A lack of flexibility is commonly something we use to bond with other non-flexible people. However, something as simple as not being able to touch your toes could cripple you as you age. Our bodies are incredibly efficient at compensating for a deficiency in one area by forcibly using another. Take tight hamstrings as a common example – when bending forward the lumbar spine must take the ‘stress’ rather than the hamstrings distributing the load of holding your base. Over time this compensation will damage the discs in the lumbar spine and cause chronic issues.
Why do we lose flexibility?
The mantra we’ve heard time and again is to “move it or lose it”. This holds particularly true for the flexibility of the human body. As we engage in less movement and stop putting ligaments through full ranges of motion they will shorten, therefore causing a loss of flexibility. When we attempt to move outside our newly reduced range of motion we can feel stiff, sore, or even strain muscles and pinch nerves as a result of overextension or trying to compensate. A lack of flexibility is commonly associated with aging, however the real cause is a reduction in physical activity, which means inactive people of all ages can be victim to chronic or acute pain.
How will a chiropractor improve flexibility?
Many people understandably believe that chiropractic treatment will not benefit their lack of flexibility, however, this is far from true. The series of adjustments and stretching techniques used in treatments allow joints to decompress and ‘de-stress’. Adjustments also enable an improved flow of oxygenated blood to reach the tissues around the adjustment site; oxygenating the soft tissues will make for a healthier and stronger tissue. Ensuring the joints are correctly aligned is essential in reducing unnecessary strain on soft tissues, and this will also allow the correct muscles and tendons (not compensatory ones) to be acquired for use during stretches and exercise.
Chiropractic care is a holistic approach that understands the need to treat the origin and not the symptom of pain and discomfort. Book an appointment with your local chiropractor online today.