How good alignment keeps your joints healthy
Good alignment is when your body is in correct or appropriate relative positions. Proper alignment makes your body stronger and easier to move. In fact, hips that are properly aligned can safely support 8x your body weight.
Pain often occurs when there is a misalignment somewhere in the kinetic chain. If the misalignment is not corrected, it will wreak havoc on your muscles and/or joints. The end result is often arthritis.
Two types of arthritis
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are two main types of arthritis.
1/ Rheumatoid Arthritis is a disease in which the immune system that attacks the joints.
2/ Osteoarthritis is caused by the erosion of cartilage most often resulting from overuse and non-use of a joint. Misalignment increases the risk of overuse.
We learned from discussions with Dr. Gerbino that accurate and timely diagnosis is important for preserving your cartilage and your joints.
Keep your cartilage and joints healthy
According to Dr. Gerbino, the most important elements of keeping your cartilage healthy are similar to what you do for general good health: exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, and manage your stress.
1/ Move with good form
Proper alignment will reduce the risk of injury to the cartilage. Pilates helps train the body in a way that enables the joint to serve the function that it is designed to do. Movement taught correctly overtime is reportedly, as good as manual therapy.
2/ Eat a plant based diet
A plant based diet will help reduce unnecessary inflammation. Unnecessary inflation is an immune response that is not triggered by injury or infection. Without something to heal, the immune system cells begin to destroy healthy arteries, organs and joints. The result are some of the chronic health conditions such as diabetes.
3/ Reduce stress
You may not be able to eliminate the factors causing stress in the moment but you can change your perception and response to feel better about your situation.
Types of strains
Pain that is not joint related is likely a muscle and/or fascia strain. There are different degrees of strains.
Level 1: Stained muscle with no loss of strength
Level 2: Stained muscle with some swelling and loss of strength. May result in a bruise.
Level 3: Torn muscle associated with a popping sound.
Consult your doctor for Level 2 and Level 3 strains.
Returning to physical activity
When you are ready to return to physical activity, start slowly and modify your workout for restrictions and range of motion. Working with a Pilates teacher can help you develop good alignment and form.
Tips for developing good alignment
Harvard Health’s tips for preventing strains:
- Warm up before participating in sports and activities.
- Follow an exercise program aimed at stretching and strengthening your muscles.
- Increase the intensity of your training program gradually. Never push yourself too hard, too soon.
- Maintain a healthy body weight. Obesity can stress muscles, especially in your legs and back.
- Practice good posture when you sit and stand.
- Use the correct technique when you lift heavy loads.
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