Orthopade. 1997 Nov; 26(11): 981-6.
Rheuma- und Rehabilitations-Klinik Leukerbad, Kantonsspital Schaffhausen.
Static stretching exercises have become very popular over the past fifteen years both in professional and amateur sports. In the fields of physical therapy and in manual therapy, in particular, static stretching has become part of a standard and successful treatment modality. Together with an appropriate strengthening program, static stretching techniques have become the therapy of choice for treatment of muscle imbalances associated with functional disturbances of the musculoskeletal system. Specific muscle length testing procedures have been developed to determine muscle shortening in clinical practice. In this article, the fundamental principles of the different types of muscle stretching techniques are described, including the dynamic stretching and static stretching techniques. The exercises are organized along the concepts of passive static or neuromuscular stretching principles. The pertaining neurophysiologic fundamentals are discussed, as are the benefits of the individual methods of a functional exercise program. Examples are provided for the most important muscle groups.