by Ann-Marie Giglio
Are you feeling your age? When you get out of bed in the morning, are you stiff in some spots or maybe sore?
I often hear people say they “slept wrong.” Maybe it takes a few minutes to get things warmed up. Or you don’t feel completely balanced when you walk, like your parts aren’t connected for your first few steps.
No doubt, you worry about that. But when you ask your doctor about your stiff joints or your sore knee, he or she says, “You’re just getting old. Get used to it.”
Well, technically, yes, we get older every day. But joint stiffness and aches and pains are not “normal”. Aging is inevitable. Decaying is not.
Allowing stiff joints to remain locked and less mobile only leads to more stiffness and less mobility. To keep things fluid, we need to use them. In fact, our entire body including our brain is wired to use it or lose it.
Even before we get out of bed in the morning, our brains are scanning our bodies. If we have stopped using something, a sore shoulder for example, not only do we start using our structure differently (you’ve probably heard it called compensation), but also, we lose a part of our brain’s map.
Our brain actually“forgets” the shoulder is there and now considers the situation a threat of some degree. Once that happens, all sorts of things rain down on our biomechanics. If the shoulder no longer moves freely, our brain will put the safety brakes on somewhere and our gait will change.
Once gait changes, our ability to absorb ground forces from walking (the activity we do most) is compromised and the ground forces change paths.
The short story is at some point, our ankle, knee, hip, back, jaw or something else will be drafted for the task and do it badly. Over time, this becomes a chronic problem: stiffness, pain, or eventually, arthritis, a Latin term which simply means “inflamed joint.”
We are not stiff because we’re older. We’re stiff because we stopped using something. Our brain maps are out of focus in some area(s). The good news is restoring them is as easy as doing the appropriate drills. Once we re-focus the map, we’re good to go!
To learn more about brain-based health and fitness, contact Ann-Marie at CoreMatters, (404) 435-6367