Have you ever noticed the cautionary street signs close to retirement homes that indicate that senior citizens are likely to be crossing the street nearby all look the same? They depict a cane yielding hunched over grandpa-type who’s stance resembles an upright fetal position. It’s as if the aging process reverts us back to how we start on the planet however instead of being full of hope and progress it seems to promise that the future of aging is a painful crawl to the inevitable finish line.
The media speaks to society wishing to never get old with all of the anti-aging products and services that are available to consumers. Perhaps it might be more accurate to suggest that we DO want to age as no one wants to die young, but we want to AGE GRACEFULLY and not appear like the senior on that signage.
The reason that the joints revert to flexion with aging is due to the build up of myofascial restriction in the body. Inevitably, “What’s that?” and “What can I do about it?” are your next two questions.
Well, myofascial restriction is what happens when inappropriate repairs occur repeatedly in the body as a result of repetitive strain, injury, surgical incisions, sedentary activity among other reasons. The good news is that this build up can be reversed and then maintained with consistent but relatively easy effort on the part of the patient.
These repairs are highly disorganized fibrous matts that don’t just attach to what you have injured, but also adhere to other muscle, tendon, ligament, membranes, skin and even sometimes organs around it. This means that once your injury is healed, the muscle is now attached to these other structures which limit its ability to fully contract or stretch which results in the change in posture as well as pain.
As the decades pass and you continue to give your body reason to tear and repair, more and more of it builds up like the rings of a tree. Though it’s easier to reverse when the repairs are fresh, it can always be reduced with techniques like Myofascial Release.