Stiffness is a commonly accepted symptom of ageing, but it doesn’t make biological sense from a purely chronological perspective.
Muscles and joints have to be sensed to be used. As use changes sensation can become out of sync with co-ordinated control or strength. When sensory and motor functions are out of sync we can feel stiff. Yet our body is not mechanically stiff we have a sensory motor dysfunction that makes one feel stiff. Chiropractors provide sensory interventions to rebalance fascia joints and muscles that can help to reduce stiffness.
Here’s some science behind influenza type stiffness. On contracting the flu the autonomic nervous system releases neurotransmitters that, amongst other things, activate smooth muscles in fascia. As a consequence fascia tightens restricting muscular activity altering the sensory motor balance. Stiffening fascia also produces TGF-B1, which increases T cells, a type of white blood cell, aka the soldiers of the immune system. A sense of stiffness is not just activity dependant.
Your Chiropractor’s job, when you are under the weather, is to know the likely source of muscle and joint stiffness and to check your muscles and joints have returned to their most efficient normal once your ‘influenza’ or illness has passed. It is possible for your muscles and joints to stay stiff after your immune system has calmed.
Not utilising a Chiropractor to re-boot your muscle and joint sensory motor balance might just facilitate your body learning a reduced functionality as a new normal because we are evolutionary beings. A sense of stiffness could be a slippery slope that happens over time under the guise of ageing yet not due to ageing. I borrow the term accumulation from ayurvedic medicine to describe this progressive sense of stiffness. Disturbing the balance of your muscles and joints.
Yes, there really is a muscular component to an immune response!