Do you ever wonder if there is a secret to pain relief and muscle / joint health? Well, there is, in theory… Do what babies do! Yes, babies! The fact is, if you or I had never lost the “movement patterns” that babies have, we would not “wear out” our knees, shoulders, low back, etc. in a lifetime.
Babies with normally developing brains have predictable movement patterns that ensure the safety of their joints and muscles before and during every move they make. Watch a baby pick up something off of the floor. They do a perfect squat using their hips, not knees or back. Watch a baby get off of the floor. They do it the same spine sparing way every time. Watch a baby cry loudly. They project their ear piercing cry with the diaphragm in perfect spine position like a well trained singer. Even though they may scream for quite some time in a day they don’t strain their voice because they do it properly.
Let’s consider a patient with a disk injury in their low back. During my exam, I see chest breathing, feel stiff hips, and watch them bend at the low back when rising from sit to stand. This patient has movement patterns that injure their back all day long. My job is to change this patient’s muscles and joints so that they can keep their back safe while the body heals the disk injury. Then I have to “re-teach” this patient to move “like babies do”. Why did we lose the proper movement patterns? Gravity, spending our days sitting, injury or even some appliances used to entertain infants have been shown to cause dysfunctions, to name a few.
Go ahead, try to squat like my niece in the picture above. She has the mechanics down pat. Many of you have grandchildren, nieces/nephews, or cousins in the 1 – 3 years of age range. Watch them play and you’ll learn how you can keep your joints and muscles healthy and safe. If you want to “do as they do” but cannot, because stiffness or weakness is keeping you from it, call us. We can help!