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Flexibility and Low - Back Health

Flexibility and Low - Back Health

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Flexibility and Low - Back Health

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  1. Flexibility and Low - Back Health Chapter 5

  2. Flexibility • The range of motion in a joint or group of joints • 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

  4. What Determines Flexibility? • 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

  5. Nervous System Activity • Proprioceptors send information about the muscle and skeletal systems to the nervous system • Stretch receptors (muscle spindles) • Glogi tendon organs

  6. Nervous System Activity • If a muscle is stretched, signals between the stretch receptors and nervous system control muscle length and movement and protect muscles from injury

  7. Nervous System Activity • Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) = a technique for stretching muscles that relies on neuromuscular reflexes to stimulate training effects

  8. Nervous System Activity • Regular stretching trains all of the proprioceptors • Proprioceptors adapt very quickly to stretching and lack of stretching

  9. Benefits of Flexibility and Stretching Exercises • Joint Health • Prevention of low - back pain and injuries

  10. Benefits of Flexibility and Stretching Exercises • Other potential benefits • Relief of aches and pains • Relief of muscle cramps • Improved body position and strength for sports • Maintenance of good posture and balance • Relaxation • Lifetime wellness benefits

  11. 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

  12. Frequency of Exercise • The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that stretching exercises be performed a minimum of two to three days per week; ideally five to seven days per week

  13. Frequency of Exercise • 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

  14. Intensity and Time (Duration) of Exercise • Stretch to the point of slight tension or mild discomfort • Hold each stretch for 15 - 30 seconds • Do two to four repetitions of each exercise • Rest for 30 - 60 seconds between stretches

  15. 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

  16. Types of Stretching Techniques • Dynamic stretching = stretching by moving joints slowly through their range of motions in a controlled manner

  17. Types of Stretching Techniques • Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation = obtaining a greater training effect by using neuromuscular reflexes; for example, contracting a muscle before it is stretched

  18. 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

  19. Types of Stretching Techniques • Safest technique is active static stretching, with an occasional passive assist

  20. 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

  21. Low - Back Health • Function of the spine • Allows movement of neck and back in all directions

  22. Structure of the Spine • Seven cervical vertebrae in the neck • 12 thoracic vertebrae in the upper back • Five lumbar vertebrae in the lower back • Nine vertebrae at the base of the spine fused into the sacrum and the coccyx (tailbone)

  23. 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

  24. Vertebrae • Nerve roots = base of pairs of spinal nerves that branch off the spinal cord

  25. 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

  26. Core Muscle Fitness • 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

  27. 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

  28. Causes of Back Pain • Risk factors • Low job satisfaction, certain occupations • Low socioeconomic status • Smoking • Psychological stress or depression

  29. Underlying Causes of Back Pain • Poor muscle endurance and strength • Poor posture • Poor body mechanics

  30. 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

  31. Preventing Low - Back Pain • Warm up thoroughly before exercise • Progress gradually when improving strength and fitness

  32. Protecting Your Back • An exercise program designed to increase flexibility and strengthen the legs, abdomen, and lower back can help prevent low - back pain

  33. Protecting Your Back • When sleeping • Lie on your side with your knees and hips bent • If you lie on your back, place a pillow under your knees

  34. Protecting Your Back • When sitting • Sit with your lower back slightly rounded, knees bent and feet flat on the floor • Alternate crossing your legs or use a footrest to keep your knees higher than your hips

  35. Protecting Your Back • When standing • Keep your weight mainly on your heels, with one or both knees slightly bent • Try to keep your lower back flat (not arched) by placing one foot on a stool

  36. Protecting Your Back • When walking • Keep your toes pointed straight ahead, your back flat, head up and chin in • When lifting • Bend at the knees and hips rather than at the waist and lift gradually using your leg muscles

  37. Managing Acute Back Pain • Sudden back pain usually involves tissue injury • Symptoms • Pain • Muscle spasms • Stiffness • Inflammation

  38. Managing Acute Back Pain • Treatment • Ice, then heat • OTC medication (ibuprofen or naproxen) • Moderate exercise

  39. Managing Chronic Back Pain • Considered chronic if lasts longer than three months • Symptoms • Stabbing or shooting pain • Steady ache accompanied by stiffness • Pain that is localized or that radiates to other parts of the body

  40. Managing Chronic Back Pain • Treatment • Medication • Exercise • Physical therapy • Massage • Acupuncture • Education • Surgery

  41. Exercises for the Prevention and Management of Low - Back Pain • Do low - back exercises at least three days per week • Emphasize muscular endurance • Do not do full range of motion spine exercises early in the morning

  42. Exercises for the Prevention and Management of Low - Back Pain • Engage in regular endurance exercise • Be patient and stick with your program