To Stretch or Not to Stretch: That is the Question

Study indicates stretching before a run does not increase or lower injury risk

(RxWiki News) A new study from Montgomery Orthopedics of 2,729 runners who run 10 miles or more per week finds stretching before a run neither prevents nor causes injury.

A common perception holds that stretching is a means to prevent injury before running, but researchers found risk of injury was the same for men and women regardless of whether the runners stretched before running.

Factors that contributed to injury included weight and age of the runner and distance ran. Specifically, the most significant risk factors for running injuries included: history of chronic injury in the past four months; higher body mass index (BMI); and switching pre-running routines from stretching to not-stretching or vice-versa.

Runners were divided into a randomized stretching group (1.366) and a non-stretching group (1,363) for the study.

The most common running injuries include: groin pulls, those involving the feet and ankle, and knee injuries.

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Review Date: 
February 18, 2011