Tuesday, July 20, 2021

What Happens When the Body Compresses


When the body compresses unnaturally, it can cause a number of health concerns. For one thing, back problems can arise, but also joint pains in your knees and hips. Not to mention, your posture will be affected, which can cause the pelvis to tilt forward, creating more pressure on your lumbar spine. Compression that deals an injury is usually done during a sudden impact. Blunt force trauma in accidents and falling are on the list of things that cause major compression in the spine, joints and muscles. So what actually happens to us when we suffer this kind of action?

Nowhere to run

The soft gelatinous substance that is between our joints is cartilage. This wonderful fluid is incredibly spongy, can absorb high amounts of force and protects our joints from rubbing bone on bone. Essentially, it's the air in our wheels if you want to think of it that way. What happens to the tires of a car that compress suddenly? The tires usually burst and that is not quite what happens to our joints, but the tissue that keeps the cartilage in place can burst or leak. This causes the bones to rub on each other and thus, a hard surface damages another hard surface. 

It can also mean our joints do not have the same range of motion anymore either. Cartilage acts as a lubricant to smooth our joints out, allowing flexion and contraction to occur seamlessly. During a heavy impact, the cartilage has nowhere to run and can end up leaking out into your fascia tissue.

What causes compression?

Well, it's pretty easy to know what can cause such a heavy compression. A car accident is the number one culprit of sudden body compression, causing chronic pain and early onset arthritis. Speak with lawyers who specialise in personal injury who can get you the compensation you deserve to pay for your medical bills, further treatment and time taken off work. This is something they deal with all the time, and doctors can give written reports about your compression injury which can then be used in court.

Blunt force trauma in sports can also cause massive compression in your joints too. This is something that is felt in hip joints and elbow joints, for those that play American football. However the human body has 360 joints altogether, so there could be any number of compression injuries due to one tackle or impact.

How to prevent compression

We’ve talked about compression as if it's only a bad thing. Compression is natural in the body. It helps to absorb our body weight, when we walk, sit and run. However, too much compression is something to avoid. If you play sports, try to work on your joint flexibility. Doing full range of motion stretches is vital to allowing your cartilage a break. You can also try to improve your flexors in your shoulders, hips, knees, ankles and elbows. This prevents your joints from needing to use the cartilage to absorb impact, and instead, offloads the pressure onto muscles. The flexors align our joints and muscles in case you didn’t know.

Chronic pain

When our cartilage has been abused for such a long time it can cause it to wear away. Think of a cushion that was once new and bouncy. After years of excessive use, it's now slimmer, less flexible, a little stiff and not as durable. In terms of our bodies, this can cause chronic pain in our joints.

Arthritis is common among athletes, even in their 40s and 50s. It's because their joints no longer have that pad or cushion that prevents joints from getting frozen. Chronic pain is a given in these situations. So if you want to avoid chronic pain in your joints, here are some things you can do.

  • Eat more oily fish. White oily fish like sea bass, and red fish like salmon are excellent for your joints. The omega-3 oils work wonders for your joints, helping them to heal, become more flexible and repair quicker.

  • Drink more milk. Vitamin C is just plain helpful. There’s no other way to say it, milk helps to grow strong bones and this helps your joints to become tougher.

  • Stretch as best you can before sports, working out and just for everyday activities. Make a morning stretch routine and see how good you feel during the day.

Body compression injuries are not as well-known by most people because we usually don’t feel the kinds of loads needed to injure us in this way. Protect your joints, your cartilage and your body by eating right, stretching and caring more for your joints. 

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