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Can My Body Heal Itself?

What is Bioplasticity?

Bioplasticity, when broken down to its roots, literally translates to bio as meaning “life” and plasticity as meaning “changing.” Life Changing. And bioplasticity truly lives up to this name.

Bioplasticity is the idea that all the systems in our body, from the muscles to the skin to the immune system, have the ability to adapt to the demands placed upon it. Every system is plastic, meaning that, like any plastic material, it can be melted and recycled into many different shapes. This shows us the unique ability of the body to adapt, recover, and grow based on the different demands placed upon it over and over again.

Why is this relevant? This ability to adapt means change. What are some examples of bioplasticity within the body? Change due to the bioplastic potential of the body is seen over time after lifting weights. Muscles grow, bones get stronger, and the mind becomes more confident as the movements become more fluid. Immune bioplasticity is seen in the immune system when the body eliminates a pathogen upon second contact. A person who has had a stroke and slowly gains back motor function on the injured side is exhibiting neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity, specifically referring to the brain’s ability to grow and reorganize connections in response to learning or change, is very important in the field of physical therapy.

Professors Moseley and Butler of Noi group have popularized the idea of bioplasticity. Bioplasticity encompasses every system in the body, not just the brain like neuroplasticity does. In the above weightlifting example, neuroplasticity would refer to the changes in the brain (confidence and actual learning of the movement patterns) while bioplasticity refers to all the changes happening as a result of the weightlifting (increased cardiac function, muscle growth, and bone strength).

Bioplastic Pain

There is good and bad news regarding the bioplastic potential of the body, specifically in regards to persistent or chronic pain. Many times, pain can be the result of bioplasticity. The body can go into overprotective mode in response to some change, creating hyperactive pain pathways. This is known as bioplastic pain.

For example, someone comes to Made2Move because they’re experiencing low back pain, and our therapists conclude it is a result of weakness in the area. Pain