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Wellness- Chapter 5

-What Is Flexibility?
-“Flexibility is the ability of a joint to move through its normal range of motion (ROM)”
-It is a highly adaptable fitness component and responds well when utilized as part of a fitness program
-Flexibility is joint specific, meaning that you must work all major joints, not just a few
-What is a Joint?
-Types of Joints:
-First Type: Allows considerable movement in multiple directions
For example: The neck and shoulder joints
-Second Type: Permits restricted or only one-directional motion
For example: Joints located between the bodies of the spinal vertebrae elbow, and knee
-Third Type: Completely immovable
For example: The suture-like seams between the boney plates of the skull
-The 9 vertebrae fused into two sections at the base of the spine (sacrum and coccyx)
-What Determines Flexibility?
-Joint Structure: “Cannot be changed” such as joints vary in size, direction, and range of movement
-Muscle elasticity and length: Collagen and elastin
-The Nervous System:
-Stretch receptors: are sense organs in skeletal muscles that initiate a nerve signal to the spinal cord in response to a stretch
-Functions of Major Joint Components
-Muscles: Provide movement y contracting
-Connective Tissues: Such as elastin and collagen provide support and structure to the joint
-Tendons: Connect bones to muscles
-Ligaments: Connect bones to bones
-Cartilage: Lubricates joints and cushions bones
-Soft tissues: Tissues of the human body that provide a myriad of functions and include skin, fat, linings of internal organs and blood vessels, connective tissues, tendons, ligaments, muscle, and nerves
-Benefits of Flexibility and Stretching Exercises
-Joint health throughout life span
-Prevention of low-back pain and injuries
-Other potential benefits:
-Relief of aches and pains
-Relief of muscles cramps
-Improved body position and strength for sports
-Maintenance of good posture and balance
-Relaxation
-Creating a Successful Program to Develop Flexibility
-Frequency: How often to stretch (minimum of 2-3 days per week, ideally up to 5-7 days)
-Intensity: How far to stretch (Stretch to the point of slight tension or mild discomfort; and not the point of pain
-Time: How long to stretch (Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds; rest for 30-60 seconds between stretches
-Type: Which stretching exercises to perform (static stretching (actively or passively) is the safest type)
-Type of Stretching Techniques
-Static stretching: slowly stretching a muscle and holding the stretched position without joint movement
-Ballistic stretching: suddenly stretching a muscle through a bouncing or swinging movement (high impact)
-Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF): obtaining a greater training effect by applying a steady pressure by one partner and resistance to that pressure by another partner to gradually reach ROM
-Two Methods of Stretching Techniques
-Passive stretching: muscles are stretched by force applied by an outside source or resistance
-Active stretching: muscles are stretched by a contraction of the opposing muscles by oneself
-Safest technique is active static stretching with an occasional passive assist
-Factors that Affect Flexibility
-Excess Body Fat: hinders normal range of motion (ROM) and restricts bending
-Age: With aging, there is a greater loss of elasticity and size of muscles, tendons, and other tissues. Children are much more flexible than adults.
-Gender: Women tend to be more flexible than men due to a female hormone (oxytocin) which stimulates the uterine smooth muscle contraction during childbirth
-Past Injuries: Healed injuries and scars impair flexibility; once tendons are over-stretched, they do not regain elasticity or full function
-Oversized Muscles: Interfere with obtaining full ROM. For instance, body builders lose a degree of their ROM
-Managing Low-Back Pain
-More than 85% of Americans experience back pain at some time in their lives
-Low-back pain is the second most common ailment in the U.S., headaches being number one
-Back pain can result from sudden traumatic injuries, but is more often the result of:
-Weak and inflexible muscles
-Poor posture
-Poor body mechanics during activities
-Functions of the spine:
-Provides structural support for the upper body
-Surrounds and protects the spinal cord
-Supports and transmits body weight
-Serves as an attachment site for a large number of muscles, tendons, and ligaments
-Allows movement of neck and back in all directions
-Structure of the Spine
-The spinal column is made of bones and disks called vertebrae. The spine consists of 33 vertebrae divided into 5 sections as follows:
-9 vertebrae at the base of the spine fused into the sacrum and the coccyx (tailbone)
-5 lumbar vertebrae in the lower back
-12 thoracic vertebrae in the upper back
-7 cervical vertebrae in the neck
-Core Muscle Fitness
-Core muscles include those in the abdomen, pelvic floor, sides of the trunk, back, buttocks, hip, and pelvis
-Core muscles stabilize the spine and help transfer force between the upper body and lower body
-Lack of core muscle fitness can create an unstable spine and stress muscles and joints
-Whole body exercises and exercises using free weights or stability balls all build core muscle fitness
-There are 29 muscles attaching to the ribs, hips, spinal column, and other bones in the trunk of the body
-Causes of Low-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
-Preventing Low-Back Pain
-Lose weight, stop smoking, and reduce emotional stress
-Avoid sitting, standing, or working in the same position for too long
-Warm up thoroughly before exercise
-Emphasize muscular endurance exercises
-Do low-back exercises at least 3 days per week
-Apply proper body movement and balance as you sit, walk, sleep, and lift heavy objects
-Protecting Your Back
-An exercise program designed to increase flexibility and strengthen the legs, abdomen, and lower back can help prevent low-back pain
-Sit with your lower back slightly rounded, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor.
-Stand with your weight mainly on your heels, with one or both knees slightly bent. Try to keep your lower back flat by placing one foot on a stool.
-Walk with your toes pointed straight ahead. Keep your back flat, head up, and chin in.
-To lift, bend at the knees and hips rather than at the waist and lift gradually using your leg muscles.
-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 stretching exercises
-Be patient and stick with your stretching exercise program

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