Movement is Medicine

The following is a special guest post by Dr. Bill Kempe, Airrosti Provider.

There’s something happening inside of your body right now. Every single one of your cells undergoes this change, it happens day and night, and you don’t give any thought to the process: cellular repair and replacement. Your body is constantly picking up old tissues and cells and laying down new ones to take their place. All of the cells in your body go through this process constantly, some faster than others. For example, the lining of your stomach replaces itself every week or so while your skeletal system will be completely replaced every 10 years.
Why is this important, you might ask? Because the tissues are being laid down according to the demands we place on them. The more stress we place on our tissues, the stronger they become. This process is governed by two separate laws: Wolff’s Law and Davis’ Law. Wolff’s Law deals with the formation of bone. The more stress you place on your bones, the harder, more dense and resilient your bones become. This is why older women with osteoporosis are encouraged to engage in weight bearing exercises. Davis’ Law is essentially the same principle, but with regards to your soft tissues: muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia. By putting an appropriate level of stress on your soft tissues, your body responds by laying down new, strong, healthy cells.
These changes can be seen all over the sports world: Bodybuilders stress their muscles by lifting huge amounts of weight. Over time their tissues respond and undergo a thickening which leads to muscular development. Cyclists, triathletes, and marathon runners stress their heart and lungs to create healthy and pliable cardiovascular systems. Raphael Nadal, a left handed tennis pro, has one big arm and one small arm. All from the accumulated stress of predominantly using one arm over years of training!
Our bodies are no different. They respond to the daily stresses we place on them. What’s the underlying similarity? All of these changes take place due to movement. Whether you want 20 inch biceps or to walk a mile without low back pain, you have to teach your body how to move. What happens if we move often? We give our body instructions on how to create and remodel tissues that are long, pliable and healthy. If we give our body instructions on how to sit stationary in a desk chair, or watch TV for 4 hours a night, we’re going to get very good at sitting, but not much else. When we perform a certain motion or posture, our body assumes this is the activity it needs to get ready for, and will lay down tissues accordingly.

If you’re pain free, you have one job: move more.

If you are in pain, you need to get it fixed fast so that you don’t develop compensations or altered movement patterns, which place too much stress on certain tissues and not enough on others. This is why Airrosti’s treatment model is so effective. Utilizing manual therapy and functional exercises, we are helping to teach the body what it should be doing. By quickly reducing pain and dysfunction and getting you back to moving normally, you are giving your cells and tissues instructions on how to be pain-free and healthy both in the short and long term.

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