Arthritis comes with old age, right? NO!
Muscles attach to bone and cause the bone to move, via the joint, when they contract.
When muscles do not realize their full length because they become overused, misused, or become fatigued, they contract. Contracted muscles lose length and, over time, are not able to realize their full expanse due to muscle memory.
In essence, the muscles ‘forget’ how long they truly are, hence you have pain when stretching. Therefore, in order to avoid pain, you don’t stretch the muscle to its full length. Yes, pain is not a good thing and avoiding it is a good thin, more on this later.
Back to the attachment to bone, these shortened muscles pull on the bones, which slowly squeeze the cartilage in the joint. The pressure on the cartilage does not allow proper fluid and nutrition in causing dehydration and deterioration.
According to Mayo Clinic “cartilage breaks down and wears away. As a result, the bones rub together causing pain, swelling, and stiffness.” They go on to explain that arthritis is not curable, however avoidance is possible.
As a massage therapist, I have seen great results in clients who were diagnosed with arthritis. By educating the client about muscle function and stretching, to relax the muscles and slowly ‘remind’ them how long they are. Water intake in combination with the release of pressure from the joint, the cartilage regains it’s normal, rubbery consistency. This reduces pain and inflammation.
Is this a cure? Semantics I suppose, ask my clients what they think.
Oh, yeah, the age thing, I see it in teens as well so no, arthritis is not ‘normal’ in the aging process.
Source: Osteoarthritis http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/osteoarthritis-000118.htm#ixzz2UM47cEMR
University of Maryland Medical Center
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