unlocking the Potential of Assisted Stretching in Traditional Medical Care 

Updated on December 28, 2023

Assisted stretching is a wellness concept that has been gaining popularity in recent years. It involves the use of a trainer to aid individuals in enhancing muscle flexibility and expanding their range of motion through stretching their muscles. Projections indicate substantial growth in the global stretching machines market, with an expected value of nearly $1 billion by 2027. The market is set to grow at an annual rate of 4.7% from 2020 to 2027, underscoring an increasing awareness of and appreciation for the advantages associated with consistent stretching and flexibility training. This heightened demand reflects a broader acknowledgment of the integral role these practices play in overall well-being.

Why Do We Need to Stretch?

Maintaining muscle flexibility, strength, and overall health through regular stretching is crucial for preserving musculoskeletal mobility. When muscles lack flexibility, they tend to shorten and tighten, resulting in weakness and an inability to fully extend during physical activity. This increases the risk of joint pain, strains, and muscle damage.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that on average, Americans spend over half (55%) of their day sitting down. Prolonged periods of sitting, such as in a chair all day or on a couch, can lead to tight leg muscles, restricting leg extension and hindering proper knee movement, which can lead to impaired walking. When tight muscles are suddenly subjected to high-impact activities like running or weight lifting, abrupt stretching can cause damage and injured muscles may not provide adequate joint support, heightening the risk of joint injuries. That’s why consistent stretching, coincided with regular exercise, is key to promoting healthy and flexible muscles, preventing excessive force on the muscles during exertion.

The Cooperative Relationship Between Wellness Concepts and Medical Practices

The relationship between wellness concepts, such as assisted stretching, and medical practices being symbiotic is becoming increasingly apparent. More and more people are recognizing the importance of preventative healthcare practices and are willing to invest in services that contribute to their overall well-being. As this trend continues, it is likely that the healthcare landscape will witness an increase in the number of medical professionals who are leveraging their expertise to introduce innovative wellness solutions within their communities. The evolving paradigm underscores a collective recognition of the fundamental connection between holistic well-being and medical care, paving the way for a more comprehensive approach to health in the future.

Assisted Stretching as a Proactive Approach to Maintaining Physical Health

Engaging in regular stretching routines plays a pivotal role in enhancing musculoskeletal health and there is strong evidence suggesting it’s connected with preventing injuries and falls. This proactive health strategy not only helps individuals maintain overall physical well-being but also serves as a preventive measure against chronic conditions associated with poor flexibility and mobility. The challenge, however, lies in ensuring correct stretching techniques without proper guidance. This gap has led orthopedic experts to endorse innovative wellness concepts, such as assisted stretching, as complementary to traditional medical care.

The Future of Wellness-Integrated Healthcare

StretchLab, a key player in the assisted stretching space offering one-on-one and group assisted stretching sessions, is one such wellness studio. With a mission to promote flexibility, mobility, and overall well-being, StretchLab attests that regular stretching can help individuals improve their posture, reduce muscle tension, and enhance their overall physical performance. The studio offers a variety of stretching routines that are tailored to the individual needs and fitness levels of their clients.

The evolving landscape of healthcare recognizes the importance of holistic approaches to health and well-being and concepts like StretchLab may become standard offerings in comprehensive healthcare plans in the future. By incorporating assisted stretching into their wellness routines, individuals can maintain optimal health and maintain and even improve mobility in the long run.

Jamie Snead
Dr. Jamie Snead

Dr. Jamie Snead, Chief of Orthopedics at Sturdy Memorial Hospital, blends extensive medical expertise with a passion for fitness. A former Indiana high school All-State basketball standout, he pursued studies in chemistry and biology at Indiana University. Following medical school, Dr. Snead completed a five-year Orthopedic surgery residency at Ochsner clinic in New Orleans, and a one-year fellowship at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland working with professional athletes from the Baltimore Ravens. Dr. Snead currently specializes in general orthopedics and sports medicine. In 2018, inspired by personal success at StretchLab, he and his wife opened the first Massachusetts location.