Movement and mobility to maintain musculoskeletal health
Movement supports neurological development.
Simple daily tasks, such as household chores, or coordinated muscular movements like developing sports-specific skills, require the integrated effect of numerous muscle groups. The conscious mind relays the desired command to your central nervous system which translates the message into electrical impulses that control necessary muscular movements.
There is evidence to show that body movement and exercise can support the health of the nervous system. Morgan et al., (2015) conducted a review of the effects of exercise on specific brain regions that are involved in important central nervous system functions. Brain regions examined included the brain stem, hypothalamus, and basal ganglia. These brain regions are often affected by pathologies of the central nervous system, such as Parkinson’s disease, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease. The review found evidence of multiple regional brain adaptations to both forced and voluntary exercise. Exercise can induce neurological adaptations that affect body function and movement in many instances. The findings of this review suggest that regional physiological adaptations occuring with exercise offer promising treatment options for recovery for those suffering from neurological health conditions.
Movement aids in rehabilitation.
Regular movement and exercise activates your body and is essential for maintaining both mental and physical fitness. Movement and exercise helps to strengthen muscles and allow you to live a mobile and independent life. Active and passive exercises, stretching, and soft tissue manipulation is key to rehabilitation. Active exercises refer to your physical effort exerted into muscular activity; passive exercises require a therapist to move your muscles and joints through their full range of motion for you. This is especially important for patients who have been severely injured or partially paralysed and have limited coordination. Passive range of motion exercises helps prevent muscle stiffness and keep joints from weakening.
Movement supports injury prevention.
A functional movement screen evaluates movement patterns in an individual and identifies limitations and asymmetries which have the potential to result in injury. Working on basic, whole body movements will help to strengthen the muscles and make movement safer. Often injuries occur due to imbalance rather than muscular tightness – isolated muscular power does not necessarily equal whole body strength.
Attwood et al., (2017) evaluated the efficacy of a movement control injury prevention exercise program for reducing match injuries in adult men’s rugby. A total of 81 participants were randomly assigned to either a 42-week exercise programme (intervention group) or the control group, involving ‘normal practice’ exercises. The intervention group exercise program focused on proprioception, balance, cutting, landing, and resistance exercises. The movement control injury prevention program resulted in beneficial reductions in lower limb injuries and concussions. Higher intervention compliance was associated with reduced injury incidence. Movement increases muscular elasticity and improves blood flow, both factors contributing to reduced injury occurrence.
The take-home message: Move often! Staying flexible, strong and active improves your chances for good health.
To learn how movement training can restore your natural range of motion to the body and develop skilled movement pattern book in to see our Osteopath and movement coach, Matthew Everitt.
Attwood MJ, Roberts SP, Trewartha G, England ME, Stokes KA. Efficacy of a movement control injury prevention programme in adult men’s community rugby union: a cluster randomized controlled trial. Br J Sports Med. 2017 Oct 21; pii: bjsports-2017-098005. Doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2017-098005.
Harvard Health Publish School. How stretching keeps your joints moving. (2018). Retrieved from http:// https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-stretching-keeps-your-joints-moving.
Morgan J, Corrigan F, Baune B. Effects of physical exercise on central nervous system functions: a review of brain region specific adaptations. J Mol Psychiatry. 2015;3:3. Doi: 10.1186/s40303-015-0010-8.
NIH News in Health [A monthly newsletter from the US department of Health and Human Services]. Healthy movements: your body’s mechanics. (July 2013). Retrieved from http:// https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2013/07/healthy-movements.