• Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

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Stay healthy and pain-free as you age by getting an MOT on your body

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By Christophe Champs, founder of PODO Clinic and Workshop

In the UK, you must get an MOT for your vehicle by the third anniversary of its registration, but nobody forces you to have an MOT for your body. This is despite the fact that you must rely on it throughout your entire life, you cannot really replace it, and your independence and freedom depend on its overall condition.

At any stage of life, men and women—whether athletes, workers or pensioners—can benefit from a body MOT (having it assessed by an expert) to improve their quality of life. Unfortunately, there is a prevalent idea that when the body hurts or when you feel low the solution can be found in a pill. This isn’t the case and pills don’t address underlying causes. However, when you’re in pain you can take some of the best probiotics for men and women, which can help with easing the pain and partially resolving the issue.

Let’s face it, aging is not fun, but keeping active is key to keeping on having fun, at any age.

But there is a risk. Physical activity can help you build a strong and healthy body, or it can cause damage, and this depends on the quality of your alignment, balance, and postures (standing, sitting, and sleeping).  So, it is essential to ensure that the body is aligned and in balance – that’s the MOT, if you like.

So, what do you need to look at to make sure your body is able to work well and avoid injury?

Start where you are, with what you have: your body

The body adapts to internal (physical, biological, psychological) and external (environment, social/contextual) factors; and the body has some incredibly important functions.

  • The body stores memories experienced in the past or information seen on others.
  • The body assimilates and treats all types of data in order to fail better until it succeeds.
  • The body controls automatism (our unconscious movements, like breathing).

It is important to remember that our bodies are not fixed, they change over time, and these changes influence the health of our body and our movements.

Who to contact for a body MOT

A good place to start is with an expert in biomechanics as they can take an overall look at your structure, your posture, and your movement. From there, they can recommend what sort of treatment plan you will need and/or what other type of expert may be best for your personal circumstances.  For example, you may need orthotics and then an exercise plan with a trainer, or regular physiotherapy or IDD (Intervertebral Differential Dynamics) Therapy, or perhaps taking Pilates classes in Townsville or yoga might be best for you, or cranial osteopathy. There are lots of options and by getting your body assessed you can then focus your treatment with the correct professional.

What to expect from a body MOT?

A body MOT should focus on your main concern(s) with an expert to understand your physiopathology or how you went from a healthy state to a pathologic one. Once a problem is understood, it is on its way to being sorted. You will also benefit from having a professional identifying any bad habits and they can also dispel any myths you may have been told. Finally, you must have a proper treatment plan established, with progress points to track, and a person to talk to when you have any questions or are feeling demotivated.

Why have a Body MOT?

Rather than opting for self-medication when experiencing any symptom, a body MOT will help you adopt a clinical and logical approach, guided by a medical practitioner with a better expertise and experience than the world-wide-web.

Every clinic, whether it be a physio or provider of Sydney chiropractic services, has its own philosophy and therapeutic arsenal. At PODO for example, we work from—and on—the feet (the body anchor and a quarter of the skeleton) up to the neck. Looking at the entire body while referring you to other techniques and therapies when needed. Communication with patients and referrers is ongoing to make sure the patient understands how their body can work better and is able to take steps to get there.

Who can benefit from a body MOT?

Everyone can benefit from a body MOT because preventive measures, compared to curative ones, make patients save time, pain, and money. Plus, by investing in your health to make your body work better you will likely also improve your quality of life and treat yourself to a brighter future.

Many people already opt for at-home or in-clinic blood tests, a preventive health screening to gain actionable insights into their current health status. It is not necessary to have any symptom or to be a hypochondriac to start taking control of your health. Blood tests and mechanical tests are equally important if you want to live better and hopefully longer.

What kind of solutions/ treatments come out of a body MOT?

Surgery-free—also known as ‘conservative’—solutions/treatments (for example, orthotics, manual therapies, physical therapies, coaching) are the most common approach and it is unlikely that any radical treatment involving blades and needles will be recommended at this stage.

For example, at PODO, we work on orthotics because they can address both sides of your body independently, but also because they can be adjusted or replaced over and over as your body changes, something that you can’t do with the joints inside your body.

Orthotics can be used for anything from a short time to permanently (depending on the patients and their goals), but bad habits must be changed and not allowed to reappear if you want to age more healthily and keep active and pain-free for longer.

Alignment, balance, and posture are the three axes your biomechanics consultant can improve for you with a pair of custom orthotics. Osteopaths and Chiropractors also work on the axis of your body, the skeleton if you prefer, through manual therapies. Once the bones are realigned, the muscles imbalances are reduced and can be addressed with your physiotherapist and trainer using various manual, physical, or alternative therapies.

Where are the limits of a body MOT?

This depends on the initial expectations, and whether you need to focus on structural or postural factors.

Your structural factors can’t be changed. You’ve got to work around them. The skeleton and its 224 bones are connected by the ligaments. The elasticity of your ligaments will define whether you are stiff, mobile, hypermobile, or somewhere in between.

Postural factors are the ones that can be changed. From an untracking kneecap or foot overpronation to anterior pelvic tilt, obesity, or poor flexibility, your practitioner will ask you to make changes to your lifestyle and general diet. These will help to solve the issues and ensure long term health.

In conclusion.

Treating the root cause is the opposite of treating the symptoms. Treating symptoms is just that – treating the symptom, it won’t make the issue go away. To do that, you need to look at the cause.

Some changes are quite easy to implement, such as putting a pair of orthotics in your shoes and lacing up your footwear every morning. Other changes will require you to take actions and be consistent: change your diet; adapt your lifestyle; do your daily stretches or strengthening exercises. But to make progress it is always advisable to team up with an expert and get help making the changes you have committed to in order to improve in your life. There is always a good reason to make your body work better.

At PODO, it takes only 90 minutes to draw up a treatment plan and make a pair of custom orthotics. But the communication is ongoing because orthotics is only one part of the puzzle to solve your problem, boost your rehab, improve your performance, and simply live better.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christophe Champs is an expert in Biomechanics, and the founder of PODO Clinic and Workshop. Christophe works with clients to help correct postural and biomechanical issues that are causing pain or putting a client at risk of injury. By testing both the moving gait and the still posture Christophe can correct misalignment and asymmetry through creating custom-made orthotics to suit the exact needs of each individual client.

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