The Benefits of Chiropractic Care For Seniors
Chiropractic treatment is helping millions of seniors to regain control of their lives every year. There are a multitude of benefits associated with chiropractic care, including increased flexibility, mobility and function, improved strength, better balance, and the reduction/elimination of chronic or acute pain.
Chiropractic professionals use many techniques, including physical therapy, soft tissue therapy, extremity adjustive techniques, exercise and fitness counseling, and dietary and nutritional counseling. Keep reading to learn how chiropractic care helps seniors get the most out of their bodies and their lives.
If you are suffering from a spine-related condition that causes extreme pain or discomfort, chiropractic care is one of the safest and most effective treatment options. The majority of spinal disorders are caused by abnormalities to the spine and its surrounding soft tissue.
Chiropractic professionals possess training in the art of finding and treating misalignments in the vertebrae; they also know the impact these subluxations have on your central nervous system. In other words, relatively simple chiropractic adjustments can significantly reduce or even eliminate the pain you suffer from.
Best of all, this is a long-term solution. This compares favorably to common treatments such as pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medication, which merely mask the symptoms.
Better Balance and Coordination
Research carried out by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that approximately 33 percent of seniors suffer a fall each year, yet less than 50 percent actually inform their doctor. An estimated 2.5 million people receive treatment for fall injuries in emergency departments yearly, and falls account for over 95 percent of hip fractures in seniors.
It is common to experience balance and coordination problems as we get older; this is often because of injury or degeneration of the cervical spine. Structures called mechanoreceptors on the back joints of the cervical spine provide input to the brain; they are crucial for balance and coordination.
These structures provide information relating to the position of your head in relation to your body. As we age, defects cause these structures to become impaired, leading to a loss of body awareness (proprioception); the result is that you become reliant on your vision to ascertain the location of your limbs.
To compensate for the loss of body awareness, your feet become further apart than normal, which causes you to take steps of irregular length. At some stage, your condition may deteriorate to the point where you start falling. Worse still, you will be unable to get up off the ground without assistance.
Chiropractic care can stimulate your mechanoreceptors in the cervical spine, leading to improvements in balance and coordination and a reduction in fall risk.
Increased Range of Motion in the Spine
There is a reason why top professional sports athletes hire chiropractors to improve their range of motion: the process works! Even minor chiropractic adjustments can make a huge difference when it comes to improving the range of motion in your spine.
Imagine being able to bend down and pick up your grandkids, swing a golf club, or exercise, all without pain. Additionally, the more active you are, the less likely you are to suffer from chronic medical conditions. Being active also helps your overall health and reduces your chances of ending up in a nursing home.
A Reduction in Joint Degeneration
According to the CDC, approximately 25 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis(OA), also known as degenerative joint disease. Unsurprisingly, OA is even more common amongst seniors; it affects 33 percent of people over the age of 65.
A breakdown in the cartilage that covers your joints causes the condition. Age and repeated motion damages the protective tissue; this results in increased friction as the bones of your joints rub together. It typically affects the knees, hips, spine, and hands.
If you are suffering from spinal degeneration, chiropractic care can reduce spinal stress and normalize your spine’s alignment. Other chiropractic treatments that can work to relieve OA symptoms include the following.
- Ultrasound Therapy: Sound waves can create a massaging effect that reduces swelling, stiffness, and pain.
- Trigger Point Therapy: Gentle pressure is applied to the specific area where you feel pain.
- Therapeutic Stretches and Exercises: Your chiropractor will recommend physical activities designed to improve your strength and endurance.
Pain Relief Without Medication
In certain instances, medication is necessary, but in the United States, we have a propensity to over-medicate. According to certain studies, the average 75-year-old American takes more than 10 drugs for a variety of ailments at any given time. It is believed that overmedication of elders can now be linked to increased falls, heart attacks, and kidney failures.
Another potential issue with overmedication amongst seniors is the effect it can have on cognition and mental capacity. It is not uncommon for overmedicated seniors to be misdiagnosed with conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, and depression.
With chiropractic care, you can greatly reduce your reliance on medication, as the treatment is drug-free. This is very important if you are taking other prescription drugs, as additional medication could make you more susceptible to negative side effects.
If your loved one is a senior citizen, encourage him or her to visit a chiropractor as soon as possible; after all, the golden years should be enjoyed. With the dedicated care of a chiropractic professional, the senior could benefit from a significant reduction or even complete elimination of pain. The result is a major improvement in quality of life. Best of all, chiropractic care is proven to be a safe treatment for the elderly.