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Have you ever woken up one morning to find that you couldn’t move your upper arm more than a few inches in any direction. How much do you think that would impact your ability to do your job? How about your ability to drive your car or even to dress yourself? Do you think that would affect your ability to concentrate on anything–other than your shoulder that is?

Of course, if your shoulder did not move correctly, it would have a dramatic impact on your life. And, the same would be true for every part of your body. If things aren’t moving the way they are supposed to, it will definitely have a negative impact on your ability to function at work, take care of the demands of everyday life, and even on your ability to concentrate.

Many people with severe low back pain report that their pain came on suddenly when they did something as simple as bend down to pet their cat, put on their socks, or pick up the newspaper. You’d think that a person’s body should be able to handle such simple movements. So what causes this to happen?

Think about it this way.  Anytime the joints in one area of the body don’t move the way they should, other areas of the body are forced to move more in order to compensate. This creates a significant stress on those areas that have to pick up the slack, and in turn soon leads to pain and inflammation. At the same time, the areas that don’t have normal movement will slowly worsen as the muscles continue to tighten, the joints stick together, and the ligaments and tendons will shorten. This leaves the body in a very unstable condition and if it is left unchecked, this process will continue until the body can hardly move at all. That is the reason a person may come to suffer flare-ups of pain at the slightest provocation.

You have probably seen people who have lost much of their normal mobility.  Some, especially the elderly, may look like their bodies have been starched stiff whenever they try to move around. Contrary to what you may think, this is not an inevitable effect of aging but rather it is the inevitable effect of not maintaining the body’s mobility through exercise, healthy alignment, and body mechanics. You’ve probably seen people in their 60s, 70s, or even older, who are stronger and more flexible than some who are in their 30s, simply because they keep themselves exercising.

Maintaining your mobility is critical in order to live free from pain and possible disability. It’s not too difficult, but it doesn’t happen on its own either. It’s necessary that you perform specific exercises and stretches to keep your muscles, ligaments, and tendons flexible and healthy. It’s also necessary that all of the joints in your body are kept moving correctly. This can be achieved to a great degree through stretching.  Most people also find routine chiropractic adjustments to be very beneficial in maintaining good mobility.