Joint injuries affect hundreds of million of Americans each year, yet what’s even worse is that most joint injuries can actually be avoided entirely with just a little at-home preventative care. Proper movement, for example, is one very small yet incredibly effective means of fostering long-term joint health. In fact, there are two very important reasons as to why proper movement is specifically crucial to sustaining mobility and preventing joint injuries.
Proper Movement Supplies Joints with Synovial Fluid
If you remember the Wizard of Oz, then you likely remember the lovable tin man with his trusty oil can, feeling sorry for him as he struggled to stay mobile along their adventure despite his dysfunctional joints. What you may not have realized so long ago, however, is that the human body actually works in a very similar manner. Although we may not need to rely on oil cans like our shiny friend, our joints do rely on a substance called synovial fluid produced by synovial membranes to stay lubricated, spread out inflicted pressure, and maintain overall optimal functionality. Without this synovial fluid the cartilage surrounding your joints can become malnourished, stiff, and rigid, causing your joints to eventually become arthritic, further reducing your mobility, and subjecting you to a lot of pain and discomfort – much like our poor metal pal without his oil. Fortunately, unlike the tin man, your body naturally produces its own synovial fluid when (and only when) you move your joints, forcing it into the cartilage through a process called imbibition.
Proper Movement Protects the Outer Layer of Your Joint Capsules
The surfaces of joints are actually separated by very thin spaces that are sealed up by special joint capsules that create an airtight joint cavity, also known as a synovial cavity. Joint capsules have two layers, an inner layer and an outer layer. The inner layer contains nerves, blood vessels, and cells that are responsible for passing along information about the joint to the brain and producing synovial fluid while the outer layer is made up of a type of firm fibrous tissue that helps the synovial cavity remain sealed, supporting and protecting the joint from harm. If, however, a joint is ever immobilized, the fibers that make up the outer layer of the joint capsule can quickly start to become increasingly shorter, effectively shrinking the entire joint capsule until movement of any kind is no longer possible. Fortunately, all it takes to avoid this type of deterioration is to stay active and keep your joints moving to promote greater elasticity of these fibers.
When all it take to potentially save yourself a considerable amount of time, money, and physical pain is to make sure you get up and take each joint through its full range of motion a few times every day, it should be second nature to you by now. If, however, you need a bit of help and/or advice – either with informative exercise instruction to help you prevent joint injuries or with restorative chiropractic care to help you combat the symptoms of any existing joint injuries – our formidably knowledgeable healthcare specialists at Balanced Health & Wellness are always here for you.
If you are looking for a highly-trained and experienced chiropractor anywhere in southern Michigan, call Balanced Health & Wellness today at 248.397.8122 or simply fill out the form in the sidebar to schedule your appointment.