06 Dec Make Your Move: Keep Moving to Keep Healthy
When you wake up in the morning it only takes a few minutes for you to assess how you feel. But how do you assess your health? For most people, you look in the mirror and see how you look, you stretch out and feel for aches and pains. Assessing your health is very important – you know your body better than anyone and you should be an expert at knowing when you are in good health.
As a chiropractor, I assess people’s health every day, and one of the most important ways I assess health is movement. Have you ever heard the saying “Use it or lose it”? How about “Practice makes perfect”? Just like learning a new language, riding a bicycle, or doing the daily crossword in the newspaper, our overall health and wellbeing work much the same way. For our bodies to function at their best, we need to use them.
Get Your Body Moving
Exercise is the best way to keep our whole body moving. We stress our cardiovascular system, our muscles, and our joints. A lack of movement in muscle can lead to weakness or even death of the muscular tissue. A lack of movement in a joint can lead to inflammation, build-up of toxins, lack of blood flow, and compromise of soft tissue surrounding the joint. But how do we know our muscles and joints are moving properly?
Range of Motion
Range of motion can be measured at two different levels: The global level, and the local/segmental level. The spine, for example, is made up of 24 movable vertebral segments that all sit one atop the other. Two adjacent segments form a joint which has a degree of movement, this would be local/segmental range of motion. Global range of motion can describe the motion of the entire spine, like bending forward to touch your toes. Each segment of the spine does not have the ability to bend forward enough to touch your toes, but globally, the combined motion of all the segments can allow the flexibility to touch your toes.
The Chiropractor’s Affect on Motion
As a chiropractor, I use my eyes and hands as primary tools to assess range of motion. Not only will I visually measure how far a client can rotate their head, lift their leg, or bend their knee, but I will also stress every moveable segment of the spine using my hands to determine its ability to move. Immobile segments of the spine can cause a variety of symptoms such as pain, inflammation, muscle tightness, decrease in global range of motion. It also makes these joints prone to more significant health issues, such as arthritis. Once I’ve established which segments are immobile, I use a chiropractic adjustment to introduce motion back into the joint; limiting the pain, inflammation and muscle tightness.
Next time you look in the mirror and wonder how healthy you really are, try using movement as a test of your health. If you struggle with a motion don’t ignore it, get an assessment by your chiropractor. Movement is essential for life and improper movement can be more detrimental to your overall health and wellbeing than you think. Regular exercise and routine chiropractic treatment can be the 1,2 punch your body needs to stay in great health.
Make your move, keep moving to keep healthy!
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