Good flexibility of your joints is essential to minimize pain
Flexibility is a reflection of ability and debility.
Looser is Better
The looser you are, the better you feel and the better you work. The tighter you are, the worse you feel and the more it hurts. The more it hurts, the less you are inclined to do. The less you do do, the less you can do.
Slower Tighter Weaker
You get slower and tighter and weaker and everything gets harder. The stiffer you get the older you look and feel. The older you get the worse it all gets. You have less options, less pleasure, more debility and more pain. If you don’t do something about it, it slowly, inevitably gets worse.
Don’t take my word for it. Look around. Imagine you’re out at the shops and you see two 70 year olds. One’s a bit bent over, moving slowly, taking small steps, and the other is standing tall and walking with ease, striding out, arms swinging. Which one would you rather be when you’re that old?
Agility Vigour Stamina
No one ever picks the stooped and stiff one. That person can’t move as fast or as well, they look less healthy, less capable, and they are. The thing that is really obvious, even if you couldn’t put your finger on it, is their flexibility and strength. Stiff joints mean tight muscles and that means less speed, power, balance, agility, vigour and stamina.
And that means more pain, more debility and a lower quality of life.
Stiff and Sore
Stiff and sore is an expression we all use. You’ve never heard anyone say they felt loose and sore, have you? The stiffer you are the more pain you will tend to get. Stiff joints always become arthritic.
Joint stiffness and the corresponding muscle tightness are the 2 things I am constantly assessing and addressing when I treat someone. While stiff joints don’t always hurt (yet), sore joints are almost always stiff, with a limited range of movement.
One of the things about stiffness is that it most often creeps in slowly. We just get used to it and don’t realize the effect it is having on us. Whenever I loosen someone up, they invariably say they feel better, even if they said they felt OK before I did it.
You can Stretch
If you don’t do anything about it, as you age you will get stiffer. Joint stiffness is one of the great debilitating effects of ageing. Fortunately, you can do something about it. You can stretch.
Being active is not enough
Staying active is really good but it is not enough, it does not take your joints through their full range of motion. It’s true, you have to use your range or you will loose it. So, stretch like the quality of your life depends on it, because it does. It truly does!
Get It Moving
Injury has a similar but much faster and more specific effect on joints, as ageing. Whether it is caused by trauma or postural strain, injury usually causes joints to stiffen up. It’s this stiffness that often causes an acute injury to become a chronic or recurring one.c.
Avoid after injury stiffness
So after injuring a joint, or the tissues above or below it, once it settles down you must get it moving again as well as it was before it was hurt. That means stretching and exercising, and plenty of it. If you don’t, it will give you problems later, maybe really big, irreversible, debilitating problems.