Flexibility and Low-Back Health

Fahey/Insel/Roth, Fit & Well: Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness, Chapter 5 © 2007 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.

Flexibility
• The range of motion (ROM) in a joint or group of joints • Important for general fitness and wellness • 2 basic types of flexibility
– Static – dynamic
Fahey/Insel/Roth, Fit & Well: Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness, Chapter 5 © 2007 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved.

Chapter 5 © 2007 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. Fit & Well: Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness.What Determines Flexibility? • • • • Excess adipose tissue may cause reduce joint mobility Temperature can affect flexibility by as much as 20% Gender 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 – 3 types of connective tissue – Collagen = white fibers that provide structure and support – Elastin = yellow fibers that are elastic and flexible – Titin = muscle filament with elastic properties Fahey/Insel/Roth. . All rights reserved.

Promotes muscle relaxation/lengthening.Nervous System Activity • Proprioceptors send information about the muscle and skeletal systems to the nervous system • 2 types of proprioceptors – Stretch receptors (muscle spindles)-lie parallel to myofibrils. . All rights reserved. Fit & Well: Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness. Chapter 5 © 2007 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. signals between the stretch receptors and nervous system control muscle length and movement and protect muscles from injury Fahey/Insel/Roth. • If a muscle is stretched. Promotes muscle contraction/shortening. – Golgi tendon organs -embedded in tendons.

Chapter 5 © 2007 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. .Skeletal Muscle Tissue Fahey/Insel/Roth. Fit & Well: Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness. All rights reserved.

All rights reserved. Fit & Well: Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness.Nervous System Activity • Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) = a technique for stretching muscles that relies on neuromuscular reflexes to stimulate training effects – 6 second contraction (isometric phase) – 15-30 second stretch (stretching phase) • Regular stretching trains all of the proprioceptors • Proprioceptors adapt very quickly to stretching and lack of stretching Fahey/Insel/Roth. . Chapter 5 © 2007 McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

All rights reserved. Fit & Well: Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness.Benefits of Flexibility and Stretching Exercises • • • • Increases circulation to the muscles being stretched Joint health Prevention of low-back pain and injuries 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 (reduce mental tension) • Lifetime wellness benefits Fahey/Insel/Roth. Chapter 5 © 2007 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. .

Fit & Well: Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness. Chapter 5 © 2007 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. .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 Fahey/Insel/Roth.

All rights reserved. either after a workout or after the active part of a warm-up • Do not stretch before a high-performance activity Fahey/Insel/Roth. Fit & Well: Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness.Frequency of Exercise • The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that stretching exercises be performed a minimum of 2–3 days per week. ideally 5-7 days per week • Stretch when muscles are warm. . Chapter 5 © 2007 McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

Intensity and Time (Duration) of Exercise • Stretch to the point of slight tension or mild discomfort • Hold each stretch for 15–30 seconds • Do 2–4 repetitions of each exercise • Rest for 30 seconds between stretches Fahey/Insel/Roth. Chapter 5 © 2007 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. . Fit & Well: Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness.

contracting a muscle before it is stretched Fahey/Insel/Roth. for example. Chapter 5 © 2007 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. .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 • Dynamic stretching = stretching by moving joints slowly through their range of motions in a controlled manner • Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation = obtaining a greater training effect by using neuromuscular reflexes. Fit & Well: Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness. All rights reserved.

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. Chapter 5 © 2007 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. . with an occasional passive assist • Some stretches are contraindicated (pg 584) Fahey/Insel/Roth. All rights reserved. Fit & Well: Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness.

Fit & Well: Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness. All rights reserved. . ligaments – Allows movement of neck and back in all directions Fahey/Insel/Roth. tendons. Chapter 5 © 2007 McGraw-Hill Higher Education.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.

All rights reserved. Fit & Well: Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness. Chapter 5 © 2007 McGraw-Hill Higher Education.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) Fahey/Insel/Roth. .

Vertebrae • Vertebrae consist of a body. an arch. All rights reserved. Chapter 5 © 2007 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. serve as shock absorbers • Nerve roots = base of pairs of spinal nerves that branch off the spinal cord Fahey/Insel/Roth. Fit & Well: Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness. .and water-filled nucleus surrounded by fibrous rings. consist of a gel. and several bony processes • Intervertebral disks = elastic disks located between adjoining vertebrae.

.Core Muscle Fitness •Core muscles include those in the abdomen. All rights reserved. Chapter 5 © 2007 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. hip. back. buttocks. Fit & Well: Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness. pelvic floor. sides of the trunk. 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 Fahey/Insel/Roth.

All rights reserved. Chapter 5 © 2007 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. overweight Low job satisfaction. certain occupations Low socioeconomic status Smoking Psychological stress or depression Fahey/Insel/Roth.Causes of Back Pain • Any movement that causes excessive stress • Risk factors: – – – – – – – – Age greater than 34 years Degenerative diseases (arthritis and osteoporosis) Family or personal history of back trauma Sedentary lifestyle. . Fit & Well: Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness.

.Underlying Causes of Back Pain • Poor muscle endurance and strength • Poor posture • Poor body mechanics Fahey/Insel/Roth. Chapter 5 © 2007 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. Fit & Well: Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness. All rights reserved.

All rights reserved. Chapter 5 © 2007 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. stop smoking. 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 Fahey/Insel/Roth. standing. . and reduce emotional stress • Avoid sitting. Fit & Well: Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness.Preventing Low-Back Pain • Lose weight.

Fit & Well: Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness. All rights reserved. abdomen. Chapter 5 © 2007 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. If you like on your back. . When sitting: •Sit with your lower back slightly rounded. knees bent and feet flat on the floor. place a pillow under your knees.Protecting Your Back An exercise program designed to increase flexibility and strengthen the legs. and lower back can help prevent low-back pain. Alternate crossing your legs or use a footrest to keep your knees higher than your hips Fahey/Insel/Roth. When sleeping: •Lie on your side with your knees and hips bent.

When walking: •Keep your toes pointed straight ahead. with one or both knees slightly bent. your back flat. Try to keep your lower back flat (not arched) by placing one foot on a stool. All rights reserved. Chapter 5 © 2007 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. . Fit & Well: Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness.Protecting Your Back When standing: •Keep your weight mainly on your heels. When lifting: •Bend at the knees and hips rather than at the waist and lift gradually using your leg muscles. head up and chin in. Fahey/Insel/Roth.

stiffness. inflammation • Treatment: – Ice. muscle spasms. Fit & Well: Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness. then heat – OTC medication (ibuprofen or naproxen) – Moderate exercise Fahey/Insel/Roth.Managing Acute Back Pain • Sudden back pain usually involves tissue injury • Symptoms: Pain. Chapter 5 © 2007 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. All rights reserved. .

acupuncture. and surgery Fahey/Insel/Roth.Managing Chronic Back Pain • Considered chronic if lasts longer than 3 months • Symptoms: Stabbing or shooting pain. All rights reserved. education. . massage. physical therapy. Fit & Well: Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness. exercise. Chapter 5 © 2007 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. pain that is localized or that radiates to other parts of the body • Treatment: Many options. including medication. steady ache accompanied by stiffness.

All rights reserved.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 Fahey/Insel/Roth. Chapter 5 © 2007 McGraw-Hill Higher Education. . Fit & Well: Core Concepts and Labs in Physical Fitness and Wellness.