Maintaining Your Flexibility

Flexibility is the capacity to move a body part around a joint . It also enhance your ability to move independently and thus maintain or increase your quality of life.

Other benefits of being flexible include:

  • Increased or maintained range of motion
  • Decreased muscle soreness
  • Improved posture
  • Fewer musculoskeletal injuries
  • Increased relaxation
  • Decreased neuromuscular tension.

Flexibility exercises can usually be performed daily, and you may want to do them at the beginning and end of your exercise program, but make sure your muscles are warmed up beforehand.

A variety of stretches can be performed, depending on your specific condition and goals. For example, if you’ve had a stroke, you can perform stretches that help maintain full range of motion around joints that have weakened muscles. Stretching can also be used to prevent permanently shortened muscles (contractures), which may be problematic for you if you have a spinal cord injury. And stretching exercises that decrease rigidity and stiffness can be helpful if you have Parkinson’s disease or have muscle spasticity due to spinal cord injury or multiple sclerosis.

Your doctor can recommend specific exercises you can try and will help to ensure that your condition won’t be aggravated by them.