In childhood, flexibility can almost seem like a parlor trick. The other kid’s notice which kids can do the splits or put their foot behind their head. But as people grow into adulthood, maintaining normal flexibility gets to be much more challenging and losing flexibility can result in a lot of pain to the musculoskeletal system.
Unfortunately, many of us do not retain flexibility through daily activities, even when they attempt to be active. Many jobs are largely sedentary, and even leisure activities keep us stuck in one place. In order to remain functional, joints and muscles need to be used, which means they need to be properly stretched without being overworked. The balance is often very delicate, fortunately, chiropractic increases flexibility.
The Role of Chiropractic in Flexibility
Most adults are not concerned with being able to twist like a pretzel, however, they do want to be able to maneuver through daily life without a lot of pain. One of the main things accomplished in most chiropractic visits is that the chiropractor will look for misalignments in the spine and seek to correct them with a combination of chiropractic adjustments and exercises.
When the spine is misaligned it can affect many different areas of the body including flexibility. Someone who is not flexible will have a limited range of motion (ROM) and treatments are designed to improve this and restore natural posture.
But being flexible is about more than moving better. When the body is stiff, even simple movement results in pain because it is blocked by the misalignment. When this is corrected, blood flow improves and the process of improving flexibility becomes less taxing
There is more to a chiropractor’s day than correcting misalignments in the spine. Chiropractic is holistic in nature and in order to be truly successful, it relies on the patient to be a cooperative participant in treatment. Giving nutritional advice is a big part of this.
While advice can vary from patient to patient, generally, when a person struggling with flexibility adds protein and fatty acids into their diet it can help joints and muscles to be properly nourished. People should also monitor their intake of processed and pre-packaged foods as these can contribute to inflammation.
Flexibility Training Exercises
Because of many factors in our lives, as well as the effects of aging, people’s range of motion inevitably decreases as time goes by, especially if nothing is purposefully done to maintain it. Flexibility exercises are commonly strongly suggested by chiropractors as they strive to help their patients with range of motion (ROM) and flexibility issues.
In many cases, such as those where someone is suffering from tendinitis or bursitis, the truly therapeutic exercises are resistive exercises. These, however, are limited, unless a higher level of flexibility is achieved.
Flexibility programs are implemented in order to make a given joint have a wider level of extensibility, which may be achieved by either traditional static stretching or Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) techniques, which incorporates a slow reversal hold.
Working with a chiropractor on a regular basis for help in gaining flexibility can help assure that a patient moves forward at an appropriate pace that is in line with their age and fitness level. This will help them achieve a higher level of success in their chosen sport or similar activity, and/or become more productive in their daily lives while experiencing less pain.
Correct *BAD POSTURE* with Custom Orthotics | El Paso, Tx (2019)
Maintain Proper Posture
Your spine does more than keep your body upright: it’s the brain that communicates to the rest of the body. Posture even affects your emotional well-being, including self-confidence!
Poor posture takes a serious toll on health. Here are a few of the negative results:
- Muscle soreness
- Blood vessel constriction
- Nerve constriction
As the years go by the problems worsen, which results
- In pain
- Restricted motion
- Makes the body more susceptible to injury/disease
Chiropractic care can help you maintain a healthy posture by keeping the body balanced. Additionally, custom-made orthotics are designed to help the benefits of that care last longer and better.
Maintaining proper posture involves sitting, standing, and lying down properly. Here is an excerpt from the American Chiropractic Association website on how to:
- Keep your feet on the floor or on a footrest, if they can’t reach the floor
- Don’t cross your legs. Your ankles should be in front of your knees
- Keep a small gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat.
- Your knees should be at or below the level of your hips.
- Read more on the ACA website.
- Bear your weight primarily on the balls of your feet.
- Keep your knees slightly bent.
- Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart.
- Let your arms hang naturally down the sides of the body.
Lie down properly
- Find the mattress that is right for you. While a firm mattress is generally recommended, some people find that softer mattresses reduce their back pain. Go with your comfort
- Sleep with a pillow. Special pillows can help with postural problems resulting from a poor sleeping position
- Avoid sleeping on your stomach
Healthy Feet = Healthy Spine
The feet are complex structures which function to provide protection and support to the body in relation to the spine and head posture. The feet are essential towards balancing the body’s entire weight, allowing it to walk, run, stand, and, jump. Consequently, foot complications may cause severe issues throughout the spine, hips, knees, and ankles if left untreated.
Your Gait & Postural Pain
Chiropractic care can be effective for treating injuries or conditions such as plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and ankle sprains, among others. Foot health is essential towards establishing the body’s proper support and balance, together with a proper spinal posture. In the presence of foot complications, chiropractic treatment can be used to achieve long-lasting health.
Flexibility is a critical component of keeping your body fit and healthy. Research shows that people who are more flexible are better able to reach their optimum fitness level. It can also help to prevent injury and reduce your risk of conditions like arthritis and other chronic diseases. They also have a better range of motion and mobility as they age.