First things first, welcome to my inaugural post on my new blog. Thanks for visiting and I hope you return and find it to be educational and thought provoking. Over the next few posts I’ll discuss some of the benefits of motion.
As you may have noticed I’ve named my practice Upright Motion Chiropractic. My tag line is “Life Through Motion”. Today we’re going to talk about motion as it most relates to chiropractic – joint motion. Our joints are necessary to move. This is not news to you, but what else do they do and what are the benefits of their use?
Like muscles, if we don’t use our joints, we lose them. More specifically, if we don’t use our joints in their full range of motion we lose their full function. If you’ve ever heard of, or experienced frozen shoulder, you know what I’m talking about. In the case of frozen shoulder, joint range of motion is limited usually due to lack of use. The motion is usually lost when attempting to raise our arms above our head (think of arm motion during jumping jacks). Yes, our arms are supposed to go all the way to a parallel position above our head.
Or, consider a person with a cast that crosses the elbow. The elbow is often in the bent position for 4-6 weeks. After coming out of the cast it is not as easy to completely extend (straighten) the elbow.
Muscles become tendons and attach to bones so the bones can be moved for daily function. Lack of joint motion, like the examples above, often lead to muscle imbalance. It is important to mention that these imbalances often occur in more subtle ways in our everyday life. A person who spends considerable time at a computer with their shoulders rolled forward often have shortened chest muscles and lengthened back muscles. Patients often just recognize the pain they are experiencing from muscle imbalance, but as a chiropractor I’m aware of the more serious implications. These muscle imbalances can result in a series of compensations by the body. In addition to pain, the patient’s bones are now being pulled unsymmetrically. Even though our bones are in an abnormal position we still ask them to perform the same tasks (pick up the kids, drive the car, sit at the computer, ect…). This is often when we see injuries occur.
The most important type of joint motion is motion that is regained from a chiropractic adjustment. The reason is because the adjustment optimizes joint motion. Full spinal range of motion allows for maximum communication within the body The brain and the spinal cord comprise the Central Nervous System (CNS). The CNS is the bodies’ communication system. Everything in the body is constantly recieving instructions from the brain. Every command from the brain travels down the spinal cord to reach its destination (muscles, organs, tissues, ect…). The spine protects the spinal cord. Chiropractors find joints that are moving improperly and adjust these joints to restore motion. The adjustment is so important because it allows the chiropractor to access the nervous system. An improperly moving joint is likely not allowing all the brain’s instructions to be recieved by the muscles, organs, and tissues. This can all be summarized by saying that the chiropractic adjustment makes the body’s communication system more effecient. Would you prefer dial up or high speed internet for your health?
In conclusion, move your joints to keep full range of motion and protect your structure from injury. Get adjusted to keep the body’s communication system a super highway instead of a dirt road.