So what is movement?

Seems like a straightforward question and answer;  “you know, bring this from here to there”.

Technically that’s true and it is kind of simple, but when you can’t go from here to there, what’s happening?

Say you’re having everyone over for dinner and you want to use that big pot from the top shelf to cook the chili in.  You put it up there last time but now you can’t reach it.  You can’t move your arms high enough to get it.

What’s stopping you?

It could be one or several things.  Your muscles are tight so your arms won’t go that high.  But which ones?  Could be your shoulders, your neck, your back, your hips or even your ankles.

Or, it could be that your not strong enough to lift your arms.  But is it just the arm and shoulder muscles that are weak, or could it be the muscles of your trunk, or your calves?  You sometimes could stand on your tippy toes to reach up a little further, but now, you can’t quite get there.

Did you find that as you started to reach up your arms you couldn’t quite bend your neck back to see what your were reaching for, or, you did bend your neck back only to find that you lost your balance and started to fall over backward.

But, did you lose your balance because your neck was stiff and you leaned too far back so that you could see what you were after, or is your vestibular system, which is located in your inner ear and acts as a stabilizer for your body, not functioning properly?  It could even be that your ankles aren’t sending good information about where your body is relative to your feet so when you put your body in an unfamiliar position, they don’t know how to help.

Ok, so maybe you were successful, and you got your arms from down here to up there.

You are really excited about this dinner party and trying out that new chili recipe on your friends so you get those arms up there some how and grab hold of that pot.  You pull it off the shelf and bam, it’s too heavy and you drop it. Or you hold on tight but you fall over. Or you hang on tight to the pot but it’s weight causes you to do an awkward dance to keep it from falling and you wrench your back, or your ankle or your knee.  You couldn’t control the extra load when your arms were up overhead in a position they may not have been in a while.

Technically you moved it, but the outcome probably wasn’t what you imagined.

You could easily apply this scenario to climbing a set of steps, getting out of a chair, starting a painting project, getting down to the floor or back up off of it, carrying some boxes.

Movement or doing the things you want during the day that require going from point A to point B shouldn’t be a luxury, and doing something unfamiliar shouldn’t cause an injury.

It may seem as though moving is very complicated, and on some levels it is.  But I’m sure you also have many things that you do or ways that you move that just seem to happen with little more thought than just doing the activity.

Once we determine why movement isn’t happening there are often very simple things to do to bring it back or, at least make it easier.   It just takes wanting to and realizing there is a way.

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