OpenRoad Driver Volume 14 Issue 1 - Page 76

76 » OpenRoad Driver TRIM LINES Move It or Lose It THE 7 BASICS by Vreni Gurd » From a physical ability perspective, the toilet was a dastardly invention. We are designed to poop by squatting down to the ground from the time we mastered the skill as a toddler until the time we die. Before the toilet we pooped often enough to keep ourselves adequately limber to squat low, and strong enough to easily get up from that position. Nowadays many of us stop getting down onto the floor altogether. The chair is about as close to the floor as we get. When we do find ourselves on the floor for some reason, like looking for something that rolled under the sofa, we realize that getting up off the floor is suddenly quite hard work. We attribute our difficulty to aging and accept this as an inevitable part of life. The question is whether the knee, hip, or back pain is the reason for the lack of ability or whether the lack of ability is the reason for the knee, hip or back pain. Often the lack of flexibility and strength is the underlying cause of the pain. If the pain came on gradually as opposed to a sudden trauma such as a car accident or fall, it is quite possible and even likely that the pain is due to being too tight and/or too weak. If one is flexible enough to squat to the ground and stay there comfortably, it is easier to recruit the muscles in the correct order when getting up, which reduces the chance of getting low back, hip or knee pain in the first place. One of the biggest mistakes well-meaning adult children do is move their parents out of a home that has stairs into a home that does not, thinking that a stair-free environment will be easier on them. But having stairs keeps one able to do stairs. Once there are no stairs to climb on a regular basis, the ability to climb stairs is lost. Soon stepping up or down a curb becomes a problem, and getting into or out of cars is impossible without help. And so the life closes down even further. There are certain basic movements everyone should be able to do to function well. If these movements are difficult or painful, our lives close down. These are The 7 Basics: