Back in August on his late night TV show, Jimmy Kimmel asked Hillary Clinton to open a jar of pickles in order to prove to Americans that she is fit enough to be the President of the United States. This article is in no way supporting or suggesting support to any candidate for political office. My hope is to help you understand why you should be fit enough to open a jar of pickles and what it means if you can’t.
In one study, Men’s Health Magazine reported last year, Canadian researchers kept tabs on nearly 140,000 adults from 17 countries for four years. They measured the grip strength of participants at both the beginning and end of the study. The results: For every 5 kg (about 11 pounds) decrease in grip strength after the initial measurement, participants’ risk of death increased by 16%. their risk of cardiovascular mortality also jumped by 17%, as did their risk of stroke by 9%. In that study, grip strength turned out to be a better predictor of mortality than systolic blood pressure, the researchers said.
In another study, this one of more than 500 85-year olds in The Netherlands in 2010, poor grip strength was associated with cognitive decline.1
The interesting thing to me as a chiropractor is the reason that decreased grip strength correlates with poor health. This reason is called sensori-motor-neural-integration-error. This means that a stimulus is being “sensed” in the body and transmitted to the cerebellum of the brain, then a stimulus is triggered to the “motor” nerves and there is an error in the neurological integration of the sensation and the motor or muscle control.
This occurs because of decreased proprioception stimulated in the lower neck. Proprioception occurs when movement of the joints occurs. If joint motion is decreased because of subluxation or even worse, arthritic or degenerative osteoarthritis then proprioception will be decreased. Decreased proprioception to the cerebellum of the brain is one of the most significant detriments to your health and increases your allostatic load.2
I invite you to stop by my office and ask us to help you test your grip strength. It’s a simple test that is free and only takes about 30 seconds.
If you have low grip strength, how do you fix it? Increase the motion of your spine through daily spinal hygiene and Chiropractic adjustments at a frequency applicable to your spinal health status.