Updated: Jul 2, 2019
Every 10,000km or every six months, right? That's the general rule of thumb for how often you should service your car or at least that's what the sticker on the inside of your windshield says. Well what would that sticker say for your body?
Depending on how you use your car or body, that 10,000kms might come up well before six months rolls around, or you may have accumulated more dust than kilometres. When it comes to your body, these numbers are different for everybody and it really comes down to the stress you are placing on it. If you are quite active and continually pushing your body to its limits, a check-up might be required every couple of weeks while someone who stays regularly active without excessive high impact stress may only need some treatment every month or two.
Regular maintenance -
The longer a car goes without a service, the fewer kilometres you get to the tank. This is due to a build-up of sludge in your engine oil. This sludge makes it harder for the engine to move oil around and therefore, decreasing the life of your engine. Our muscles also have many vital fluids running through them. Blood vessels and capillaries carrying fresh blood with oxygen and nutrients travel through the muscle fibres while also transporting waste away. Nerves and lymph vessels also travel through these muscle fibres. When our muscles start holding tension, those nerves and vessels can become restricted, resulting in less fresh oxygen, trapping of toxic lymph fluid, increased pain and decreased function. The surrounding tissues will also be affected.
Fuel economy -
The fuel we put in our bodies is exactly like what we put into our cars. The better quality our fuel sources are, the better our “engines” will run. Have you ever filled your car with cheap petrol and wondered why it was running a little rough? Think of cheap petrol like highly processed packaged food or fast food; you are still going to get from A to B, it just won’t be as smooth a ride. You really do get out what you put in.
Drive regularly -
How about the car that has been sitting un-driven for the last year without being ticked over? This is just like sitting at a desk for hours each day, followed by hours commuting and sitting on a couch. The musculoskeletal system is just like that car and the nervous system is powering those muscles, just like that cars battery. The body ‘forgets’ how to properly coordinate muscle recruitment resulting in weaker activation and increased associated fatigue. Unlike in a car, when one of muscles stops working efficiently another muscle will help out to pick up the slack, albeit, to its detriment. This compensation can lead to overload and pain.
Breaking down -
Fortunately, when a car part breaks down, we can take it to the mechanics and hopefully have the problem part replaced with a shiny new piece. That shiny new piece will replace the old part and the cars system as a whole will be back to full function without complications. This is where we wish our bodies were like a car. We have to rely on our body's ability to repair itself. Unfortunately, it isn’t a like-for-like repair. With a muscle tear or strain, those damaged muscle fibres are replaced with scar tissue, which generally lacks innervation and contractile properties. An example would be like fixing a rubber band with superglue. The rubber band will still stretch above and below the glue but will be prone to re-breaking if sufficient force is applied.
People tend to be a lot more reactive than proactive when it comes to their body and will wait for something to go wrong before they seek treatment. Since a Myotherapist deals primarily with the musculoskeletal system, getting regular treatment will help maintain general health and better quality of life.
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