Chiropractic care offers outstanding benefits that a percentage of seniors today are not aware of. Here’s a list of the most common benefits that regular chiropractic care has to offer seniors.
- Pain Relief
Chiropractic care is the safest and most effective approach when dealing with pain due to spinal related conditions in terms to health care. Abnormalities of the spine and the surrounding soft tissue structures, which is the most common cause of spinal disorders, are best treated with chiropractic as it is the most effective solution when dealing with spinal related injuries. Chiropractic Doctors are trained specifically to identify and treat subluxations (misalignments of the vertebrae) and their subsequent effect on the central nervous system, whereas anti-inflammatory medications and pain relievers merely mask the symptoms and often have undesirable side effects.
- Increased Range of Motion of the Spine and Extremities
Increasing a person’s range of motion will have a positive effect that will be quite noticeable by the individual themselves as well as those around them. Increasing the range of motion will allow the individual to do daily tasks that, at one point and time, may have seemed impossible to do before. For some, bending over may be effortless. Lifting heavy objects may be painless and walking for long distances can be possible without experiencing great discomfort. Chiropractic care has been proven to increase not only the range of motion within the spine but also in the extremities as well, once again, making chiropractic the more plausible solution in terms to your health and well being. In many cases, an increase in range and motion immediately follows chiropractic adjustments, which is why we see many professional sports teams have their own team of chiropractors.
- Increased Balance and Coordination
Injury and degenerative changes to the cervical spine (neck region) are often the cause of balance and coordination issues within the aging population, thus the need for chiropractic care to occur more frequently. Structures known as mechanoreceptors, which are located in the posterior (back) joints of the cervical spine, are responsible for providing the brain with information essential for balance and coordination. The Mechanoreceptors in the cervical posterior joints provide crucial input regarding the position of the head in relation to the body. With aging, mild flaws will hinder mechanoreceptors from functioning which will result in a loss of proprioception (sense of body awareness). With the decrease in proprioception, body positioning in space will be impaired and the patient will become reliant on their vision to know the location of a limb.
The feet are kept wider apart than usual to compensate for the loss of proprioception (sense of body awareness) in the legs, resulting in irregular and uneven steps. As the impairment intensifies, the patient will become incapable of compensating for the loss, and in severe cases, may be unable to get up from a chair or rise after a fall without some form of assistance.
Studies have shown that chiropractic care can help restore balance, as well as coordination, by stimulation of the joint receptors (mechanoreceptors) in the cervical spine. This form of stimulation is thought to restore and/or normalize joint receptor functioning which, in turn, leads to improvement in both balance and coordination.
- Decreased Joint Degeneration
A misalignment, also known as a subluxation, in the spine is much like a misaligned wheel on an automobile. This misalignment will cause the spine (and the wheel) to wear out prematurely. Eventually, since all the moving parts will wear down over time it is important to get your spine aligned periodically. Spinal degeneration, as well as other arthritic changes, will lessen with regular chiropractic care by normalizing the spinal alignment and reducing spinal stress.
Please check out our next article where we talk more about whether chiropractic care is right for seniors.