We often get asked this one in the clinic – why do I feel so much stiffer as I get older??
- It’s so hard to get out of bed in the morning
- I just can’t do what I used to be able to do
- Everything aches!
And then we hear the sad suggestion: It’s because I’m getting old, isn’t it?
The answer is NO!
As we get older, there’s more time for things to happen to our bodies, and often its a build-up of a number of events and experiences, that we don’t fully address at the time.
Here’s 3 things that may have happened during your life, that will contribute to feelings of stiffness and tightness
Lets be honest, the more time we have on earth, the more time we have to injure ourselves.
This can be as minor as spraining an ankle, but if it’s not properly treated, you could still be feeling the results of that sprain. Many clients come in with injuries that they’ve been carrying for over 5 years!! Finally they’re seeking help, but the sooner we can see you, the less time it’ll take to get better.
If you’re carrying an old injury that just isn’t getting better, book in to see one of our physiotherapists, so we can get you feeling better again.
Stress affects our bodies in so many ways, both inside and out.
I’m not a psychologist, so I won’t delve into the details, but long-term stress can start to show up in physical ways (think about how tight you are across your shoulders!). Stress can contribute to feelings of stiffness too.
This is where we often fall down
We all have so many things in our lives, but for many of us, exercise seems to become a bit too hard to fit in. Our bodies are designed to MOVE, not sit all day, so inactivity can be a HUGE reason why people feel stiffer as they get older.
So what can I do about it??
The damage is done, isn’t it?
Actually, there’s PLENTY you can do about it, and here’s where to get started….
Your body achieves, what your mind believes
Yes it’s true, if you believe you can make a difference to how stiff you feel, then you WILL achieve this. We talk ourselves into this belief that we just won’t be able to do it, or that’s just the way life goes.
2) Cheer squad
If you’re serious about making some life changes, you will need everyone around you to cheer you along. Make sure you tell your friends, family, neighbours, doctor and hairdresser that you’ve decided it’s time to focus on yourself, and really commit to feeling better. If they know you’re planning to walk 3 days per week, they will be the first to ask you about it, and celebrate with you if you get there.
If you need more members of your personal cheer squad, we’d love to help you find your motivation, and stay on track. You can book in to see one of our physiotherapists here, and they will be able to guide you every step of the way.
3) Get active
This one is where the magic happens
Start with a 10 minute walk, and build up slowly week by week. Anything is better than nothing! If you want some help to figure out where to start, and know how much to do, then book in to see one of our physiotherapists here. We also have a weekly flexibility class that will take you through some simple stretches, and leave you feeling AMAZING! For more info about this flexibility class, click here.
4) Address your stress
The cause of your stress will help determine what you need to do about it. For professional advice consider seeing a psychologist (such as our colleague Dr Amber Keast) or counsellor (such as our colleagues Maureen Winner or Dianne Ervine), that also consult at 18 Partridge St Glenelg.
There are so many ways you can feel better, so please don’t just put up with it any longer. Lets get that body feeling free and strong again. Our physiotherapists work with so many people to help them feel better, so let’s get your body on track now.