In childhood, flexibility can almost seem like a parlor trick. The other kids notice which kids can do the splits or put their foot behind their head. But as people grow into adulthood, maintaining normal flexibility gets to be much more challenging and losing flexibility can result in a lot of pain to the musculoskeletal system.
Unfortunately, many of us do not retain flexibility through daily activities, even when they attempt to be active. Many jobs are largely sedentary, and even leisure activities keep us stuck in one place. In order to remain functional, joints and muscles need to be used, which means they need to be properly stretched without being overworked. The balance is often very delicate, and is something that chiropractic can help with.
The Role of Chiropractic in Flexibility
Most adults are not concerned with being able to twist like a pretzel, however, they do want to be able to maneuver through daily life without a lot of pain. One of the main things accomplished in most chiropractic visits is that the chiropractor will look for misalignments in the spine and seek to correct them with a combination of chiropractic adjustments and exercises.
When the spine is misaligned it can affect many different areas of the body including flexibility. Someone who is not flexible will have a limited range of motion (ROM) and treatments are designed to improve this, and restore natural posture.
But being flexible is about more than moving better. When the body is stiff, even simple movement results in pain because it is blocked by the misalignment. When this is corrected, blood flow improves and the process of improving flexibility becomes less taxing
There is more to a chiropractor’s day than correcting misalignments in the spine. Chiropractic is holistic in nature and in order to be truly successful, it relies on the patient to be a cooperative participant in treatment. Giving nutritional advice is a big part of this.
While advice can vary from patient to patient, generally, when a person struggling with flexibility adds protein and fatty acids into their diet it can help joints and muscles to be properly nourished. People should also monitor their intake of processed and pre-packaged foods as these can contribute to inflammation.
Flexibility Training Exercises
Because of many factors in our lives, as well as the affects of aging, people’s range of motion inevitably decreases as time goes by, especially if nothing is purposefully done to maintain it. Flexibility exercises are commonly strongly suggested by chiropractors as they strive to help their patients with range of motion (ROM) and flexibility issues.
In many cases, such as those where someone is suffering from tendinitis or bursitis, the truly therapeutic exercises are resistive exercises. These, however, are limited, unless a higher level of flexibility is achieved.
Flexibility programs are implemented in order to make a given joint have a wider level of extensibility,which may be achieved by either traditional static stretching or Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) techniques, which incorporates a slow reversal hold.
Working with a chiropractor on a regular basis for help in gaining flexibility can help assure that a patient moves forward at an appropriate pace that is in line with their age and fitness level. This will help them achieve a higher level of success in their chosen sport or similar activity, and/or become more productive in their daily lives while experiencing less pain.