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Published: April 22, 2021

Aging and Movement

Do you suffer with aches and pains?

Aging is the process of getting older and is a natural part of life. When we think about aging, we need to consider not just physical factors but psychological and social changes too.

Over the years we face a lot of stressors, especially physically and our bodies adapt to accommodate these. To explain how physical stress can affect our body, over time, we need to understand how our body moves. 

We have seven primary movement patterns, which our brain has formed to allow us to move throughout our lives. A movement pattern describes a particular motion rather than muscle group.

These 7 movement patterns are –

  • Gait (walking and running)
  • Squatting
  • Lunging
  • Pulling
  • Pushing
  • Pressing
  • Twisting

These patterns are repeated over and over and are developed in our formative years. Our brain is amazing at applying and adapting these movement patterns to every day tasks. Such as, going up and down stairs requires our lunge patterning.

When we consider aging and these patterns, we can understand that over time we can pick up faulty movement patterns, either through postural stress or injury. These faulty patterns can put unnecessary stress through our joints and soft tissue. This can lead to adhesions in our fascia, shortened muscle groups, overuse and loss of movement. When our body is not functioning optimally that can lead to aches and pains, which is simply your bodies way of letting you know something isn’t quite right.

Along with the fact our tissue goes through structural change, such as muscles fibres decreasing in density and tissue becoming more fibrotic, it’s no wonder we are more prone to injury as we age. 

Therefore, if we address these faulty movement patterns and reduce stress on our bodies, we can go a long way to eliminate these aches and pains that emerge with age.

Sometimes when tissue has lost flexibility it is important to have physical therapy such as chiropractic, acupuncture or myofascial release to address any restrictions in movement. This together with movement repatterning can help you live life to the fullest.

Over the years I have had many patients come into the clinic and say they have attributed their aches and pains to the natural process of aging. My heart sinks when I hear this as often it meant people have been putting up with pain unnecessarily. To me, it also means that I am confident I can help them. I find that through gentle treatment to encourage these movements and sometimes even the smallest of changes can have a huge impact on a patient’s life.

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