Muscles, joints, and bones are vital to movement. They enable us to accomplish complex feats such as downhill skiing and simple tasks like writing with a pencil. Bones provide our basic body structure, joints allow flexibility of movement, and muscles hold them together to make it all possible. It is important to pay attention to these body parts all the time, not just when they hurt, and to care for them as we age. Proper care of muscles, joints, and bones now helps ensure strength and mobility as we age, and it may mean the difference in growing old gracefully, or not.
As we age, our bones lose density, muscles lose flexibility and joints become worn. This affects mobility and balance, making us more at risk for falling and fracturing bones. Seniors are especially prone both to falling and to diseases such as osteoporosis and arthritis, which can impose limitations on the most basic activities of life. Arthritis is the painful inflammation in joints due to loss of cartilage, which stiffens and reduces the range of motion in the affected joints. Osteoporosis is a gradual weakening of bones over time, which is a common cause of fractures. Even if joints are not afflicted with a disease, the older our joints, bones, and muscles become, the more important it is to know how to maintain these parts in order to preserve our basic mobility.
The NHS recommends healthy eating habits and moderate exercise to improve and maintain joint mobility, muscle mass, and bone strength. Exercise such as swimming and speed walking are great for a gentle, yet effective exercise, without big loads being put through the joints. A balanced diet which includes carbohydrates, good fats, protein, fruit and vegetables is all recommended.
Chiropractic treatment can help promote and maintain good joint mobility too. Gentle techniques such as McTimoney chiropractic and soft tissue release can be used safely and effectively on patients with conditions such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis to help ease the symptoms and slow the progression.
Being inactive makes your muscles and bones lose strength. This increases your risk of osteoporosis, falls and fractures. By staying active you can significantly lower your risk of breaking a bone. However if you have painful joints or muscles, it may be difficult to achieve the exercise you need. Seeking treatment such as chiropractic can help get you pain free and able to exercise again.