Motion is Lotion

Lotion helps keep your skin smooth. Exercise helps to lubricate the joints to keep motion smooth.

 “Quis, they don’t know what that means,” my wife tells me.

“Know what,  what means?”

“What ‘Motion is Lotion’ means . Most people see that you keep writing that and think that any movement is helping. They didn’t take Traumatology and have it drilled in their head about tissue tension and healing times.”

‘What do you mean? I explain to my clients all the time that they need to gradually increase movement and activity to get the outcomes they desire.”

“Yes but you aren’t just talking to people who you are working on. You’re trying to build an audience and just like you hold an audience with your clients you have to explain things.”

‘Motion is lotion’ is a maxim we were taught in Physical Therapy school. It was one of many that was drilled into our heads. Fundamentally, it means that to promote healing you have to move that joint. This needs to be a purposeful movement done frequently. Lotion has to be put on to sustain youthful skin and movement has to be done to maintain a healthy body.

No clue why my hands open up like this for this exercise. Not necessary but a habit.

Bones, collagen(muscles, ligaments, and tendons), disc and cartilage all require movement. They demand movement to stay strong and when injured they require movement to heal. I know it seems counterintuitive to move when it hurts. When I hurt my back the last thing I wanted to do most days was to get up out of bed and lifting was an anathema. The point is the longer you avoid moving an injured body part the more motion is inhibited. I said inhibited not lost because if we can get a person in pain moving again their functional mobility can be restored. What happens is moving promotes increased activity on a cellular level, increases blood flow, and as long as that blood flows normally will promote healing. An added bonus is that it also promotes the movement of the body’s natural painkillers to that area to reduce pain. It doesn’t take it away completely but it does spark a reduction.

 The catch is that the catalyst to healing requires multiple repetitions multiple times a day. That’s why a runner’s high doesn’t come after a quick lap around the track.  For the endorphins to ignite a larger quantity of movement is demanded whether it be for a lumbar injury or to just get the overall exhilaration from a run. Excellent news though because you can start the process by moving the area above or below in most cases to aid in getting the reps in. I was trained to start the movement in the pain free planes and ranges and progress as mobility tolerance improves.

You don’t need a lot of equipment. When I workout by myself I use kettlebells and sandbags . With my patients I show them how to use items like bands and everyday household items.

 My job is to find the right movements that will assist the client in return to normal function. We seek to create an alliance with the patient to achieve their goals. I do my best to build a trust and relationship with said client to figure out how to best motivate them to keep moving because hey ‘Motion is lotion.’

Hip hinge with a Pediatric Nurse dealing with Low Back Pain.
Back when we could eat out. This handsome fellow with me is my oldest child. We try to walk 30 minutes a day to at least get the bare minimum required amount of exercise.

Here’s some links to equipment that can help you reach your wellness goals.

“As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.” 

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