Flexibility and Low Back Health

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1 : Flexibility and Low-Back Health Chapter 5
2 : Flexibility The ability of a joint to move through its full range of motion (ROM) Important for general fitness and wellness Static versus dynamic flexibility
3 : What Determines Flexibility? Joint structure—joints vary in direction and range of movement Joint capsules = semielastic structures that give joints strength and stability but limit movement Muscle elasticity and length Collagen = white fibers that provide structure and support Elastin = yellow fibers that are elastic and flexible Titin = muscle filament with elastic properties
4 : Muscle Elasticity and Length
5 : Effect of Stretch on Connective Tissue
6 : Nervous System Activity Stretch receptors control muscle length If a muscle is stretched, receptors send a message to the spinal cord, which then sends a signal back to the muscle telling it to contract A strong muscle contraction produces an opposite reflex that causes the muscle to relax Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) = a technique for stretching muscles that relies on neuromuscular reflexes to stimulate training effects
7 : Benefits of Flexibility and Stretching Exercises Joint health Prevention of low-back pain and injuries Other potential benefits: Temporary reduction of postexercise muscle soreness, known as delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) Relief of aches and pains and muscle cramps Improved body position and strength for sports Maintenance of good posture and balance Relaxation Lifetime wellness benefits Assessment Issues
8 : Creating a Successful Program to Develop Flexibility Applying the FITT principle Frequency—how often to stretch Intensity—how far to stretch Time—how long to stretch Type—which stretching exercises to perform
9 : Frequency of Exercise The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that stretching exercises be performed a minimum of 2–3 days per week Stretch when muscles are warm, either after a workout or after the active part of a warm-up Do not stretch before a high-performance activity
10 : Intensity and Time (Duration) of Exercise Stretch to the point of slight tension or mild discomfort Hold each stretch for 10–30 seconds Do at least 4 repetitions of each exercise Rest for 30–60 seconds between stretches
11 : Types of Stretching Techniques Static stretching = slowly stretching a muscle and holding the stretched position Ballistic stretching = suddenly stretching a muscle through a bouncing or swinging movement Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation = obtaining a greater training effect by using neuromuscular reflexes; for example, contracting a muscle before it is stretched
12 : Types of Stretching Techniques Passive stretching = muscles are stretched by force applied by an outside source Active stretching = muscles are stretched by a contraction of the opposing muscles Safest technique is active static stretching, with an occasional passive assist
13 : A Flexibility Workout
14 : Low-Back Health Function of the spine Provides structural support for the body Surrounds and protects the spinal cord Supports body weight Serves as attachment site for muscles, tendons, ligaments Allows movement of neck and back in all directions
15 : Skeletal System
16 : Structure of the Spine 7 cervical vertebrae in the neck 12 thoracic vertebrae in the upper back 5 lumbar vertebrae in the lower back 9 vertebrae at the base of the spine fused into the sacrum and the coccyx (tailbone)
17 : Structure of the Spine
18 : Vertebrae Vertebrae consist of a body, an arch, and several bony processes Intervertebral disks = elastic disks located between adjoining vertebrae; consist of a gel- and water-filled nucleus surrounded by fibrous rings; serve as shock absorbers Nerve roots = base of pairs of spinal nerves that branch off the spinal cord
19 : Vertebrae and Intervertebral Disk
20 : Causes of Back Pain Any movement that causes excessive stress Risk factors: Age greater than 34 years Degenerative diseases Family or personal history of back trauma Sedentary lifestyle, overweight Low job satisfaction, certain occupations Low socioeconomic status Smoking Psychological stress or depression
21 : Underlying Causes of Back Pain Poor muscle endurance and strength Poor posture Poor body mechanics
22 : Preventing Low-Back Pain Lose weight, stop smoking, and reduce emotional stress Avoid sitting, standing, or working in the same position for too long Use a supportive seat and a medium-firm mattress Warm up thoroughly before exercise Progress gradually when improving strength and fitness
23 : Protecting Your Back
24 : Protecting Your Back
25 : Managing Acute Back Pain Sudden back pain usually involves tissue injury Symptoms: Pain, muscle spasms, stiffness, inflammation Treatment: Ice, then heat OTC medication (ibuprofen or naproxen) Moderate exercise
26 : Managing Chronic Back Pain Considered chronic if lasts longer than 3 months Symptoms: Stabbing or shooting pain, steady ache accompanied by stiffness, pain that is localized or that radiates to other parts of the body Treatment: Many options, including medication, exercise, physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, education, and surgery
27 : Exercises for the Prevention and Management of Low-Back Pain Do low-back exercises at least 3 days per week Emphasize muscular endurance Do not do full range of motion spine exercises early in the morning Engage in regular endurance exercise Be patient and stick with your program


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