Podcast Episodes 6 and 7 and thoughts:
So, I have been answering questions posed to me for the podcast. Each question comes with some sort of rough look into the literature.
To correctly appraise a study, and not just read the abstract, requires extensive time and effort. This is why it is hard to make concrete claims, such as stretching will make you more flexible.
Sure it does! But not for a long time if you read the studies closely!
Stretching in itself has limitations when done in a study. In reality, ballet dancers stretch MUCH more than rugby players! They probably stretch much more than 3 times a week and for much longer!
My point, is that we cannot use these findings to apply to specific populations (well, you could try!)
I would imagine that if you want the splits, you would be doing a LOT of mobility, strength and stretching work!
Episode 7 touches on manipulations and adjustments. They may have an (most likely temporary) effect on pain by various mechanisms.
This beautiful comic explains muscle activation in a nutshell.