Getting older is inevitable but chronic pain and creaky joints don’t have to be. While everyone can benefit from regular chiropractic visits, it’s particularly important for senior citizens. Older patients are more prone to experience skeletal, structural problems including degenerative joint disease so many conditions related to the spine and extremities. Pain and stiffness are two of the most frequent complaints senior citizen make to their physicians.
Physiologically speaking, the aches and pains associated with aging are no mystery. The discs and their supporting ligaments lose elasticity as people get older so they also lose flexibility. In addition, as we get older, the muscles that keep the spine in its normal alignment start to lose tone, which affects balance because the spinal vertebrae tend to move erratically, especially when in the upright weight bearing posture.
In addition, structures called mechanoreceptors located in the cervical spine provide the brain with data necessary for proper balance and coordination. In older ages, the mechanoreceptors don’t work as well, impairing coordination and balance and making it more difficult for affected seniors to stand up or walk steadily. But patients report that regular chiropractic treatments can repair problems with mechanoreceptors and improve ambulation.
That’s important because many senior are injured every year from falling. Research found that more than one third of seniors 65 and older fall each year, falling accounts for significant majority of bone fractures among the elderly. Regular chiropractic care reduces the risk of falls and bone fractures.
Osteoporosis is another common condition found in senior citizens, mostly post-menopausal women. It is a condition where the bones become thin, causing them to become more prone to breaking or fractures. Experts estimate that 25 percent of women over 65 suffers from osteoporosis, which can be caused by hormone loss, not exercising enough or too sedentary a lifestyle, calcium deficiency, alcohol use, cigarette smoking, certain medications or a combination of factors.
Other chronic conditions associated with aging are degenerative arthritis and circulation issues. These and other maladies of age may benefit from corrective spinal adjustments.
Chiropractic treatment is completely safe and much preferable to surgeries or long term prescriptions. And when seniors feel better physically, they are less apt to become depressed and will maintain a more positive outlook, which in turn greatly improves quality of life. The more engaged seniors are with friends and family, the healthier they tend to be as well as less dependent on pain medication. Anti inflammatory drugs tend to mask the symptoms instead of curing the underlying reason for the pain and can have any number of unpleasant side effects.
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