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Reported October 23, 2006

Stretch Right!

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Broadcast News) -- Paul Calloway will do anything to make his bad back feel better. He stretches whenever and wherever he can find the time. But for some, a simple stretch isn't enough.

Joe and Joyce Casalese have made stretching out part of their lives. "I didn't have strength to do very much, and I was afraid," Joe tells ivanhoe

Years of running, lifting weights, playing sports, working out and just plain hard work can take their toll.

Certified athletic trainer Suzanne Gross uses assisted stretching to help the Casaleses get past their pain. She says it's our bodies' reaction not to push past the pain, but with a therapist's help, you can get more pain relief than you'd get on your own.

There are two different forms of assisted stretching. Passive is where the therapist does all the work. It's good for people with very limited movement, like those who've just had surgery.

"Kinda turning on muscles that may have been shut off for a while," Gross says. With active stretching, -- a person stretches a group of muscles and the therapist gives you that extra "push."

Assisted stretching is for people who just can't loosen up muscles with normal stretches. You can find a personal trainer who uses assisted stretching at local gyms, through a physical therapist or a massage therapist. You can also do this away from the gym using doorways, belts and ropes to assist your stretching.

Assisted stretching works for everyone from athletes to people like Joe and Joyce. They don't want to run a marathon. They just want to enjoy what they've worked so hard for.

"I do have to watch him," Joyce says. "Every once in a while, he'll cut down something I planted."

This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: /newsalert/.

If you would like more information, please contact:

Suzanne Gross
Personal Trainer
RDV Sportsplex Athletic Club
Orlando, FL 32810
(407) 694-4221

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