Movement is Medicine
Updated: Sep 6
Movement is medicine! Dynamic movement or dynamic mobility is key to feeling good and functioning well. Mobility is your body's ability to move freely without stress. It is active movement involving the joints, muscles, soft tissues as well as the nervous system.
Is mobility the same as flexibility you may ask? No is the answer. Flexibility is the length of particular muscles and is passive, stretch movement. Flexibility does not involve control and is only a passive measure. Mobility is the combination of flexibility and strength and the usable range the body/joints has/have. This means you can be flexibility but not have dynamic mobility. Dynamic mobility requires strength and the ability to control the movement. We need dynamic mobility to maintain a healthy, moving body.
Dynamic mobility has many benefits. Moving through joint range actively triggers a proprioceptive response and helps tell your brain where your body is in space. Repeating movements helps the system and in turn helps to improve balance, stability and function.
Active joint mobility can help prevent injuries by evenly spreading forces throughout the body, which decreases the risk of overloading. Opening up joints also has a positive effect on muscle activation, which improves strength, function and performance. Performing dynamic mobility exercises prior to exercise will enable you to move your muscles and joints to their full capacity.
Dynamic mobility can be an exercise in itself. It can be your warm up. It can be your recovery. Some people say it can be your massage. You can put it where you like in your routine. In the current Covid-19 climate, and with more people working from home, our routines have changed. Without the normal incidental exercise, commuting, socialising etc, we are spending more time sitting at our desks or on the couch. This more sedentary lifestyle can lead to a decrease in our normal mobility.
To ensure we keep moving and prevent injuries you may need to introduce a more structured mobility training regimen. Some ideas of areas to get moving and get you started are:
- thoracic (upper body) rotation
- thoracic and lumbar (back) extension
- hip flexor and anterior chain opening
- glutes and hip rotation
Physiotherapists are well placed to advise you on appropriate exercises to perform and how. Every body is different.
Prevent injuries through mobility training by improving your posture and technique, improving your strength and muscle activation, loading your body appropriately and recovering better.
Keep your body mobile. Movement is medicine.
The Movement Workshop strongly believes in using movement to assist with injuries. Reach out to one of our South Melbourne Physiotherapists for more assistance.