Expert Reviews

Expert: Dr. Raymond Bartolo
Expertise: Medical Supply Store Owner, Doctor of Chiropractic

Medical Supply store owner discusses the benefits of a new stretching device based on geometry. - "I've never seen anything like this"



Dr. Ray Cecora - Park PT
Expert: Dr. Raymond Cecora, DPT, CPT
Expertise: Owner Park Physical Therapy, Doctor of PT, Certified Personal Trainer

Doctor of Physical Therapy discusses the benefits of Shape Stretch

Question: How has the Shape Stretch Bar been helpful in your physical therapy practice?
 Answer: It helps the physical therapist be more efficient. It cuts down the amount of time we have to spend on someone to get an effective stretch. An effective stretch takes minutes to do. You know, studies say thirty seconds, but to really get the soft tissue to change you have to spend time on it. So instead of the therapist standing there passively, pushing on someone’s leg for 15 minutes, the patient can use it in the clinic and effectively stretch their leg while using less force, and the therapist can work on another patient in the meantime.

Question: What are the benefits of assisted stretching in your opinion?
Answer: By using the Shape Stretch Bar for assisted stretching, you increase the lever arm so you don’t have to create so much force to assist it. Say you do an active stretch, you can only generate the amount of force that the antagonist muscle can create. On an assisted stretch, you can use your arms to create more force because the longer lever arm creates more torque. So the assisted stretch creates a lot more force, that in turn stretches the soft tissue, which in turn elongates the muscle- the whole point- the only point of the stretch.

 Question: Is Shape Stretch a good tool for passive stretching on your own at home?
 Answer: Yes. To really get a muscle to change, especially a 2-joint muscle that tends to get tight, like the hamstring for example, it takes a lot of stretching to get that to change. So if you’re coming to physical therapy 1 or 2 times a week, or even 3 times a week, it’s not going to work. You need to stretch that muscle, a home exercise program is key. You really need to get in there and stretch, and sometimes even stretching every day it still takes weeks to get a good improvement, so the home exercise program is extremely important. And to make that program as easy as possible is very important. The less you are straining, and the less you are twisting, the lower your chances are of hurting yourself during the stretch, and the bar allows you to mitigate the risks of both by allowing the patient to use less force yet still change the muscle.

Question: Would you recommend Shape Stretch to people who are recommended to stretch by their doctors or therapists?
Answer: Yes. In today’s world insurance doesn’t cover enough therapy visits to create a lasting change. If a patient isn’t doing passive stretching, active stretching, on their own at home, the muscles are just going to tighten up again, especially 2-joint superficial muscles- the hamstrings, the hip flexor, the bicep, the gastrocnemius.... All these 2-joint muscles will tighten up again. So I think it’s important for patients to do a home exercise program while they’re undergoing rehab, and also do a daily home exercise program consisting of a good amount of stretching upon their discharge, or else they’re just going to wind up back in therapy.



Expert: Chris LoVarco
Expertise: Instructor/Owner, MMA Fighter, American Black Belt Academy