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JLeslie's avatar

Does arterial elasticity have anything to do with flexibility?

Asked by JLeslie (46149 points ) December 31st, 2013

I’ve never been flexible. Even as a little girl doing a split was nearly impossible.

I was reading something about vitamin D and it talked about it improving arterial elasticity and discussed it related to blood pressure. Other articles talk about D helping with muscle pain (that happened for me) and I am more flexible now than I was 5 years ago and I do feel the D helped with it.

How is arterial elasticity tested?

I have no idea if arterial elasticity and general flexibility are related though, even outside of the D.

What do you know about it?

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6 Answers

filmfann's avatar

Think of your arteries as tubes in your heart, allowing blood flow.
Now, some peoples tubes are very brittle and rigid. Those are unhealthy.
People with tubes that stretch, yet return to their size are very healthy.
It’s like your lungs ability to stretch out as you take a deep breath, then another without letting the first out.

JLeslie's avatar

@filmfann. I know. I mean does it cause more flexibity like being able to do a split or bend over and touch the ground with your hands with your legs straight. Does it help the muscles stretch?

filmfann's avatar

No, it helps the heart arteries expand and retract. Very important.

JLeslie's avatar

If it helps the heart, why not other muscles?

Rarebear's avatar

Not that I know of.

gasman's avatar

No—there’s no connection between arterial elasticity and musculo-skeletal flexibility.

Arterial elasticity isn’t something that’s tested for, but loss of elasticity that occurs with aging—from atherosclerosis, calcification, other degenerative conditoins—shows up in various forms of cardiovascular disease (heart attack, heart failure, circulatory problems, etc).

For example contraction of the heart normally ejects blood into an elastic aorta, which stretches like a balloon to some extent to accommodate the momentarily increased flow. (Look up “windkessel.”) Patients with low-compliance “lead-pipe” aortas that are incapable of this kind of stretching to moderate the blood pressure may show very high systolic blood pressures with corresponding low diastolics.

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