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Impact of stretching on the performance and injury risk of long-distance runners

PainSci » bibliography » Baxter et al 2017
Tags: stretch, running, exercise, self-treatment, treatment, muscle

One article on PainSci cites Baxter 2017: Quite a Stretch

PainSci commentary on Baxter 2017: ?This page is one of thousands in the bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided wherever possible.

This paper focusses on stretching’s relationship to endurance sports. It’s somewhat muddled and poorly written, but the substance confirms my bias that stretching is pointless or even slightly harmful for runners. The authors' acknowledge the absence of adequate direct evidence, but thoroughly review what there is, plus a bunch more tangentially relevant evidence. My bias is based on much of the same evidence, so their rambling analysis didn’t add much for me, unfortunately, but I certainly agree with their conclusion that “neither acute nor chronic static stretching has clinically beneficial effects for endurance runners on performance, incidence of DOMS, or to prevent injury.”

~ Paul Ingraham

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

Stretching, either prior to exercise or at the end, or both, is typically carried out by all individuals undertaking sporting activity whether they be elite or recreational athletes. The many forms of stretching available to the athlete, either passive or active, have long been thought to improve performance, decrease injury and generally be advantageous to the athlete. This review examines the current state of the literature and evaluates what athletes can and should do with respect to this controversial topic.

This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights: