When the body pops, creaks, and aches, it’s trying to tell us something. Kim Nartker, Founder and CEO of Stretch Physical Therapy and Total Wellness, interprets the body’s language of pain and gets to the root of what is causing it. Kim’s innovative stretch methods lead to healthy, pain-free living, and prevent injury, injections and even surgery.
“I want to dispel the myths about stretching and help people in pain fix their problems,” she says.
Tight muscles mean trouble—they can cause injury, discomfort and weakness. When it comes to stretching, many of us rely on outdated science. Kim is on a myth-busting mission for mobility.
“It is a myth that getting older causes pain,” she says. “Stretching will help you move more freely, so that you can function at your best as you age.”
“We’ve had complete success putting people on the road to recovery without surgery,” she says.
Kim stages a stretching intervention to guide us through three critical questions about stretching:
Q: Why do I feel tight?
KN: You are not the cause of your tightness. We have hundreds of joints in our body. When a joint gets restricted, it communicates with the muscle to tighten and you get progressively tighter. When that cycle continues, the body compensates and builds up scar tissue.
When we stretch you, we reprogram everything. Our techniques find and unlock the joints that are sending the wrong messages and refire the deep muscles so they perform the way they should.
The sooner you handle a tight muscle, the more injury and pain you can prevent. We’ve helped people avoid knee, hip and back surgeries.
Q: When should I stretch with exercise?
KN: It’s best to stretch before and after exercise. A warm-up stretch, before exercise, should be dynamic—that means you should be moving while you are performing it. Search Google for dynamic stretches. There are plenty of routines out there. You want to get the joints moving to prepare the muscles to start doing what they are supposed to do so you prevent injury.
After a workout, you should do static stretches, where you hold a stretch for 30, 60 or 90 seconds without movement.
When we do a stretch session with you, we stretch you. We are able to stretch the joints, muscles, tendons, and the myofascial component that’s holding you tight so that it relaxes the muscles. Then, we give you some exercises to strengthen those muscles and keep you flexible longer.
Q: When should I stretch daily?
KN: We recommend daily mobility stretches, moving your joints through a range of motion as you stretch. If you wake up with tightness, you need to be doing mobility stretches before you go to bed and again when you wake up. You shouldn’t spend more than five minutes on it. If you are having to spend more time than that, then there’s a bigger, underlying problem that needs to be addressed.
Learn more online about Kim Nartker and the programs for healing at Stretch Physical Therapy and Total Wellness. 4851 Wunnenberg Way, West Chester. TheStretchMobilityCoach.com