by Dr. Scott Briggs
February 2, 2022
As I see it, movement is important to all forms of improved health. When I was in chiropractic school we were taught early on that movement was life and lack of movement was death. Our bodies need to move. Movement is what keeps the joints of our bodies functioning and healthy. The importance and understanding of movement in healing and health is becoming more and more evident with each passing year.
In the medical world, for example, 45 years ago any surgical procedure was followed by days and maybe weeks of limited movement. Surgery to repair a ligament tear of the knee required at least a week long hospital stay followed by many long weeks of the knee joint immobilized by a cast or rigid brace. Once the cast was off, weeks were spent in physical therapy in an effort to restore most of the range of motion the knee had before it was injured. Full range of motion was rarely recovered after these type of surgeries from that era. How about delivery of a baby. When I was born 50ish years ago, the birth of a child meant at least one week and usually a two week stay in the hospital. How have procedures changed? My grandfather had a complete knee replacement done about 25 years ago and before he was wheeled out of recovery his surgically repaired leg was attached to a machine that was moving the new knee through it’s full range of motion. Physical therapy began later that same day and with in three days my Grandpa was headed home with an Ace bandage wrap to cover the incision and a single crutch for a little stability while he walked. When my son was born after an emergency c-section, my wife was sent home 3 days later. The understanding that movement aids the healing process has made huge strides.
It is this understanding that leads me to tell patients on a regular basis about the importance of moving. Computers have become a daily part of our lives and for some, screen time consumes 8-12 hours of their day. Computers save us time and make many tasks easier but this convenience comes at a cost. Humans are becoming more and more inactive with each passing year. Now you understand the first sentence of this post. Movement is important to all forms of improved health. We all need to get moving.
If you sit at a desk all day I recommend you set a repeating alarm on your phone or watch for every hour to remind you to get up and move. Go to the bathroom, go get a drink of always important water, or if you are really busy, walk at least three laps around your chair then get back to work.
Walking is a great form of movement. Walking will help reduce stress, help with weight loss, decrease high blood pressure, reduce the effects of diabetes, give you more energy, help with clarity of thought and improve overall brain function. Walking moves many joints of the body causing the synovial fluid that is in and around every joint to circulate around which provides oxygen and nutrients to the joint itself. Walking moves muscles. Contraction and relaxation of muscle fibers helps move blood through the veins back toward the heart. Contraction of muscles also helps move lymphatic fluid through out the body. All of these healthful events that occur in the body require movement to happen. Get up and move.
Challenge yourself to move more each week than you moved the week before. Find multiple forms of activity to eliminate routine and boredom. If you want to see something funny watch me try to play Just Dance on my kid’s Nintendo Switch but it is activity. Who cares how ridiculous you look, just move.
Wishing you great health
Dr. Scott Briggs is the owner of Briggs Family Chiropractic in Converse, IN. He has been a chiropractor for over 15 years. He has invited everyone to join him in his health journey for 2022. You can visit the first post on this to receive free helpful downloads. Click HERE to find that post. You can also follow us on Instagram (@briggsfamiychiropractic).