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Don't stretch if you don't like it

Stretching does not reduce the overall risk of injury and only makes a small difference in reducing the risk of specific types of injuries to ligaments, muscles and tendons!

health and fitness Updated: Jun 17, 2009 17:02 IST

Stretching does not reduce the overall risk of injury and only makes a small difference in reducing the risk of specific types of injuries to ligaments, muscles and tendons, according to the latest research.

The 'Stretching Study' was conducted to determine whether stretching reduces the risk of injury and prevents soreness for those who participate recreationally in physical activity.

According to the study, people who stretch have about eight percent less chance of experiencing soreness in any one week than people who do not stretch. In other words, stretching will prevent soreness in any one week in one in every 13 people who stretch.

The researchers summarised their results by saying "If you like stretching, the findings of this study support the decision to stretch. However, you should not expect large effects of stretching: stretching makes only a small difference to your risk of getting injured or becoming sore."

"If you do not like stretching, you will need to weigh the small potential benefit of stretching against the effort and time it takes to stretch," the study said.

This study was published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.