February 08, 2023 3 min read
WHERE DOES GRAVITY FIT?
What NASA has taught us about injury prevention and sports performance
You would be excused for thinking that the organisation that won the space race has absolutely nothing to do with sports performance, or with back pain and joint injury issues. But NASA astronauts have been developing the same musculoskeletal problems as our sports men and women for years, only in a greatly accelerated manner.
It's not commonly known that going into space is actually terrible for your spine and joint health. After extended periods in space, astronauts have to be literally carried off the shuttle to undergo extensive rehabilitation and often sustain long term damage to their bodies.
Dr Carolyn Richardson has spent her working life investigating how Gravity affects health, why this phenomenon occurs in space, and how that relates to us here on Earth. Her research with the University of Queensland, European Space Agency and NASA regarding the effect of Gravity on our muscles and bone's has laid the foundation to finding out why spine and joint dysfunction happens, as well as solutions to fix it.
Dr Richardson found that Gravity is the key stimulus that our bones and deep muscle system need to provide stability to our limbs, joints and spine. She termed this stimulus, Gravity Sensory Input (GSI).
Her research shows that it's the lack of GSI in space that causes the break-down of the musculoskeletal system in astronauts. While in space, astronauts need to increase GSI as part of their exercise programs in order to maintain a strong spine and stable joints.
Since we aren't in the habit of travelling to the International Space Station, you might still be wondering what this has to do with us.
Research is also showing that modern lifestyles are to some extent replicating the zero-gravity environment of space that is so damaging to astronauts, and our bodies are developing similar musculoskeletal weaknesses, albeit over a much longer period of time here on Earth.
An increasing number of 'everyday' activities, including popular training programs are significantly reducing the amount of GSI to our bodies and causing a growing number of joint and spinal problems, particularly back pain and common sporting injuries. Activities such as spending more time lying on the couch, sitting with poor posture - and at the other end of the scale - exercising with fast ballistic movements and repetitive skills training are reducing GSI levels and causing the gradual breakdown of our bodies.
GravityFit training is based on the principle that by gradually increasing GSI to the body, this process of joint and spine degeneration can be reversed to restore stability and strengthen the deep muscle system. GravityFit training involves performing specific, controlled movements with good posture, while adding low-load resistance to the limbs and spine to increase GSl levels.
A strong spine and stable joints are essential to defend against injury, and to enhance performance in all sports, particularly those involving fast swing movements, like golf, football, tennis and baseball. GravityFit training helps to address the issues of joint and spinal instability while reducing risk of injury and improving power and performance.
Used by many top rehabilitation specialists, sports trainers and athletes, GravityFit equipment and training programs should form part of your strategy for function and pain-free movement.
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