You’re Not 20 Anymore – Get a Massage, Will You?! 

Tips and Tricks of Massage Therapy
By: Reed McDow

We all would love to go back to our younger days to relive the fun and freedom, but the reality is that at some point, we all have to grow up. Weekends are a great time to cut loose and be active, but if you don’t care for your joints and muscles properly, it can lead to injury for weekend warriors. You can’t rewind the clock, but you can take preventative steps to keep your body in peak performance and minimize the effects of aging with training, exercise, and massage!

What Are the Effects of Age on Connective Tissue?

Not only are there aging changes to bones and muscles, but over time, your connective tissue is altered due to cellular changes. There is a natural loss of the cell’s ability to divide and grow, which leads to a slower turnover rate of the connective tissue which is made up of cells.

There is also an increase in fatty substances or lipids in the cell, and many lose their functioning. This causes waste buildup in the tissue. The result can be stiffness, weakness, and reduced water content on a cellular level. Massage promotes better circulation, resulting in better cellular growth and rejuvenation. 

Changes in Synovial Fluid and Cartilage

As you age, joint movement becomes more rigid due to a decreasing amount of synovial fluid. That causes the cartilage to become thinner.

Ligaments also begin to stiffen and lose flexibility. A loss of cells and tissue can increase the likelihood of joint damage and inflammation in and around the joint. In addition, oxidative stress can hasten the degradation of cartilage due to reactive oxygen species.

What Is Synovial Fluid and Why Is It Important?

Synovial fluid is the substance that helps to lubricate the joint. Healthy joints have high amounts of hyaluronic acid molecules that give the joint more lubrication for movement. As you age, the size of those hyaluronic acid molecules shrinks, which can inhibit the joint’s capacity to work effectively to lubricate and cushion the joint. 

Changes in Collagen

Collagen is a substance in the connective tissue in ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and bone. Collagen fibers are responsible for keeping the skeletal system flexible. However, collagen levels begin to decrease after the age of 2, and changes in collagen can lead to bones, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage becoming more rigid and brittle.

With all of these factors working against you as you age, it can be discouraging to spend more time on the bench than on the playing field. Although you can’t stop aging, you can minimize the effects that it has on your body with proper nutrition and supplementation. Exercise is also an important component of keeping your muscles and joints strong and healthy. 

When you combine nutrition and a healthy lifestyle with massage, you can significantly reduce the effects of aging on the body and live a fuller, more active life. Incorporating massage into your routine is a must to minimize joint, bone, ligament, and cartilage damage and promote healthy cell growth. Massage improves blood flow, helps cells grow, and increases fluid for flexible and strong joints and muscles. Make your appointment for a massage today to start living a pain-free and active life now!