We live in a society that is defined by the poor range of motion (ROM), that results from sedentary lifestyles and counterproductive behavior. But as much as 10% of our population is living with the opposite problem; the science may say that full range of motion is best, but what happens when you exceed that? Hypermobility refers to a condition in which your joints have too much ROM. Most often a hereditary trait, hypermobility, also known as congenital laxity, or ligamentous laxity, involves joints that can move beyond and even well beyond standard, healthy range of motion. It may seem that individuals who are double-jointed enjoy a natural advantage, and indeed it can be advantageous for young athletes who manage the condition appropriately. But the more startling reality for people with hypermobility occurs when their condition turns against them. Because the joints are so mobile, and so loose, they lack the stability necessary to prevent pain and injury. As you get older, the pain and dysfunction within a given hypermobile joint can become chronic, and then the condition becomes a syndrome.
We see a day in the future when workplace ethics, and indeed federal, state and city laws, require employers to look out for the wellbeing of their employees. Of course it is in their best interest to maintain a happy, and therefore productive, base of workers, but the amount of money, time and resources involved in such an idea are often deemed too sharp of a hit on the bottom line and the worker continues to suffer. So what does workplace wellness mean? To us, it means a working environment in which employees feel comfortable, supported and able to access the basic means of maintaining their health on a daily basis. This may mean providing ergonomic work environments, better nutrition options, onsite training for workplace exercise techniques, etc. However, from the present standing, this is only a dream and for the majority of the workers, the onus is still upon the individual.
When it comes to how you can influence your health on a daily basis, health experts usually iterate the same tenets: diet and exercise! Occasionally sleep makes it on the list, but rarely does posture. From this chiropractor's perspective, posture is of equal importance to sleep diet and exercise in the daily fight for your well-being. No matter what your job or lifestyle, your spine is being compressed daily; one of the only defenses it has against this omnipresent compression is posture. Posture is a make or break factor in health: with good posture, you protect your spine while feeling and functioning better; with poor posture, you are actually increasing the amount of compression and there is no telling how much damage you are piling on your spine.
Scar tissue is a natural part of the healing process for any injury in the human musculoskeletal system. As your body attempts to heal, it produces a new, less mobile tissue to replace the older, more tensile original tissue. But the problem is how scar tissue interacts with your other, preexisting healthy tissues. Besides stiffness and pain in the local area, scar tissue adheres to healthy tissues, tying them down and making an entire region less mobile in the process. Because the tissues are bound up, the muscles become tighter and shorten in response. This leaves you weaker in an area where you need strength; less mobile in an area that needs mobility to heal. Even nerves can become trapped underneath the scar tissue adhesion, leading to impairment of the nervous system, as well as tingling, numbness and weakness in the local region.
Spinal health is, unfortunately, quite heavily influenced by age. And while it would be a bit hyperbolic to say that our spines face a flat-out race against time, it is true that we often outlive the sell-by date of our spines. Aging begins to affect the spine as early as early adulthood, and gets progressively more intense with the passing years. That means that now, today, is the best time to start taking a proactive approach to caring for your spine, thus avoiding many of the discomforts that come along with aging.