Submitted by Dr. Cory Hewko
As a health professional I see many patients with aches and pains in various parts of their body and they usually all have one thing in common; very tight muscles. This presents as low back pain, upper back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, and even headaches to mention a few. With all these patients I prescribe stretches to alleviate the tension that is created by these muscles thereby reducing the strain on their joints and reducing the pain.
With doing the stretches after using a far infrared sauna, patients experience a far greater ability to stretch their muscles. This is simply because tissues heated to 45C and then stretched exhibit a non-elastic residual elongation of about 0.5-0.9% that persists after the stretch is removed, which does not occur in these same tissues at normal temperatures. Thus 20 stretching sessions can produce a 10-18% increase in length of tissues when heated and stretched.
Stretching is definitely one of those things that people tend to either forget to do or find they do not have the time for. However, I have seen first hand how important stretching is and how much faster patients recover from their injuries. Furthermore, as we age the elasticity of our tissues declines so the more we stretch on a continual basis the better off we will be.