Being a Chiropractor I look for muscle tone and joint centering as well as elasticity and stiffness of fascia. In clinical practise I evaluate fascia first hence the name! In a previous blog I introduced the idea that a feeling of stiffness can be independent to actual stiffness of the spine. Actual stiffness being a mechanical increase in the force or effort required to move your body coupled with a stronger rebound of tissues e.g. brought out by a stretch, slip, or sudden movement. It is important for muscular balance to have a consistent idle shape (aka posture). Elasticity is the ability of your musculature to return to its pre-activity shape. It is the elasticity and stiffness of body tissues that allows efficient motion (motion is lotion) and joint centration. Dealing only with joint restriction or muscular tightness is in my mind only doing half the job.
I have introduced, previously on this blog, elasticity as a function of muscle recruitment. If I do not have my muscles kick into action at a coordinated time with each other then I will not centre my joints and it is in the centre point that the power is applied and strength achieved. Strength without trapping or pinching is something people can take for granted. Without joint centering your brain will inhibit your muscle power and your movement will be inefficient, the type of repeated movement that can wear your body out instead of making you stronger.
The early warning signs of a body going ‘wonky’ are that you are (relative to how you have been) inflexible, stiff or tight perhaps with some wear and tear already. The next stage is developing aches and pains without any overt reason. Aches and pains that reoccur is the next step toward a consistent level of pain leading to eventually a constant pain experience. Pain that is continuous is present all the time and pain that is constant has a comes and goes character.
Knowing where you are on the continuum of body decline helps you to prioritise in your busy life and help you decide how far you can let it slide. Muscle and joint pain is something to expect and accept as you age. If you do not wish to conform to current majority thought have a chiropractic check up. Not having a Chiropractor check over your body at least once a year regardless of your symptomatic state is a health mistake in my professional opinion. Majority thought doesn’t equal right for you…
Think not of how your body is today but how it will be in 10 or 20 years time if you continue as you are. Human health is easier to maintain than to regain.