If you spend even a little bit of time people-watching, you’re sure to notice some of them don’t move so well.
You might think that something in their body hurts, and that’s leading to the poor movement, and you’d be right. But did you know, poor movement is very likely leading to the something hurting in the first place? It’s a downward spiral of poor movement leading to pain which leads to worse movement and on.
With a trained eye, you’re likely to notice most people have a movement problem or ten. Here’s the thing, poor movement doesn’t lead to pain right away. Nope, your body handles things and compensates remarkably well, but over time and repetition? Ouch! Muscles get sore, backs get stiff, nerves get impinged, and joints start to degrade. It’s not immediately apparent why you’re hurting though, so you try stretching and exercise, which helps a bit, but when it gets bad enough, you go for a consultation with your doctor.
What happens with the doctor? Oh, you get a scan or two and obviously the pain is coming from a nerve or a disc or a whatever… Yeah, but why is the nerve impinged, the disc slipping, or the joint degrading? Could it be that poor movement and use of your body is a (huge) factor?
It’s a bit like blaming the door frame for being twisted when it’s the building’s foundation that’s settled unevenly.
So what to do about it? Obviously, it’s got to be, improve the quality of your movement, and then improve it some more.
But what about all those pains that hurt and keep you from moving in the first place? Yeah, the problem of good or bad movement goes deeper than ‘you should stand up straight.’ Once your tissues are weak, glued, and stiff from injury, surgery, or long term bad habits, good movement becomes a lot harder. Let’s take a look...
You’d probably be surprised at all the variety of ways quality of movement is degraded. The basic causes are:
These basic causes come together in ways unique to each of us and lead to pains and symptoms that doctors have trouble diagnosing, because they often don’t follow typical patterns.
What this means for you, though, is that even the simplest movement can become impossible and painful, and the doctors don’t really know why. (Though they’re very good at pointing to a spot that is breaking down or in trouble, they’re terrible at realizing why that spot is in trouble.)
It also means that exercise and stretching tight muscles aren’t enough to fix the problem, because you’re still not addressing the stiff and adhered (glued) tissues that are preventing good movement in the first place - you’ll just continue to hurt.
But what that also means, is that if you get the right kind of help, and can get tissues, muscles, and joints moving better and less stiffly, you can feel better.
Pains will go away and you’ll find yourself moving better and feeling good again. With more strength and resilience.
When you address the right problem, you start spiraling up.