it!

So let’s not generalize here. In the words of Groucho Marx, “All generalizations are false, including this one!”

Posted on: July 05, 2011

Categories: Fascinating Pain Studies

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