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Chiropractic Care for Seniors

Editorial provided by the Ohio State Chiropractic Association (OSCA)

Seniors experiencing problems related to misalignment of the spine may benefit from chiropractic care. While there are many myths regarding the safety of chiropractic care, in reality this type of medical treatment is very effective and quite safe, particularly in comparison to alternative treatments such as surgery and drug therapy. There are a wide number of benefits and advantages available to seniors through chiropractic care, such as: pain relief, increased range of motion, increased balance and coordination, decreased joint degeneration, increased health and well-being, decreased incidence of falling, and keeping seniors out of nursing homes.

Chiropractic care is one of the most effective and safest forms of health care to treat pain due to spinal related conditions. Chiropractic is effective because most causes of spinal disorders are related to abnormalities of the spine and the surrounding soft tissue structures. Doctors of Chiropractic are specifically trained to identify and treat subluxations (misalignments of the vertebrae) and their subsequent effect on the central nervous system. Anti-inflammatory medication and pain relievers merely mask the symptoms and have many undesirable side effects.

Another important advantage for seniors receiving chiropractic care is an increased range of motion in both the spine and limbs. This, of course, can provide numerous dramatic benefits to the individual’s life. These benefits can include enjoyment of hobbies that were once prevented as well as increased involvement with family activities without pain and discomfort associated with spinal misalignment.

Many seniors also notice increased balance and coordination following chiropractic treatment. There seems to be a direct link between problems associated with coordination and balance and degenerative changes to the spine over time. 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. As a person ages, these mechanoreceptors may become mildly impaired and are no longer able to function as well as they should. This results in decreased coordination and balance which can cause problems getting up without help or even walking evenly. However, when a senior receives regular chiropractic care, treatment can repair problems with mechanoreceptors that cause coordination and balance problems.

Chiropractic care can also increase mobility of joints as well as prevent degeneration of joints. In many ways a spine that is misaligned is much like the wheels on your car when they are out of alignment. Comparatively, just as tires that are out of alignment will wear out sooner than they should, so will your joints if they are out of alignment. Most of us recognize the need to bring our vehicles in for regular maintenance. It is also necessary to do the same for our bodies. Regular chiropractic care decreases spinal degeneration and other arthritic changes by normalizing the spinal alignment and can prevent the parts of our bodies that move from wearing out over time.

Many individuals also notice increased health and general well-being through regular chiropractic care. These benefits include an increased feeling of energy and reduced pain from problems associated with aging, the ability to sleep through the night and to participate in enjoyable hobbies. Feeling good, staying healthy and doing the things that make us happy are what keeps us looking forward to each new day. Regular chiropractic care increases the quality of life, health and well-being.

For many seniors one of the most common problems related to aging is injuries that are associated with falling. Studies indicate that more than one third of seniors 65 and older fall each year, and that injuries related to falling can account for a large majority of the bone fractures in the elderly population. With regular chiropractic care, the risk of falls can be reduced. Such care can also provide increased balance, coordination, flexibility, mobility and strength; all of which can further reduce the possibility of bone fractures associated with falling as one grows older.

Furthermore, it has also been noted that regular chiropractic care could also prevent the need for many seniors to move into assisted living facilities or nursing homes. This is because seniors who take advantage of regular chiropractic care frequently have fewer problems associated with arthritis and are typically better able to care for themselves in their own homes than those who do not seek regular chiropractic care.

Regular chiropractic care is a safe and effective treatment for painful problems associated with misalignment of the spine. In addition, chiropractic care provides numerous benefits to aging seniors to provide them with increased balance and coordination, flexibility and mobility. These benefits can improve the quality of life as well as help seniors to enjoy independent living. Chiropractic provides amazing benefits and has an outstanding record of safety and effectiveness.

Chiropractic Care for Seniors

  1. Chiropractic care is a non-invasive, safe and effective form of health care to treat pain due to spinal misalignments. The nerves travel through the spine to all muscles, organs and functions of the body. If the spine is misaligned (or subluxated) it will slow down or stop effective communication from those nerves.
  2. Chiropractic care can increase your range of motion in the spine and extremities, which for some, can mean being able to bend over to garden without pain, get up from a chair with ease, or play a round of golf without pain. Being able to move more freely increases your confidence and well-being.
  3. Chiropractic care can increase your balance and coordination. Many problems for seniors arise from injury or degenerative changes that lead to unstable gait. Our doctors are skilled in gait training. Chiropractic care can help restore balance and coordination by stimulating the joints in the upper cervical spine (your neck) that tells your head that you are upright. The adjustment can also restore or slow down deterioration of joint function.
  4. Chiropractic care, as stated above, can restore and/or slow down deterioration of your spine. If the spine is misaligned (subluxated) then the joints will experience more wear due to the stress the misalignment puts on the joint. This stress leads to faster deterioration; just as a wheel out of balance on an automobile wears out a tire faster than tires that are balanced.
  5. Chiropractic care can reduce the risk of falls by normalizing the functions of the spine. With balance, coordination and a more stable gait comes improved confidence to get out and exercise more which further enhances the quality of life delivering better health and well-being to the individual.

 

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