Staying active and eating healthy is important for everyone regardless of their age, but as the body ages and muscles weaken, it is critical to be diligent about your health. As the body grows older, senior citizens may endure chronic pain due to the body deteriorating as a result of a lack of exercise. When the body weakens, one becomes more susceptible to injury from slip and fall accidents or other related injuries.
The good news is that chiropractic care has many benefits for the elderly, one of which is strengthening the body and creating better alignment, which ultimately minimizes the risk of serious injury.
About 15% of all chiropractic patients are 65 years or older who are seeking treatment due to musculoskeletal pain, most commonly lower back pain. Lower back pain is a common complaint among senior citizens, however, our Atlanta chiropractors can help to treat more than just back pain complaints. Working with a chiropractor can help to prevent future injuries and illnesses, as well as treatment for a vast array of musculoskeletal injuries.
Chiropractors provide senior citizens with many health benefits when receiving treatment on a regular basis. The following is a list of benefits one could experience if adding chiropractic care into their lifestyle.
When looking to treat pain, chiropractic treatment is one of the safest forms of therapy available when looking for spinal relief. Many spinal disorders stem from abnormalities in the spine as well as the soft tissues in the surrounding structures. A chiropractor is highly qualified to treat subluxations which when treated improve the function of the central nervous system. When using medication such as pain relievers and anti-inflammatories, they are simply a Band-Aid for the symptoms and do not solve the root of the problem.
With many spinal disorders, a range of motion can be negatively impacted. When receiving chiropractic care range of motion can be restored to not only the spine but to the extremities as well. This may be beneficial in the physical sense as well as emotional because this could mean the difference in watching your grandchildren play versus actually being able to bend over and pick them up and interact with them on another level. Those who enjoy gardening may be able to return to this activity as well. Athletes who become injured also report that seeking care after an injury helps to increase their range of motion.
Due to the degeneration of the cervical spine, balance and coordination in elderly individuals are often impacted. Structures known as mechanoreceptors are located in the posterior (back) joints of the cervical spine and are responsible for providing the brain with essential information important for balance and coordination. Mechanoreceptors in cervical posterior joints provide major input regarding the position of the head in relation to the body. As the body ages, the mechanoreceptors experience mild defects which result in the body enduring a loss of proprioception which is awareness of the body.
To compensate for the loss of body awareness in the legs, the feet are kept wider apart than usual. Steps become irregular and uneven in length. As impairment increases, the patient becomes unable to compensate. When proprioception occurs, a person is unable to stand up from a sitting position or stand after a fall.
When receiving chiropractic care, balance can be restored as well as coordination by stimulating joint receptors in the spine. When this is done, the joint receptors normalize allowing for improved balance and coordination.
A misaligned spine is much like a misaligned wheel on an automobile. When misalignments occur, the part of the body that is incorrectly aligned will wear out sooner than it should which results in pain and discomfort. Since all moving parts will eventually wear down over time, it is very important to get your spine aligned periodically. When the spine is aligned correctly through chiropractic techniques, spinal degeneration and arthritic changes are reduced as the spine begins to normalize, reducing stress on the spine.
5. Increased Health and Well-Being
As we strive to provide exceptional care to our patients, we take pride in how our patients feel after visiting with our team. Some responses from current patients are:
Although chiropractic care is a pain management tool, it can be so much more for you! When you feel good and are staying healthy, your quality of life greatly improves with regular chiropractic care.
Injuries due to falling are extremely common in the elderly population. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are responsible for 90% of the 850,000 bone fractures which occur annually among Americans past the age of 65. Chiropractors reduce the risk of falls by normalizing the mechanoreceptors of the cervical spine by administering chiropractic adjustments. They also prescribe stretching and exercise programs to increase strength, flexibility, mobility, balance, and coordination.
A study done by a doctor at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College researched the benefits of chiropractic care and exercise for the elderly and found that:
With the amazing benefits and effectiveness, seniors should be able to live a long fulfilling life without the added stress of pain and discomfort. Chiropractic care has been shown to be a safe way to manage pain for those in need. Do not suffer any longer, there is a way to manage your pain safely and effectively. Contact Atlanta Orthopedics today at (404) 855-2141 for a consultation!