Chiropractic Treatment for the Elderly
They say that ‘old is gold’ but not many can agree with this statement. Aging can only be treasurable when you are doing well health-wise. It’s true that aging is part of life and we all will age at some point, but we all want it to happen gracefully. The problem with getting old is that it just doesn’t show in the physical. It also happens in the inside. The bones start to reduce in density and strength. They become porous and weak. As for the joints, they become stiffer and so you are not able to walk as articulate and quickly as you used to.
This is not all. There’s an obvious change in the curvature of your body. You start leaning forward, taking a c-shape. While these are natural signs of aging, there’s nothing natural when they are accompanied by pain and discomfort. This is when you realize that you are no longer aging gracefully. So, what should you do? You need to see a musculoskeletal expert to uncover what’s stressing your body. One expert to actually see is a chiropractor.
What’s Chiropractic Treatment for the Elderly All About?
A lot of times when a senior suffers from back or joint pain, they rush to get pain relievers. The medications may be effective in managing pain but they only offer a temporary reprieve. They do not address the underlying issue, which is often a spinal misalignment (popularly referred to as a subluxation). Additionally, the medications come with serious side effects. The other option when the pain is overwhelming is surgery. Not only is this an expensive approach but also a risky one.
This brings us to chiropractic treatment. It’s a medication-free non-surgical treatment that enjoys very few risks. Here, a chiropractor uses mostly hands and occasionally assisted devices to gently manipulate the spine and affected parts like the neck and back of the senior. The whole idea is to clear misalignments on the spine path. The misalignments are what compress the nerves leading to pain and discomforts.
Ways the Elderly Can Benefit from Chiropractic Treatment
Chiropractic treatments come with an array of benefits that range from therapeutic to comfort-enhancing. Generally, seniors can benefit from chiropractic care in the following ways:
- Pain Alleviation
This is probably the primary reason why you would want to see a chiropractor. A chiropractor is generally a pain specialist. The expert is able to treat pain from its root source, the nerves. Since spinal misalignments stress the nerves, a spinal adjustment helps to free them. In the end, you are relieved from back pain, joint pain, headache, and other kinds of pain.
- Enhanced Immunity
There’s a close association between the spine and your immune system. Your immune system depends on information relayed from the brain through the spine to defend you against diseases. If there’s a spinal misalignment, the flow of information between the two points is compromised. A chiropractor treats the misalignments to ensure that your immunity is not interfered with but boosted.
- Posture and Coordination
Since the bones are getting weak and deformed as you get old, it may be difficult to have body balance. Your hand-eye coordination is also affected and you are likely to feel dizziness frequently. The good news is that these issues can be remedied with chiropractic care. According to a 2014 study, chiropractic can reduce dizziness in seniors. By treating spinal misalignments, chiropractic care helps you to regain your posture and coordination. It becomes easy to walk without risking a fall and to do things with your hands.
- Reduced Joint Degeneration
When the spine is misaligned, the joints suffer. They are deprived of joint fluid which is food to them and so they start to degenerate. This is the case of a condition like arthritis. Chiropractic treatment not only stops the degeneration of the joints but also restores their nourishment. This brings about total relief. Your spine is not stressed that much as there are no misalignments and the joints become rejuvenated in the long run.
- Improved Motion and Flexibility
It’s usually harder for a senior who has a back problem or one with weak bones to bend and pick something from the floor. This is because their bodies can’t take the stress. Chiropractic treatment helps to improve your range of motion so as you can do it effortlessly. You won’t have to endure pain when bending as your spine is adjusted to give you flexibility.
Is the Treatment Safe for the Elderly?
In line with the American Chiropractic Association, the use of chiropractic treatment is safe for seniors when it comes to debilitating conditions like arthritic pain, bone degenerative disorders, lower back pain, and migraines. It’s a holistic approach that seniors can use to manage different kinds of musculoskeletal pains and discomforts.
Chiropractors generally go through vigorous training to understand the human body. They are trained to care for both the young and old and to help them obtain pain relief from different conditions. So, you can count on the expert to help you address your underlying issue. You just need to confirm that the expert is certified and experienced.
What Options Apply to the Elderly?
Depending on the condition of the senior citizen, a chiropractor is able to determine the most applicable technique. Usually, the technique can be:
- Manipulative – Here, force is used to clear misalignments on the spine. Since the method is forceful, it’s ideal for chronic pain and musculoskeletal diseases. The commonest technique here is manual manipulation. The technique is done by hand. In this case, the expert uses hands to forcefully but safely manipulate the spine to realign it. The technique may look forceful but it’s gentle to the senior. Alternatively, the expert may resort to the use of assisted devices such as a drop table or motor devices to help in delivering measurable thrust to the treated area.
- Non-manipulative – This technique applies to senior citizens with muscle spasm, a weak nervous system or those in acute pain. It can also apply to older adults with arthritis or stenosis. Unlike the manipulative technique, this technique is generally gentle. Very minimal force is used. Options here include ultrasound (sound waves technique) and electrical stimulation.
Closing Thought: Should You Go For Chiropractic Treatment?
If you are a senior citizen who’s not aging gracefully – you experience frequent back and joint pain, are abnormally slow and weak, and with poor coordination; it’s time you seek chiropractic treatment. The treatment will not stop you from getting old but will make the process much comfortable.