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Does performing muscle stretching before I exercise reduce my chance of having a joint injury?


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MedHead Message:

Evidence-based medicine is a very tricky proposition. Stretching before exercise has been recommended widely for decades, until it was put to the test in several studies. Multiple studies using multiple lines of evidence have concluded that stretching before exercise does not reduce bone and joint injuries, but likely does decrease post exercise muscle pain and injuries. 

It may very well be that the type of exercise performed (high impact like basketball and soccer vs low impact like running or swimming) may be muddying the waters a bit.


It’s like weaving a threat through a very small needle. And I, your fearless guide, am here to help you do it.


1. Jamtvedt G, Herbert RD, Flottorp S, et alA pragmatic randomised trial of stretching before and after physical activity to prevent injury and sorenessBritish Journal of Sports Medicine 2010;44:1002-1009.
2. Andersen JC. Stretching before and after exercise: effect on muscle soreness and injury risk. J Athl Train. 2005;40(3):218-220.
3. Herbert R D, Gabriel M. Effects of stretching before and after exercising on muscle soreness and risk of injury: systematic review BMJ 2002; 325 :468 doi:10.1136/bmj.325.7362.468.


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