WHY WE ALL NEED A "BODY MOT" IF WE ARE TO STAY HEALTHY AND PAINFREE AS WE AGE
August 2022, Christophe Champs
By law, in the UK, you must get an MOT for your vehicle by the third anniversary of its registration, but nobody forces you to have an MOT for your body. This is despite the fact that you must rely on it throughout your entire life, you cannot really replace it, and your independence and freedom depend on its overall condition.
At any stage of life, men, women, whether athletes, workers or pensioners, can benefit from a body MOT and having it assessed by an expert to improve their quality of life. Unfortunately, many patients and medical practitioners have been educated with the idea that there is always a pill to take when the body hurts or when you feel low. This isn’t the case and doesn’t address the underlying causes.
Let’s face it, aging is not fun, but keeping active is key to keeping on having fun, at any age. But there is a risk; physical activity can either damage or help you build a strong and healthy body, and this depends on the quality of your alignment, balance, and postures (Standing, sitting, and sleeping). So, it is essential to ensure that the body is aligned and in balance – that’s the MOT, if you like.
So, what do you need to look at to make sure your body is able to work well and avoid injury?
Start where you are, with what you have: your body
- The body adapts to internal (physical, biological, psychological) and external (environment, social/contextual) factors.
- The body stores memories experienced in the past or information seen on others.
- The body assimilates and treats all types of data in order to fail better until it succeeds
- The body controls automatism (our unconscious movements, like breathing)
- Our bodies are not fixed, they change over time, and these changes influence the health of our body and our movements.
Who to contact
A good place to start is with an expert in biomechanics as they can take an overall look at your structure, your posture and your movement. From there they can recommend what sort of treatment plan you will need and/or what other type of expert may be best for your personal circumstances. For example, you may need orthotics and then an exercise plan with a trainer, or regular physiotherapy or IDD (‘Intervertebral Differential Dynamics’) Therapy, or perhaps Pilates or yoga might be best for you, or cranial osteopathy. There are lots of options and by getting your body assessed you can then focus your treatment with the correct professional.
What to expect from a Body MOT?
A body MOT should focus on your main concern(s) with an expert to understand your physiopathology or how you went from a healthy state to a pathologic one. Once understood, a problem is on its way to being sorted. You will also benefit from having a professional spot any bad habits and they can dispel the myths you’ve been told. Finally, you must have a proper treatment plan established, with progress points to track, and a person to talk to when you have any questions or are feeling demotivated.
Why having a Body MOT?
Rather than opting for self-medication when experiencing any symptom, a body MOT will help you adopt a clinical and logical approach, guided by a medical practitioner with a better expertise and experience than the world-wide-web.
Every clinic has its own philosophy and therapeutic arsenal. At PODO for example, we work from – and on - the feet (the body anchor and a quarter of the skeleton) up to the neck. Looking at the entire body while referring you to other techniques and therapies when needed. Communication with patients and referrers is ongoing to make sure the patient understands how their body can work better and is able to take steps to get there.
Who can benefit from a body MOT?
Everyone. Because preventive measures, compare to the curative one, make patients save time, pain, and money. Plus, by investing in your health to make your body work better you will likely also improve your quality of life and treat yourself to a brighter future. Many people already opt for an at-home or in-clinic preventive health screening - blood tests - to gain actionable insights into their current health status. No need to have any symptom or to be a hypochondriac to start taking control of your health. Blood tests and mechanical tests are equally important if you want to live better and hopefully longer.
What kind of solutions/ treatments come out of a body MOT?
Surgery-free (also known as ‘conservative’) solutions/treatments (for example, orthotics, manual therapies, physical therapies, coaching) are the most common approach and it is unlikely that any radical treatment involving blades and needles will be recommended at this stage.
For example, at PODO, we work on orthotics because they can address both sides of your body independently, but also because they can be adjusted or replaced over and over as your body changes – something that you can’t do with the joints inside your body.
Although orthotics can be used for some time or permanently depending on the patients and their goals, the bad habits must be changed and not allowed to reappear if you want to age more healthily and keep active and pain-free for longer.
Alignment, balance, and posture are the three axes your Podiatrist can improve for you with a pair of custom orthotics. Osteopaths and Chiropractors also work on the axis of your body, the skeleton if you prefer, through manual therapies. Once the bones are realigned, the muscles imbalances are reduced and can be addressed with your Physiotherapist and trainer using various manual, physical, or alternative therapies.
Where are the limits of a body MOT?
The answer will depend on the initial expectations, and whether you need to focus on structural or postural factors.
Your structural factors can’t be changed. You’ve got to work around them. The skeleton and its 224 bones are connected by the ligaments. The elasticity of your ligaments will define whether you are stiff, mobile, hypermobile, or somewhere in between.
Postural factors are the ones that can be changed. From an untracking kneecap or foot overpronation to anterior pelvic tilt, obesity, or poor flexibility, your practitioner will ask you to make changes to your lifestyle and general diet. These will help to solve the issues and ensure long term health.
Treating the root cause is the opposite of treating the symptoms. Treating symptoms is just that – treating the symptom, it won’t make the issue go away. To do that, you need to look at the cause.
Some changes are quite easy to implement, such as putting a pair of orthotics in your shoes and lacing up your footwear every morning. Other changes will require you to take actions and be consistent; change your diet, adapt your lifestyle, do your daily stretches or strengthening exercises. But to make progress it is always advisable to team up with an expert and get help making the changes you have committed to in order to improve in your life. There is always a good reason to make your body work better.
At PODO, it takes only 90 minutes to draw up a treatment plan and make a pair of custom orthotics. But the communication is ongoing because orthotics is only one part of the puzzle to solve your problem, boost your rehab, improve your performance, and simply live better.
THIS PODO ARTICLE MADE IT TO THE PRESS
THANK YOU FOR SHARING IT AND HELP US SPREAD THE WORD
From wonderful walks in Hyde Park, Regents Park, the Thames path, Hampstead Heath Circular or simply when commuting to work through Oxford street, Piccadilly Circus, Covent garden, Mayfair, Soho... every step matters at Podo London!
Besides educating patients and sharing our tips to make your body works better, the Podo Clinic and Workshop, offers a thorough assessment to assess and analyse your posture, gait, and biomechanics. Providing all type of patients with custom orthotics made in-house, directly moulded onto the feet and ready to wear at the end of a single 90 minutes appointment.
Information / Booking
020 3301 2900
Go further with your orthotics
Orthotics are only one piece of the puzzle in helping your body work better.
Below you will find a wealth of information that has been helping patients around the world get the ‘big picture’.
The following resources (articles, videos and tutorials) do not just strive to give out the right advice, they also set the record straight on common misconceptions.