1 – Endorphins, Nature’s Pain Killers
Endorphins are neurotransmitters that are produced by the brain and spinal cord. They are similar in action to opioid drugs such as morphine or codeine in that they bind to pain receptors in the brain and block them, thereby numbing or reducing the pain messages.
Endorphins are released as a response to pain as well as stress, so as well as their pain-numbing action they are known to help to alleviate anxiety and depression, and they work to lower stress levels and support the immune system.
What Do Natural Endorphins Feel Like?
If you have ever wondered what endorphins feel like, you only need to exercise to find out. When you do intense exercise, endorphins are released in reaction to the extra stress on your body. You may feel a surging “second wind”, a euphoric “runners high” during and after a vigorous run as a result of endorphins.
The release of endorphins also stimulates a feeling of euphoria which is a positive, energetic feeling you might recognise as a post-workout glow.
Mechanism of Action of Endorphins
When you start exercising, your brain recognizes this as a moment of stress. As your heart pressure increases, the brain thinks you are either fighting the enemy or fleeing from it.
To protect yourself and your brain from stress, your body releases endorphins. Similar to morphine, endorphins act as an analgesic (pain reliever) and sedative, diminishing the amount to which our nerves are triggered by a pain stimulus and therefore dampening our perception of pain.
Enquire with one of our physiotherapists to discuss a variety of treatment techniques we use to stimulate endorphin release and manage pain.
2 – Self-Lubricating Joints
Each of the joints in your body contains synovial fluid, a thick liquid that lubricates the joint so that the cartilage on all sides can slide without grinding and the movement is smooth and painfree.
The whole joint is encased in a lining called the Synovium, which produces the fluid and keeps it inside the joint while encapsulating any bones that aren’t covered by cartilage. This lining is the main place where inflammation occurs in joint diseases such as arthritis.
How The Joints Manage Their Own Lubrication
During movement, synovial fluid is produced by the synovium, and excess fluid inside the joint is squeezed out mechanically to maintain a thin layer on the cartilage surface for lubrication.
Varied exercise can help to keep the joints moving in all directions without adding wear and tear to a particular area. It will also help to build up the muscles around the joints to increase stability.
Benefits of regular varied Joint Movement:
- Increased blood flow to the area
- Improved flow of nutrients throughout the tissues
- Better removal of cellular waste
- Circulation and fresh production of synovial fluid
Symptoms Of A Joint Disorder Starting
Cases of joint inflammation are more common with increased age. The first sign of joint disorders is often a decrease in the range of mobility in the joint. When the synovium becomes inflamed and thickened, fluid builds up in the joint, which is why you also feel stiffness and a reduced range of motion.
If you feel your joints are starting to stiffen and ache, reducing your range of movement, give us a call to book an assessment. We can help you identify the underlying issues, and provide you with a plan to bring back movement and lubrication to your joints.
* Please be aware that information on this web site is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding an injury or medical condition.