Question. What implications does body movement have in a healthy life?
Answer. Above all, movement is life. The first fundamental implication is that a life without movement is not a complete life. On the other hand, the movement itself helps life to manifest itself in the healthiest way possible.
Q. What are the main pillars of our movement?
R. The main pillars of our movement are first of all the bones, which are articulated between them through the musculoskeletal system through the joints, which are the hinges that connect two or more bone segments.
These joints receive the order of the brain to move thanks to the nerves, which reach the level of the muscles, which are the third element of the musculoskeletal system and which, by contracting, order the joint to practice a movement in space.
Q. What main factors affect our mobility? How can we act to protect these three pillars of mobility?
R. The first factor is time, age. Obviously it is a factor that the human being cannot control, but that it can modify in the most physiological way possible throughout life, by maintaining movement.
Another fundamental factor is body weight. If we are overweight, it is evident that it is a factor that determines an increase in the wear and tear of the musculoskeletal system. This is a modifiable factor over time because we can influence our body weight.
The third element that influences the pillars of movement are injuries, which can be chronic or acute. In this second type we have to face the type of injury and optimize its recovery or maintenance over time to be able to reestablish a physiological movement.
Q. What aspects make our joints often susceptible to discomfort and pain?
R. First of all is the passage of time again, but the fundamental factor is sedentary lifestyle. The more a joint moves throughout life, the less susceptible it is to injury. The more you move, the more bearable the passage of time and joint wear and tear becomes.
Lesions, mostly degenerative in nature, also play a role. It is normal for there to be wear over time, but the idea is to have controlled and minimized wear throughout life.
Q. How can we influence our mobility and joint health through food, nutrition?
R. It is evident that we are what we eat. Therefore, the more varied our diet is and the more it consists of foods with high nutritional value, the closer it is to the Mediterranean diet that corresponds to the country in which we live, the greater the positive impact on the musculoskeletal system.
“There are times when it will be necessary to refer to a diet with an increased protein intake, which may be an adjustment of the diet or a supplementation with protein-type preparations: chronic injuries, after surgery or in recovery from acute injuries”
A varied diet will allow us to have all the fundamental nutrients and all the substances, such as vitamins, that our joints need to stay healthy and flexible over time.
Obviously, in two aspects, it will be necessary to refer to a diet with an increased protein intake, which can be an adjustment of the diet or a supplementation with protein-type preparations. In the phase of chronic injuries, after surgeries or in the recovery phase of acute injuries, it is very important to have and increase the protein intake, because proteins are the small bricks that build our muscles and allow us to maintain our muscular heritage the more intact and recover more quickly from injuries.
Q. What other tips would you give to maintain and improve our joint well-being? And to prevent injuries in sports activities and / or accelerated joint wear?
A. To keep the musculoskeletal system healthy, you have to let this system do what it is built for: movement. We have to remember that we were born to move and that we need to move to live in the healthiest and healthiest way possible.
It is very simple, we have to move, and how ?: at least doing a light exercise of 20 or 30 minutes a day, such as walking. A simple walk helps us keep all the systems working in the best way and also helps cardiovascular well-being.
“It is proven that the more exercise you do throughout your life, the better you maintain muscle mass”
With 120 minutes a week, two hours distributed, it would be the background that the body needs to live in the best possible way.
It would be ideal, adapting to each situation and state of health, to add a small part of physical exercise to mobility and joint elasticity throughout the day. With only ten minutes a day, dedicating this time to ourselves to move the arms, the spine, the neck and the legs, just by sitting down and getting up from a chair, we maintain elasticity.
And then, for those who are more capable or who want to improve even this aspect, it is advisable and optimal to spend ten minutes a day on muscular strength exercises. It is proven that the more exercise you do throughout your life, the better you maintain muscle mass.
Thus, as human beings need to feed and hydrate for life to manifest itself, movement should be recognized as fundamental to life.
Q. What are the main consultations you receive related to joint well-being in people between 50 and 65 years old?
R. The age group between 50 and 65 years is affected by tendon-type problems, most of the time we speak of degenerative tendinopathies, or by problems of joint wear, such as joint cartilage wear and joint stiffness.
These processes are physiologically related to the natural aging of the person, but it is in this age group when they most begin to manifest.
Also because in the life we live people tend to be quite active, but sometimes they move in an unbalanced way, in the sense that we go to work, we sit for many hours, we go home, we have dinner, then the sofa comes. And then to sleep.
We carry out many activities, but at the harmonious and global level that we talked about before, we accomplish very little. When we move little the tendons adapt and begin to lose elasticity and therefore are more susceptible to injury.
Due to the wear of injuries and cartilage we speak of multifactorial processes, between genetics, physical predisposition and mechanical structure, because there may be a predisposition to generate osteoarthritis due to problems such as mechanical axis, such as, for example, people who have bowed knees .
If we add a sedentary lifestyle to all these factors, the vicious circle of lack of joint elasticity begins, and we have stiffness, it goes with the pain and the person ends up having pain and, therefore, does not move. Thus begins a vicious cycle that is complicated because weight gain is added. Increasing weight makes us weigh more and it becomes more difficult for us to move.
You have to move and eat well to avoid entering the vicious circle.
Q. How has the situation of the pandemic affected the consultations?
R. One of the collateral effects at the social level and in the general population has also been an increase in medical consultations due to the appearance of ailments, especially in the spine and hip.
This is because during confinement we have been in smaller spaces. On the one hand, we have moved less and we have lost part of our elasticity, and this generates ailments. On the other hand, there has been an increase in teleworking and not everyone has been able to have a suitable place to work from home and bad posture and incorrect ergonomics at work have often been observed.
Thus began ailments in the hip where femoroacetabular impingement has manifested itself more frequently, especially in young patients.
“We have to return to life as normal as possible and move again”
As a hip surgeon I have observed many more patients with pain at the hip joint level also in young people between 25 and 45 years old. Some have even needed surgery.
With repeated bad postures, many hours on the sofa working, watching TV in bed or sitting improperly, these painful impingement syndromes at the level of the hip have increased and all that is the pathology of the spine, such as cervical pain , back pain due to vertebral muscle insufficiency and low back pain.
We must return to life as normal as possible and move again.