Movement is Medicine and Motion is Lotion
In Spring of 2019 I had a car accident that left me with a herniated disc in my low back and bulging discs in my neck. My body has the potential to live in a constant state of stiffness and pain. I’ve learned first hand how important it is to maintain daily movement, proper joint range of motion, regular exercise and soft tissue work in order to keep acute pain and spasms at bay. I’ve also learned that it must be a lifestyle because as soon as I stop, the symptoms reappear. A wise person once told me, “Fitness as a lifestyle can cause soreness but doing nothing causes pain”.
THE PROBLEM: STIFFNESS
When we stop moving, we stiffen up, get weaker, and loose cardiovascular endurance. Those symptoms result in decreasing physical function and increasing levels of pain. When we lose strength, the muscles lose their ability to control normal joint function and maintain stability. When we stiffen up, we feel more pain and most likely move less, continuing the downward spiral.
Joint stiffness is a symptom that can be caused by various factors:
Aging - tendons and ligaments lose their flexibility
Lifestyle - desk jobs and Netflix binging
Inflammation - swelling taking up all the joint space
Pain - the body avoids full movement of a joint
THE SOLUTION: MOTION IS LOTION
Think of stiffness like rust and movement like WD-40. If your stiffness is caused by aging or sitting too long at a desk, then GET UP! Initially, you may feel some discomfort in your joints or even hear some noises. Instead of immediately giving up, try shaking off the rust and keep moving as you will likely feel better. Our joints are made to move, they actually create their own “WD-40” or “lotion”. This means the more we move the easier it is to maintain healthy range of motion in all of our joints and the better we feel.
Gentle Movement Performed Regularly in a Non-Aggravating Way Will:
Aid joint lubrication and nourishment
Ease your joint pain and stiffness
Improve flexibility & mobility
Build muscular strength
Improve your balance
Help you sleep better
Improve or maintain the density of your bones
Improve overall health and fitness
Motion is Lotion also applies to persistent pain conditions. Many people with arthritis or back or neck pain have learned that regular daily, appropriate, exercise is a good way to manage their painful symptoms.
Lastly, I believe in a holistic approach to a Wellness Lifestyle which means that there will never be a one trick fix.
The Motion is Lotion goal is to increase muscle pliability.
Pliable muscle is long, soft, and lean tissue that is able to fully absorb and distribute the forces placed on it – decreasing pain and preventing further injury.
A pain-free lifestyle must incorporate:
Proper Hydration - Water, water, water! Aim to drink half your bodyweight in fluid ounces of water every day.
Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition - What we eat influences our inflammatory levels.
Functional Fitness - Is a classification of training that prepares the body for real-life movements and activities. Example: Incorporate routine glute and core exercises to ensure these muscles are as active and powerful as they can be.
Massage and Soft Tissue Work - Many times we need a BOOST to get past some adhesions in our muscles. Massage techniques are designed to restore muscle pliability. It can also shorten the amount of time you’re sore post-workout and maintain healthy ranges of motion.