People with a spinal cord injury should incorporate stretching into their regular routine to prevent and treat muscle and joint stiffness. A comprehensive flexibility program should target all major muscle groups, such as the shoulders, hips, knees and ankles. Stretching can be done independently or with the help of a coach, therapist, assistant, family member, or friend. It is recommended to stretch most days of the week, and even multiple times a day if necessary.
When stretching, start by gently targeting each muscle group for at least 30 seconds. Then repeat the stretch a second time, trying to go a little further. In addition to stretching, aerobic exercise and strength training should be done before and after workouts. For those undergoing cancer rehabilitation, it is important to understand the difference between exercise and cancer rehabilitation. Cancer rehabilitation is a comprehensive treatment program that helps a person recover or maintain their ability to function during and after cancer treatment.
In some cases, cancer rehabilitation may be necessary to build strength and balance before an individual can safely exercise on their own. The exercises included in a general rehabilitation plan for cancer are therapies used to address specific health and movement problems. Banister et al proposed that an athlete's performance in response to training can be estimated from the difference between a negative function (“fatigue”) and a positive function (“fitness”).