Most of us have dealt with injuries or still do. Living in an active Valley comes at a cost, other than living here. Skiing, biking, hiking, and general exercise all add up. Eventually, we hit a breaking point when our body complains.
Pain is your body’s ‘check engine’ light. It’s the only way it can signal ‘something’ is wrong. In fact, 100% of musculoskeletal injuries occur when physical load exceeds tissue capacity. This can happen instantly (hit a tree) or far more commonly as a slow, gradual process.
Your body is designed to move through a full range of motion without pain easily. Limited, difficult, or painful motion is a sign of dysfunction. Like high blood pressure increasing stress on your heart & vessels, dysfunctional motion increases stress on joints & soft tissues. Although the risk isn’t fatal, living with dysfunction causes a lot of problems.
It’s imperative you measure your ranges of motion, as this is the only way to test whether they are actually improving. Just like in school, feeling good about a test is not indicative of performance. Remember the ‘sit & reach’ test? See if you can improve that score.
Whether your approach is self-care (stretching, mobility work) or with a professional (DC, PT, MD), the goal should be to *sustainably* improve range of motion. Better range means less load on joints. Less load means your joints are less likely to complain and, more importantly, last longer.