The ability to move a joint smoothly through its complete range of motion. Flexibility is determined by the nature of the joint structure, the condition of the ligaments and fascia that surround the joint, and muscle extensibility. Flexibility may also be limited by the skin, connective tissue, and bones around the joint. Flexibility is one of the main components of physical fitness and is believed to be important for optimum health. Flexibility exercises have been prescribed for the relief of dysmenorrhoea, general neuromuscular tension, and low back pain. However, an athlete who concentrates on flexibility exercises at the expense of strength training may reduce joint stability and increase the risk of dislocations. See also dynamic flexibility; static flexibility.
Subjects: Medicine and Health.