In previous eras, whenever an adult would complain about an aching knee or pain on any other joint, people would readily dismiss it as a product of old age – something of which cause cannot be promptly determined. Sometimes, family members and friends would tell the person concerned that it might be because of “plain” diabetes or something originating from hypertension. That goes without them saying that old age or aging in itself is an illness and those aches and pains are its symptoms – an implied message that is too simplistic to be accepted by someone who is still “young” at heart.
As time progressed, the aches and pains associated with aging have been pinpointed by medical researchers as being aggravated by a person’s lifestyle. They can be quickened or slowed down depending on a person’s choice of conduct or mode of living. The thing is, when people talk about lifestyle, what comes to mind are our taste and choice of food, diet, hobbies, and belief systems ONLY. Has it ever occurred to you that your lifestyle includes your regular and habitual physical movement (or non-movement for that matter)?
The regular and habitual movements (or non-movement) of our bodies are indeed part of our lifestyle. This leads us to further ask: Does your work require you to sit all day? Are you involved in a hobby that requires extraneous running or holding of a hard racket while stretching your arms? Movements, especially if they are habitual and repeating, forces the various parts and organs of your body to adapt to them. Thus, they cannot be ignored as they are part of your way of life and your HEALTH. The stresses they incur on the body should not be left unchecked.
Movement or Non-Movement, It is a Lifestyle
Dr. Shirley Sahrmann, a distinguished professor of physical therapy in Washington University’s School of Medicine believes that an appointment and consultation with your physiotherapist should be regularly done just like what you would with your local dentist. She further counters…
When you do an activity over and over again, your body adapts to that activity. If you play tennis, your arm gets bigger on that side; if you do karate you get adaptations in your hip and leg. Even if you just sit, you lean, you slump, your neck goes forward.
In the process of adapting to those habitual movements, your body may either fail to compensate or allow itself to grow bumps or build more muscle cells on the strained areas. Either one of those 2 scenarios will have an impact on the natural symmetry and normal balance of your body’s physical structure and various functions.
“Ok, you’re right! But I’m gonna do that once I’m 40 something already,” you might respond. Here is the thing, kids with their developing bones and muscle structure, if they are used to do abnormal routine movements or they position themselves with improper postures, have the highest risk of bone growth disorders. The younger you are but more exposed to extraneous movements or sedentary manners, the more you are prone to various aches, pains, and bodily disorders once you reach your senior years.
Even if you decide to work out in order to break your unhealthy sedentary lifestyle, the exercises you would do require repeating movements which need to be put under the guidance of an expert, lest they cause your body to endure gruesome and debilitating injuries. That is why most gyms have professional instructors and even physical therapists who man the activities of its enrollees.
Realistically speaking, arthritis, osteoarthritis, or any kind of joint pain may be inevitable to some when they reach old age. The thing is, these elderly discomforts and physical inconveniences can be delayed or lessened if you do the proper movements guided by a competent physical therapist. So it is a good health and fitness practice if you go see a physiotherapist at least once in every year. Do not let a regretable injury be the only reason for your consultation.
Dr. Shirley Sahrmann on the Essence of the Movement System
Courtesy of YouTube user Alisa Cooperstein
Photos c/o Pixabay.com and pt.wustl.edu