Musculoskeletal Flexibility

Optimal musculoskeletal function requires that an adequate range of motion be maintained in all joints. Of particular importance is maintenance of muscular flexibility in the lower back and posterior thigh regions. Lack of muscular flexibility in this area may be associated with an increased risk for the development of chronic lower back pain. Therefore, preventive and rehabilitative exercise programs should include activities that promote the maintenance of muscular flexibility. Lack of muscular flexibility is prevalent in the elderly among whom this condition often contributes to a reduced ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL). Accordingly, muscular strength exercises for the elderly should emphasize proper stretching routine, especially for the upper and lower trunk, neck, and hip regions.

There are different types of stretching techniques, such as static stretching and ballistic stretching that can be performed.

Properly performed routine stretching exercises can aid in improving and maintaining range of motion in a joint or series of joints. Muscular flexibility exercises should be performed in a slow, controlled manner with a gradual progression to greater ranges of motion. A general sports therapy prescription for achieving and maintaining muscular flexibility should adhere to the following guidelines:
•Frequency: At least 3 days per week
•Intensity: To a position of mild discomfort
•Duration: 10 to 30 seconds for each types of stretching
•Repetitions: 3 to 5 for each types of stretching
•Type: Static, with a major emphasis on the lower back and thigh area
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