Chiropractic Care is Important For Seniors
Seniors experience changes in their spine as they age. Some of these changes can be quite dramatic. That is why chiropractic care can be so important during this critical time of life. For the most part, seniors who wait too long to get chiropractic adjustments can be dealing with multiple painful problems that can be ongoing. Does it make sense to wait around until you need a $100,000 or $2000,000 surgery, or would you rather do something now to resolve your problem?
One of the reasons we provide the integrative model is because it allows us to utilize chiropractic and incorporate other therapies such as massage to get people and their joints moving again. Unfortunately, what we fin is that too often seniors wait too long, even years, before seeing a chiropractor to address their pain. All this waiting not only makes the problem worse, it also takes longer to fix. Many seniors have worked their whole life and just lived with the pain, not knowing that chiropractic adjustments could help them become healthy, happy, and moving better.
What changes do seniors see? Spinal discs, joints, ligaments, muscles and other spinal tissues become weaker, less hydrated, more fibrotic and less able to withstand normal stresses. All of these issues can lead to arthritis. Arthritis is inflammation in one or more joints, which results in pain, swelling, stiffness and limited movement. Seniors often have joint pain and degenerative changes. Seniors have falls just like kids. Additionally, seniors are more likely to have tissue injury and face an increase in healing time from these injuries. As seniors, these injuries often occur due to everyday events, such as bending or climbing stairs.
Chiropractors understand the process of aging as it relates to the spine and can provide an effective, safe and non-invasive treatment plan. Such as plan can include adjustments, mobilization, physical therapy, stretching and exercise. Some chiropractors will also assess nutritional intake and suggest dietary changes and supplements. A good chiropractic plan will reduce pain, spinal stress and degeneration, and will increase flexibility and mobility.
Goals of Senior Chiropractic Care
Just as with other chiropractic care, a chiropractic plan for seniors will depend completely upon the individual. In addition to the severity of the condition, chiropractors will also look at the overall health of the patient. Patients who are in good overall health and still maintain an active lifestyle will find that their chiropractic treatment will far more effective. Their plans will help them with pain relief and stabilization, allowing them to enjoy all the activities they enjoyed before their condition occurred.
We see a lot of people who have multiple issues. We look at the whole body. So, when patients come in with back and knee problems and they have nutritional problems, etc., I ask myself, “Where is the right place to start?” I usually start by asking questions to find out from my patient the driving force for coming into my office. Depending upon the overall health and activity of a patient, chiropractic goals can be one of the following:
- Return to active lifestyle with no pain
- Return to active lifestyle with some limitations and some limited pain
- Return to some activities with some pain
- Slow down the degenerative process
- Improve function
- Improve comfort
Although there is quite a difference between these goals, even goal four is a step up from a degenerative disease progressing at a normal rate.
Main Benefit of Senior Chiropractic Care
Many seniors are unaware of the outstanding benefits that are possible through regular chiropractic care. The #1 result is Pain Relief, chiropractic care is one of the most effective and safest forms of health care available to treat pain due to back, neck and head problems. Doctors of chiropractic are specifically trained to identify and treat subluxations and their effect on the brain and spinal cord. Because we are an integrative medicine office, we use injections and medical therapies when needed, to put out some of the fires and address things such as arthritic problems that are preventing seniors from being more active.
Everyone, especially seniors, need to adopt a new paradigm when it comes to aging and the pain that is often associated with it. Just because someone reaches a certain age, doesn’t mean we automatically fall apart or have to live with pain. Many people think back pain or knee pain is “normal,” but that’s just simply not true. Just because most people you know have an ache here or pain there, doesn’t mean you have to buy into that mindset. It’s a “belief system” you can choose to change. Just because I’m a certain age and everyone I know is on cholesterol medication, doesn’t mean I have to go down that path, too. There is too much misinformation that is actually just a bunch of nonsense. These beliefs are marketed to you, or your friend is telling you, or your doctor is telling you.