As we get older, we tend to suffer more aches and pains and the conventional approach is to put all of this down to a ‘natural’ ageing process. Arthritic joints, knee pain, back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, hip pain etc. We are told that it’s ‘wear and tear’ and to be expected as we get older.
But how true is this? Of course none of us can expect to live for ever, but there seems to be mounting evidence these aches and pains, and indeed the whole ‘ageing’ process, is more down to environmental factors and our own choices within that environment, Otherwise why would we find old people in other cultures still living very active lives in their later years and not suffering from all the metabolic diseases of the West?
What are those factors and choices? Well here are just a few perhaps:
- A sedentary lifestyle that going to the gym for an hour a day or going out for a run can only slightly mitigate.
- Nutrition – if you are following Government guidelines on this and consuming large quantities of starchy carbohydrates and, so called, ‘wholegrains’, it is highly likely that you will succumb to the metabolic diseases after decades of abusing the body in this way.
- Lack of adequate deep sleep and fresh air and outdoor movement, along with a loss of connection with the natural world.
- Footwear that inhibits the natural movement of our feet.
- The fact that we are repeatedly told that we are only living longer due to modern drugs and with old age comes more ill health and dysfunction generally. It is essentially a form of brainwashing to make us think that decline is inevitable so that we don’t question today’s ‘wisdom’ about medicine, nutrition etc.
What most people miss, however, is that firstly none of this is inevitable. We can make small changes to massively improve our chances of functioning well and there is also the ‘use it or use it’ aspect to this – if you keep using your body in the right way you can live a long and happy life.
What happens is that people get injured and reshape their bodies to get around the pain and discomfort of the injury. They compensate to keep functioning until this feels absolutely normal to them. They may put all their weight into one foot to avoid an ankle sprain for example.
The pain goes eventually, so they think everything is fixed, but because they are still putting all their weight into the other foot instinctively, they develop further injuries or compensations leading to further adaptations and so on.
Believe me, people come to me with incredible distortions of their posture, which carries over into every movement they make – just look at the runners at your local park run and you’ll see what I mean.Unravelling these patterns is often the best way to relieve pain and get better function, so it’s critical to the general public and athletes alike. Most people are genuinely not aware that the way they stand and move is at all strange because their brain is telling them it’s normal.
Added to this, there are also the common postural shapes that most of us adopt due to being hunched over desks, being immobile for long periods, footwear, stress and occupational habits.
You receive zero education from the State on how to move. In their ignorance, government ministers and health advisors, only tell people that they must move more in order to be fit and healthy – but if you only ever perform the same movements in exactly the same way you could argue that you are in some ways doing more harm than good because you may be ingraining poor movement patterns even more deeply, resulting in injury when you do anything different!
How many runners get injured when they try to play tennis or football for example? They are used to only moving forward in a straight line, so twisting and turning and sideways or backwards movements become problematic because our connective tissues have adopted a shape suitable for only one function.
The best thing you can do is to introduce as much variety of movement into your life as possible so that you are mobile and adaptable. Also if you have aches and pains, get yourself checked out by a human movement specialist. Your GP knows little about biomechanics and postural issues. Absence of pain does not mean ‘fixed’ or optimal.
I have seen so many people who have had injections and operations and been prescribed painkillers etc. simply because nobody, especially not the ‘specialists’ has looked at the human body as a whole, moving as a complete integrated system, not just a collection of mechanical parts. Everything is connected to everything else and the whole is brilliant at adapting to our environment to keep us functioning at all.
If you have aches and pains or injuries then do contact me for an assessment of your posture and movement patterns because these will usually be the root cause of your knee or hip or lower back or shoulder pain. Unless there are good medical reasons to the contrary, we will use simple movements with awareness to address your issues and get you performing better in everyday life or sport, whatever your goal.
Make movement your first resource, not a last resort!
Call David on 07504439555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for an initial chat to discuss your problem.