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So you have been told you have Arthritis and/or Osteopenia, what does that actually mean?

So you have been told you have Arthritis and/or Osteopenia, what does that actually mean and what can be done?

So I want to use this blog post to give you the non-generic truth about Arthritis. What I mean by non-generic is that the reason you get Arthritis is far more than genetic or random chance. We are the sum of the experiences of our lives and the more cumulative stress we place in one area, the more likely we are to experience degeneration at this specific site. I have worked with 45 year old clients who have been diagnosed with Arthritis in one hip or knee while the other side is completely pristine. This has much less to do with genetics than the way you move and the habits you assume. While you may have never been diagnosed with Arthritis, my intention is to help you to understand your individual risk factors and solution strategies by the end of this newsletter. What Arthritis IS and IS NOT: To understand Arthritis, it is important to know a bit more about the way joints work. A joint is merely a point at which two bones intersect.

The end of each bone is housed in a joint capsule and encased in synovial fluid (positively charged water) which acts as a shock absorber to reduce friction of movement. While Arthritis is often associated with "bone on bone" contact, this is not exactly correct. Bones rarely if ever touch. The reason why is that the articular cartilage which is present at the end of bones contains an additional layer of negatively charged water. Much like a bad relationship, negatively charged particles repel one another and so do the cartilages at the end of each bone. This is my favorite nerdy detail about joints. The fly in the ointment here is that cartilages are fed by the blood-flow from their adjacent bone. If this bone becomes compressed, it can break down overtime and deprive the cartilage of nutrition thus allowing it to also breakdown. This can lead to less overall hydration of the joint itself and more friction placed upon the entire system. If you are still reading after my nerd out, what I want to emphasize is that this is NOT contingent upon age but rather an area getting compressed over a long period of time. What is YOUR risk of Arthritis? So lets say you have Arthritis in your right knee. Why would this happen? Perhaps you injured your left knee early in life and begin shifting more weight toward the right side. Because more sustained pressure now occurs over the right knee, it begins to compress more than the left and becomes inflamed and eventually Arthritic. The point is that age IS a factor here due to duration of exposure, but it is not a pre-determining factor. Ultimately, the most important takeaway here is that the risk of Arthritis at major areas such as the knee, hip, shoulder and neck can be assessed by the watching the way you move and intervening with simple strategies to gain more movement in this areas and disperse the sustain pressure created over the site of concern. Just as we brush our teeth regularly, I believe that taking 10-15 minutes per day to mobilize and re-position our bodies can mitigate and in some cases, completely prevent Arthritis from ever occurring. I have put together this short self assessment to determine where to begin and this playlist of short 10-15 minute movement sequences to begin your journey. Wrap up: So I want to make clear that Arthritis comes in many forms and biomechanics is one of many factors which determines how it ultimately affects our bodies. With that said, reducing pressure over the Arthritic area will have a massive impact on slowing breakdown and making you feel better generally. Whether you have Arthritis or generalized stiffness, I urge you to take 15 minutes out of your day to nourish your body with movement. I hope the videos above are a good start. If I can help in any way, feel free to reach out and I will be in touch with more next week! Sincerely, Coach Chris

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