A healthy human body contains 656 muscles. All of them are covered by fasciae, the soft tissue components of the connective tissue. Every time you stretch or bend a joint, the nearest muscles and fasciae contract, while others relax. If we only use around ten percent of the movement capacity of our body, the muscles and fasciae will no longer be adequately stretched. In time, they become stiffer and stiffer.
Let us illustrate this further. When we sit, we bend our legs. As a result, the muscles and fasciae in our anterior body area are relaxed. If we assume a sitting position frequently, our muscles and fasciae will slowly but continuously adapt to this pose and become unyielding. In particular, this happens when we do not stretch them regularly.
Consequently, the muscles and fasciae in our body cannot contract as intended if we stand up. Liebscher & Bracht refer to this as “shortening” of the muscles and fasciae. The muscular-fascial shortening in the anterior body region causes traction to the front since the required contraction cannot be executed. To manage standing upright, however, the body tries to balance the pull of the muscles and fasciae in the back.
This leads to an excessive amount of counter tension. Both in the front and back, the muscular-fascial stress is so high that the joint surfaces and vertebral bodies press onto each other. With such a force, the cartilage, the intervertebral discs as well as the bones suffer constant wear and tear.
Our body tissues contain a multitude of receptors. They measure tensile and compressive stress as well as velocity and forward this information to the brain. With the gathered data, the organism deducts whether the wear and tear of joints and spine are higher than the repairability of the body. If that is the case, the brain tries to warn the respective body area, to prevent further damage. This warning is issued in the form of pain, drawing attention to imminent health risks such as arthrosis or intervertebral disc damage. Liebscher & Bracht refer to such indicators as “signal pain”. The most exciting fact about this is that pain exists independently of damages and wear and tear. That ultimately means it can be “turned off”!