The brain switches off to muscle movements once a muscle pattern becomes ‘muscle memory’. On the flip side, before a muscular pattern is memorised the brain has to switch on.
When a movement is novel, the brain is actively involved in the learning of a motor programme immediately modifying the structure of the brain (1). Research shows that performing movement with accuracy and therefore purpose is the driver of structural change in the brain. Called learning or neuroplasticity.
‘Moving without purpose is automatic and that’s when the brain disengages.’
Over time and without variety or novel movement muscle memory fades. Informing everybody that naturally muscles can go out of sequence, causing damage to joints (2).
Joint damage can lead to inflammation and pain, which impacts the brain by starving it of novelty in motion and variety of movement. Both pain and a lack of variety and newness starve the brain of learning. Leading to a process known as sloughing (3). A sloughing of the connections in your brain is what is behind the phrase;
‘if you don’t use it you lose it’.
I will mention, here, three aspects to getting healthy muscles and joints, which are muscle movements with purpose, a good blood supply and body work. Get your blood pumping around your body feeding all the nooks and crannies by running. Even after blood vessel damage, aerobic activity can enable neuroplasticity (4) and running can double the number of new brain cells being born in your brain, via BDNF (5).
Purposeful muscle movements and aerobic activity are the perfect partners to Chiropractic Care, which can make muscles stronger and last longer (6).
Book your Consultation today with Lee and get your triad of health started…
- Tavor I et al (2020) Short Term Plasticity Following Motor Sequence Learning. Human Brain Map 41 p.442 Doi:10.1002/hbm.24814
- Muscle Imbalance Leads to OA Blog
- Slough means to get rid of something no longer required. ‘Sloughing away dead neurological connections’
- Mang CS et al (2013) Promoting Neuroplasticity for Motor Rehabilitation. Phys Ther 93 (12) 1707 Doi:10.2522/ptj.20130053
- BDNF = Brain Derived Neurotrophic growth Factor
- Niazi IK et al (2015) Changes in H-Reflex and V-Waves following Spinal Manipulation. Exp Brain Res 233(4) 1165 Doi:10.1007/s00221-014-4193-5