Can you get up and down off the floor?
While you might think this is a ridiculous question, a functional task such as playing with children on the floor, cleaning up a mess, being able to get yourself back up to standing if you fall over are all simple, and often subconscious tasks many of us do. But how vulnerable would you feel if you physically couldn't do this due to joint or muscle restriction and/or severe pain?
People often won't and don't understand the importance of true function until that function is reduced or removed and starts impacting your ability to socialise or get through tasks that are needed every day- this is often when someone will reach out to us for help. Are we another ambulance at the bottom of the cliff when it comes to having a functioning body?
A functioning body is a happy body. A few of the best ways to ensure your body remains functioning include: move it | include strength training | identify and manage niggles quickly.
Move it!: Muscle tissue is made up on contractile components. It likes to contract and relax. Bones need and love force and load to remain strong. Your muscles connect to bone structures via tendons (everything is connected) bones don't freely float and muscles don't just start and stop in thin air. Every muscle has a top and a bottom, and both of those points connect to bone. We are made to move. The old saying 'use it, or loose it' couldn't be any truer.
Include strength training: why muscle should be your main priority?- no matter what age you are!
Posture: Hold yourself in the best alignment whether sitting, standing, or moving. This reduces overworked and loaded muscle, joint, and soft tissue, which in turn should keep away any pain or tension.
Stability: A body with good muscle tone allows strong, co-ordinated movements and lessens the likelihood of falls or stumbles.
Pre-hab: If you ever find yourself with an injury or needing surgery you will be forever thankful you are going into a rehabilitative or recovery phase in optimal condition. Rest/ immobilisation does cause muscle wastage so having a good amount of muscle to start with is key.
Identify and manage niggles quickly!
What soreness is normal?: If you have constant stiffness, soreness and/or pain this is not normal. There is a difference between 'workout or strenuous task' muscle fatigue/ stiffness and pain compared to 'injury' fatigue/ stiffness and pain. If you do a task that is more strenuous then you are used to, it would be normal to experience some discomfort for up to 3 days following. The discomfort should ease when warm, after stretch, or cease after a few days. If you experience sharp-shooting pain, a constant ache or stiffness throughout the day, pain that wakes you during the night, constant discomfort with no or very little reprieve this is not normal.
Find the right professional: Your GP is often a good first point of call if you are unsure of what has caused this constant pain or discomfort. They can look at any mechanisms of action, do diagnostic tests, and direct you to a professional that would be best suited to you. If you have experienced an acute event such as a rolled ankle or hamstring strain playing tennis that won't settle, then you may be able to go directly to a physiotherapist if you 100% confident of what has caused it.