Mobility is the ability to move your body freely in all the normal and available ranges of motion for your body. Mobility is a hot topic in fitness and in organized sports because it seems to be the “secret” to a person’s ability to continue training, avoid injury, pain, and move more efficiently. For all those reasons mobility is also a cornerstone to health.
Mobility is one the hardest and time intensive skills to acquire as we age, more difficult than strength or endurance, therefore it should be a top priority in everyone’s life. When Olympic athletes were studied to see which sport had the most mobile athletes, it was no surprise that gymnasts were at the top. What was more surprising was that Olympic weightlifters were second! Getting in those positions requires complete mobility.
The biggest cause for injury in the body stems from a lack of mobility; just look around and you’ll notice we sit way too much. We put ourselves in forward flexed postures for too long and we don’t engage in mobility training to undue our day to day lifestyles. Everyone’s body should have a proper length to tension relationship, meaning balanced muscles. Todays’ lifestyles are very unbalanced and creating more physical damage than we are aware of until it’s too late.
Our bodies are constantly re-organizing themselves from the stresses we put on them. Whether it is good or bad stress, our body is adapting. For example, when we lift heavy weights our body says, “Hey that was heavy, I need to make more muscle in order to be more prepared for that weight next time.” So our body produces growth hormone, uses food that we eat and creates stronger muscles, bones, and all the other structures of our body. This is called hypertrophy and is “expensive” to maintain. Meaning we have to keep using those muscles. Now, the same thing happens with mobility. You have to stretch and mobilize to reach a certain level of mobility and flexibility, and then participate in activities that use that mobility, such as gymnastics, yoga, and Olympic weightlifting. Luckily programs like Crossfit exist, where we are exposed to a lot of these activities.
People always ask me how mobility plays into what I do as a chiropractor. What I focus on is Neuro-Structural Correction. While most chiropractors try to reduce pain, improve range of motion and reduce muscle spasms, at my practice we aim to resolve the primary condition known as a Neuro-Structural Shift. When we correct these shifts, secondary conditions resolve themselves because the body works more efficiently and doesn’t have to compensate. A lack of mobility might be a cause of a Neuro-Structural Shift or vice versa. Therefore, here at Platinum Chiropractic strive to understand everyone’s individual circumstance to help him or her create a better lifestyle.