Restricted movement, inflexibility, and a lack of ‘ease’ with motion is something that can really sneak up on you.
Something as simple as bending over to pet your friend’s dog, reaching up into the top of the pantry for cereal or something like trying to make a tennis serve after not playing for a year can make you feel it…that ‘rusty’ feeling in your joints.
From time to time most people feel restricted movement that is unpleasant but not necessarily painful. A good metaphor is a rusty hinge or a squeaky door- it works, but it doesn’t work with ease. I like to think of the Tin Man from the wizard of Oz when he got rusty and needed a ‘dab of oil’ (I’m probably dating myself here).
A lot of people will take this feeling of ‘rust’ in the joints for granted and just ignore it, thinking “It’s normal- everyone feels stiff from time to time”. The problem is that it may not be normal. That feeling may actually be your body setting off an alarm and trying to tell you “Help! Something is out of alignment here!”
Often I’ll see people who have ignored and put off doing something about that stiff feeling for so long that their bodies have actually gotten used to it. These people will come in months, even years after this feeling started and find that they can’t even bend their neck forward properly, lift their arm over their head, or flex their hip for example. Whats worse is that after their initial assessment I often have to tell these clients that they’ve developed scar tissue, structural changes in their spines or extremity joints, and even arthritis as a result of ongoing neglect.
When spinal and extremity joints become misaligned due to injury or stresses- they don’t glide and track properly. When this happens, muscles tighten up around the joint to compensate, and abnormal movement patterns in the body can occur, causing damage over time.
These negative long-term outcomes can be avoided however. A chiropractor can assess your movement, structure, and function and determine what and where the problem is. At our Saanich (Victoria BC) office we utilize some incredibly useful technology to do this.
Your body is intelligent in design- when you feel the ‘rust’ building up in your joints don’t take it for granted. Look after yourself and let chiropractic be your can of WD-40.