As people grow older, they tend to cope with muscle and joint pain. Sometimes, the pain is present for years, but barely noticeable; it becomes more pronounced as the years pass. Other times, it seems to materialize abruptly. The root cause of the pain is difficult to identify, but can usually be traced to a life spent putting excess stress upon the spine. Still other times, a physically jarring event (e.g. a fall, auto accident, etc.) can cause spinal misalignments that trigger lasting discomfort.
Seniors who cope with these and similar circumstances can gain relief through professional chiropractic care. In this article, we’ll begin with a quick review of the benefits posed by realigning the vertebrae. We’ll then explain how the maturing individual, in particular, stands to gain from such an approach.
A Brief Overview Of Chiropractic Care
The main purpose of chiropractic care is to correct subluxations of the spine. A subluxation is a misalignment, which interrupts the nerve messages originating from the brain. These messages are transmitted through nerves located between the vertebrae. As a result of the interruption, patients might experience discomfort in any area of their body (i.e. not just their back and neck).
A chiropractor can realign vertebrae that have moved – or been forced – outside their normal positions. This can occur from an abrupt event that jars the body. Just as common, however, are circumstances that persist for weeks, months, and in some cases, years. For example, the patient may sit with a poor posture; she might sleep in an odd position; or he may deal with stress and lack of exercise for extended periods. Each of these can lead to a vertebral subluxation. Each can affect seniors, sometimes more dramatically than younger individuals.
Spinal Changes As The Body Ages
The tissues, joints, and ligaments in our bodies slowly deteriorate as we grow older. This deterioration also affects the vertebrae and spinal discs throughout the spine. The older an individual becomes, the less capable their spines are of withstanding stress – whether it is abrupt or persistent. A poor posture, bad sleeping position, or a fall will have a more significant effect upon them. Pain often surfaces from minor incidences, and persists until its root cause (i.e spinal misalignment) is addressed through chiropractic care.
How Chiropractors Help Seniors Enjoy Their Lives
By correcting spinal misalignments, a chiropractor can reduce the degree of chronic discomfort seniors feel throughout their bodies. Proper alignment of their vertebrae will reintroduce a broader range of motion in their joints; it will improve their balance, and thus make falling less likely; and regular adjustments will make moving around easier. These benefits are made possible by eliminating the stress placed upon the nerves between the vertebrae.
A professional chiropractor may use several approaches when helping seniors. The techniques used to adjust the spine are gentle on the body, and may include exercises to strengthen and stretch the muscles, joints, and ligaments. This treatment produces results that are almost immediately noticeable, and allows seniors to more fully enjoy their lives.
The Effects Of Proper Spinal Alignment
One of the problems with a vertebral subluxation is that it can affect a person’s sense of balance and coordination. Maturing individuals who suffer from either problem stand a much higher likelihood of falling. This will place additional stress upon the spine, and may worsen the existing misalignment, or cause another. Realigning the vertebrae addresses the loss in balance and coordination.
Another important effect of chiropractic care is that joint deterioration in the spine is slowed. This reduces stress on the nerves, which in turn reduces the severity of headaches, joint pain, and range of motion limitations in the limbs.
Medical doctors often address their patients’ symptoms with medications and surgery. For many senior patients, however, neither are warranted. Chiropractic care hones in on the root cause of the pain in order to resolve the underlying problem.