How Muscle Tension Increases Throughout the Lifespan and How a Chiropractor can Help
Chiropractic comes from the Greek language and means “to practice with one’s hands.” To grasp what chiropractors do with their hands, let’s take an average person’s body and study it over a hypothetical lifespan.
Childhood Muscle Tension
At birth, a baby has over 600 muscles and two hundred bones. Wherever two bones connect, it creates a joint. Muscles move the bones, causing the joints to open and close. Muscles consist of thousands of individual muscle cells. When you’re not using a muscle, some of its muscle cells still contract and relax. This is referred to as muscle tension. It’s kind of like setting the thermostat in your home down during the evenings, but not turning it off entirely.
By age ten, a person has developed some muscle tension in a number of these 600+ muscles. Easy muscle tension occurs wherever additional muscle cells are contracting in the muscle at rest. Thus, you’ll have a muscle developing simply from this low tension as well as from whenever the muscle is cramped.
Young Adult Muscle Tension
Another issue to understand concerning muscle tension is that if we tend to be under lots of stress (physical or emotional) there’s an increase of the body’s muscle tension. Likewise, in low-stress situations such as a vacation, muscle tension will be reduced. While there are definitely ups and downs, there is, altogether, a slow accumulation of tension as we age.
Now, by the time the common person is twenty, he has additional muscle tension in his body than at age ten, but one other thing goes on within the muscles too. Tense muscles don’t allow blood into them as readily as relaxed muscles, nor will tense muscles permit body fluid to drain from them as quickly. If muscles cannot receive this fluid or pass it at optimum, then individual muscle cells die and are replaced by less-specialized tissue referred to as fibrous tissue—internally connective tissue.
Fibrotic infiltration of muscles happens either terribly slowly over time or quickly due to trauma to the muscle in sports or accidents. Gross changes within the muscle texture can even evident to the touch. Chiropractors are well trained to use their hands to feel additional muscle tension and to understand the degree of fibrous infiltration. The degree to which a muscle is tense, contracted, and infiltrated with fibrous tissue is directly associated with however well the joint that muscle operates is ready to open and close.
Partial limitation of joint motion, referred to as fixation, is evident in a 20-year-old spine. So, while muscles have a dynamic nature as we age, a similar change is occurring in our joints. Autopsy studies of accident victims in their twenties show that the tip plates of the bones that compose the joint surfaces have begun to lose their shiny gristle coverings.
Muscle Tension in middle-aged adults
By age 40, a small proportion of individuals have lost a large quantity of gristle finish plate in some of their spinal joints. Joints require motion to maintain their health, after all. Our joints rely upon movement to bring fluid between the joint surfaces to shield them from weakening.
The average sixty-year-old has had such an extended build-up of muscle tension and lack of joint movement within the spine that several of their spinal joints have currently filled with the atomic number 20 and have become arthritic. So, as a person ages, she tends to find her joints and muscles are losing their traditional operative qualities, and she finds herself less capable of movement.
How Muscle Tension Affects Your Entire Body
The last part of this story is how the impact of muscle tension and spinal joint fixations wear the system. Your brain is nerve tissue, and its tail travels down into your spinal bones. Some of the nerve tissues exit the spine at every spinal level, attending to the organs, muscles, and joints throughout the body. Your brain isn’t simply inside your head; in some ways, it’s totally distributed in your body and comes out of your spine! Correct spinal operation ensures correct system function for your whole body.
How Your Chiropractor Can Help
A chiropractor’s job is to use his hands to slow down your joints. This corrective care is then followed by a lifespan of maintenance to optimize your spinal operation at every stage in your life. Just as a dental professional cares for your dental health over a lifespan, a chiropractor maintains your spinal health.