Tuesday, February 24, 2015
STIFFNESS IS DEATH & FLEXIBILITY IS LIFE
Amar Nath Mukherjee
It is a natural phenomenon that our body starts getting gradually stiff as we grow old and after death it becomes completely stiff (Rigor Mortis). This gradual stiffness of joints takes place so slowly that it is just not generally perceptible. For example, the body of an adolescent boy or girl is much more flexible than that of an elderly person.
Why it so happens? Plausible explanation to this is that, the joint movement is affected due to the neuromuscular support but as we grow old the skeletal muscles become asthenic (weak) due to ageing and inactivity, consequent to which joints do not get adequate muscular support for their movements. As a result, they tend to lessen and minimize their normal movement and lesser the movement of the joints, stiffer they become and at times get ankylosed (fused). Vascular accessibility between the joints is either partially or completely cut off. Hence the blood circulation in those area is severely impaired resulting which avascular neurosis sets in.
For example each of a pair of long muscles which connects the sternum, clavicle and mastoid process of the temporal bone that serve to turn and nod the head (Sternocleidomastoid) when they become weak the movement of the cervical vertebra is very much restricted, sequel to which this portion of the vertebra gets stiffened causing spondylitis or ankylosing spondylitis. Similar problem occurs in the lumber vertebra and sacroiliac joints also when the movement in this area is restricted due to obesity and larger waistline.
Now the question is how to effectively counteract the said condition. If we consider carefully we shall find that our physical activity becomes more and more reduced due to (a) Ageing (b) Irregular lifestyle (c) Improper diet resulting in obesity (d) Addiction.
As far as ageing is concerned we just cannot stop the process nor can we reverse it either. Nevertheless we can retard the ageing by regular moderate workout and proper food intake; otherwise the process is very likely to be accelerated as there is no other third option left.
Addiction and obesity are the other major problems which increase the possibility of our joints getting stiff.
In view of the above a regular moderate weight training along with stretching are absolutely necessary for avoiding or reducing stiffness of our joints.
Both of these activities will take care of toning the muscles which in turn provide effective support to the joints.
Healthy lifestyle, of course, cannot give us any guarantee against disease free life but certainly one can substantially and significantly reduce the chances of being unwell and also the intensity of infliction, if there is any, will be much less than those who do not maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Our physiological system has a tremendous inherent and inbuilt capacity to repair and rectify of its own PROVIDED we render all its desired assistance to facilitate its smooth working and not creating any hindrance by misusing and misbehaving with it.
Posted by SURAJIT MUKHERJEE at 10:53 PM