by Dr. Theresa Dobson.
PART TWO OF THE “FIT JOINTS” SERIES
Introduction: Take Me to the River.
You wouldn’t typically think of your body as a river, though you probably should!
Your human vessel is composed of 70-80% water.
Every cellular function awaits the arrival of this liquid gold to perform the alchemy of generating life, energy and repairs that you body requires to stay alive.
Millions of chemical reactions occur every minute that require water. The joints of your body depend on water so blood can deliver much needed nutrients and escort ugly toxins and waste away.
Decreased water supply to your body is particularly vicious to your joints due to the fact that if toxins are milling around your organ system and there is not enough water to transport them to your bladder via the kidney, your body will use your joints as a garbage can for these toxins, thus detouring them away from your vital organs. This trade-off seems such a logical and smart compromise, but comes at a high cost.
Toxins stored in joints cause early degeneration with pain and breakdown close behind. Your luscious clear river has now become a swamp… Yikes!!
Hydration is one of the easiest economical ways to acquire healthy joints and a happy body overall. Grab that liquid gold and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Each of you require different amounts of water based on how many cells you have, so here is an easy formula to know the right daily amount for you:
Take your body weight in kilos and multiply by .033, this is your personal perfect water intake amount.
Joint of the Month: Your Precious Knees
The largest joint in your body is the knee.
Classified as a hinge joint, your knee is the meeting point for your shin (tibia and fibula) and your upper leg (femur) which are all joined together via a barrage of ligaments to secure this precious joint.
Without this joint we could be walking on stilt legs (very unattractive), and most sports as we know them would be impossible!
The function and health of this joint is dependent on the balance of the pulleys and levers (muscles/tendons) that attach to it.
For instance, weak hamstrings and strong quads create excessive load to the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament): the most commonly injured ligament in the knee.
Balanced muscles, healthy ligaments and good posture are critical to this joint. So get yourself assessed via a length / tension assessment by a qualified professional, physiotherapist or CHEK practitioner.
The knee is also the most complicated joint in your body! As it is a pivotal hinge joint that allows flexion (bending), extension (straightening) and small amounts of rotation, it is a ligament-filled joint. Those of you who have endured knee injuries and surgeries know these three lettered ligaments well: ACL, PCL, MCL and LCL. Injury to this joint is the reason most people visit orthopaedic physicians. It is also the joint most vulnerable to acute injury and osteoarthritis with the ACL is the most commonly injured ligament.
On Bended Knee
Most of our available leg movements and virtually all sports activities are dependent on your knees. They also support the whole upper body – so many thanks required!
Because your knees are in such high demand, they are also subject to a variety of injuries. In fact, knees keep most orthopaedic surgeons as busy as bees. Unfortunately many knee pre- or post-injuries are not rehabilitated properly and leave many people with the inability to fully extend (straighten) or flex (bend) your knees. This can not only be very frustrating but also compromises the rest of the body which has to compensate for your weakened knee.
Bless rather than curse your knees and prepare them for the demands you ask of them!
Because your knees are composed of ligaments not muscles, you must train and prepare them quite differently. The flat surfaces of our contemporary lifestyles provide no challenge to these ligaments and they become weak and prone to injury.
The knee should be trained in multiple movement patterns with slow held motions to excite and engage the ligaments, otherwise they can become unstable.
This joint is seriously challenged if your sport involves quick stopping or starting, changing directions or repetitive impact such as running, rugby, soccer netball, basketball, skiing, tennis or squash to name a few.
Individuals with flexible joints and hyperextension tendencies are especially vulnerable to knee problems so seek professional advise before engaging in a sporting activity.
Key Points to Remember:
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
- Train and rehabilitate to address the ligaments not just the muscles.
- Seek professional advise and have a length tension assessment.
- Get your spine checked to ensure postural imbalances are addressed.
- Visit my webpage for more information or inquiries: http://www.activecare.co.nz
Create your perfect sporting moment…where your body, mind and soul smile. Breath into that moment and feel the magic. Then do it again… and again!
Next month’s FIT JOINT Series article will focus on the Foot-Ankle.
Dr. Theresa Dobson
Doctor of Chiropractric, Neck Specialist, Neuromuscular Therapist, Biokinetics Practitioner, CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level II, Sports-Specific Practitioner and Seminar Presenter, Dr. Theresa Dobson has a long-standing rep utation as a highly experienced and knowledgeable practitioner. With two clinics located in Auckland and on the North Shore, Theresa works with a wide spectrum of patients such as professional rugby players, boxers, surfers, yachtsmen, cyclists, motor racers, soccer players, as well as recreational sportsmen and women of all age groups. Theresa is currently setting up a new business, guiding people through the “Dos and Don’ts” of surgery, offering programs and seminars to advise patients how to manage their pain effectively.
Theresa Dobson welcomes your emails at firstname.lastname@example.org