Can the elderly benefit from a chiropractor?
As we get older, many elderly people struggle with pain, discomfort, arthritis, immobility or other issues that limit their ability to get up and move. In fact, low back pain is the most common cause of decreased mobility and a diminished quality of life in people over 50 years old.
If there is a special senior in your life that is struggling with a lack of quality of life due to decreased mobility and pain, then it may be time for them to visit a chiropractor. There are many amazing benefits specifically for seniors considering chiropractic care. Sadly, many seniors are unaware of the benefits of chiropractic care and of the improved mobility that comes with routine care.
A chiropractor realies on will routinely see improved mobility and decreased pain in senior citizens struggling with pain. While there are many myths regarding the safety of chiropractic care, this type of medical treatment is very effective and safe, especially in comparison to treatments with surgery and drug therapy.
Regular visits with a chiropractor can help any elderly person in the following ways:
Chiropractic care can help relieve pain by improving bad posture and stimulating the nerves around the spine. Spinal adjustments by a trained Doctor of Chiropractic are safe and effective from birth to the grave. Manual adjusting techniques may still be used in some elderly people, however, instrument guided techniques such as Activator or Pro-Adjustor are proven among the most researched techniques in the profession and require no strenuous stretching or “cracking” of the spine. Often, a chiropractic adjustment leads to an immediate reduction in pain and improved mobility. People always walk out of our office feeling better than they did walking in.
Improving Range of Motion
Difficulty bending over to pick something up off the floor, trouble turning your head from side to side, or problems going up and down stairs are some of the more common complaints from our elderly patients suffering with a lack of mobility. Chiropractic care can improve the range of motion in the joints of the spine and extremities and get you moving better than you have in years.
Improving Health and Immune System Function
When the joints in the spine don’t move properly, they place extra pressure on the nerves which can cause problems in other organs of the body. When spinal misalignments occur, the nervous system is slowed down and can prevent the brain from spending important messages throughout the body. By maintaining good spinal alignment and mobility in your senior years, your nervous system and your immune system will function properly, meaning fewer sick days and better quality of life.
Dr. Scott Haldeman, MD, a neurologist in Santa Ana, California and Chairman Emeritus of the Research Council for the World Federation of Chiropractic explains, “If you have back or neck pain due to osteoarthritis, chiropractic is one of the safest therapies you can use.” Chiropractic care for the elderly can be a great way to manage and relieve pain caused by arthritis. Routine chiropractic care provides arthritis patients with a safe and non-addictive alternative to prescription opioids, over-the-counter pain medications, and surgery which are commonly recommended to patients to with arthritis pain.
Decreased Joint Degeneration
When the joints of the spine or extremities are misaligned, they become more prone to everyday wear-and-tear. Over time, misaligned joints that don’t move properly will create joint degeneration. Think of the alignment on your car – you can drive a care with bad alignment, but the more mileage you put on a care with bad alignment, the more wear-and-tear it creates on the tires, brakes, and suspension. The same thing occurs in the spine and weight bearing joints of the body. The longer the misalignments and lack of motion occurs, the more joint damage and degeneration occurs. Chiropractic care for the elderly can improve joint mechanics and slow-down, or even halt joint degeneration. The better a joint moves, the less likely it is to degenerate over time.
To see if chiropractic care is right for your condition, a good Doctor of Chiropractic will perform a consultation, examination and if necessary, perform diagnostic imaging such as x-ray or MRI. Based on the findings of your exam, consultation, and imaging the doctor of chiropractic can help formulate a plan of action to keep your spine and joints moving properly for 100 years or more!