Belsize NW3 Chiropractic

19 YEARS EXPERIENCE – BELSIZE PARK, NORTH LONDON CHIROPRACTOR

Michael H. Smith

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‘Ageing’ – Defined and Possibly Prevented

Most people’s idea of age-ing involves appearance. First thoughts are of the skin however one can discern an ‘old’ person from a distance; too far to detect skin quality.

What we see from a distance is
i) movement and ii)posture.

Belsize NW3 Chiropractic define’ageing’ as the loss of movement. This means you can be 20 years old and be more ‘aged’ than an 80 year old marathon runner or morning swimmer.

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At NW3 Belsize Chiropractic a classic symptom of the beginnings of neck problems is the patient who complains that reversing the car is causing neck pain. Alternatively the cliche picture of the old man, with lost range of motion, sciatica, hunched posture and reporting difficulty doing up his shoe laces. Or the woman who says she can do up her bra one way but not the other; ie one shoulder has started to lose range of motion.

You can test shoulders for such signs of restriction by trying ‘Apley’s Scratch’. This involves attempting to touch your hands behind your back, where one arm reaches down the back from above shoulder height and the other from below upwards. The fingers should touch, if not interlock without difficulty or pain.

What about the ‘finger to floor’ distance test? Standing with straight knees, can your fingers reach the floor? This test is an indicator of tight low back muscles as well as hamstrings.

The issue is primarily the fact that contractile organs such as muscle, do not elongate after contraction, by themselves. They must rely on being stretched back to their original length by either an antagonist muscle (one which moves the involved joint in the opposite direction) or by an external body such as a machine, obstacle or friendly Belsize NW3 Chiropractor.

Similarly elastic tissue such as tendons and ligaments only ever intrinsically contract and rely on similar external forces to be stretched out again. If one becomes less mobile due to employment, disease or laziness, these tissues contract and shorten in length thereby reducing the range of motion of the involved joint(s) and therefore, their owner. This in turn leads to joint stiffening and subsequent appearance of ageing. Other more permanent signs are calcification of these once soft tissues. This latter sign can result in joint fusion after which it is virtually impossible to regain original range of motion.

The ‘punchline’ therefore, is to prevent these prime symptoms or signs of ageing. Stretch regularly, exercise regularly and visit your chiropractor every three to six months. Treat these visits like an MOT as most people service their car more than their bodies. Also eat a healthy balanced diet including fish, vegetables and fruit. When eating red meat, only eat low fat, good quality meat to decrease the chance of longterm complications such as bowel cancer.

Follow the above advice and help prevent the signs and symptoms of true ‘ageing’ such as the posture and loss of motion of an ‘old person’.

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