It turns out “Motion promotes lotion. Everything is in motion”
What happens when we introduce motion into a structure, our body?
In a recent podcast from NPR – new research has determined the primary cause for increases in Osteoarthritis, specifically looking at the knee joint, was related more to an increase in sedentary activity and lifestyle. The postdoctoral study by Ian J Wallace, Daniel E Lieberman, et al. suggested the current “wear and tear” philosophy that pervades medical practitioners thinking and their clients on joint degeneration is not true. In fact, the more active, hard-working lifestyle groups studied, showed less degenerative changes than more recent populations who were less physically active.
Other key findings from research on joint dynamics suggest joints are like a pump. During activity the dynamics of loading and unloading the joint create many healing properties:
- during the swing phase, or non-weight bearing, fluids (arterial blood) are drawn inside the joint, interact with specialized cells in the cartilage to create a sort of ball-bearing like substance in preparation for the next phase of locomotion.
- during the stance phase or weight-bearing, the ball-bearing like substances allow the cartilages to have a slick gliding, cushioning quality for ease of dispersing and redistribution of the forces during full weight-bearing.
- also during the stance phase, the compression acts like a rolling pin to massage nutrient-filled molecules from arterial blood into the specified tissues lining a joint.
- during the end of the stance phase, around toe-off, the dynamic shifts to removing residue and byproduct from the previous actions out of the joint, ready for the next phase of a step.
These findings place vital importance on the optimal relationship of the joint complex that includes the bone and the tissues associated with the joint, the circulation around a joint, and the integral working partners of the lower extremity to promote a balanced joint. In addition, there are other factors and other relationships that have an effect on the harmonious joint function.
One must understand the inter-relationships of many systems for joint health and function – the structure, the physiology (blood dynamics), the nervous system, the hormonal, the organs, other related regions, and more. The key is to develop a perception for the qualities of how the joint feels (besides pain) and the space one feels in relation to the joint to make motion promote lotion and health.