by Brent Hearn •
As we age, some things aren’t as easy as they once were. For example, older people often contend with increased aches and pains, decreased mobility, and lengthier recovery times after an injury. Chiropractic can be successfully used to alleviate these symptoms, but many older people are (quite understandably) unsure whether chiropractic is right for them. After all, chiropractic’s reputation as a “snap, crackle, pop” discipline is not without good cause.
That said, there’s much more to chiropractic than cavitation (the fancy word for what causes those cracking sounds you can hear during an adjustment), and the truth is that many older people could benefit from treatment. Here are a few of the ways chiropractic can help people who are aging to have healthier bodies and happier lives.
Many senior citizens are too familiar with the aches and pains that can accompany aging—and the sticker shock that comes with the medications to treat those aches and pains. Chiropractors can treat subluxations in the spine that sometimes lie at the source of the pain, addressing the cause rather than just the symptoms. So there’s a lot to be said for something that has the potential to reduce the need for pain medication—and those pesky pharmacy bills that go along with the accompanying prescriptions.
Better Flexibility and Range of Motion
An increase in flexibility and range of motion can be beneficial to everyone, but one could argue that these benefits are especially helpful to older individuals. There’s a certain amount of wear and tear on the body that’s inevitable as we age, which makes it all the more important to keep issues that aren’t inevitable at bay. A flexible body that moves well offers seniors both the opportunity and incentive to remain active, which can pay a host of benefits, including:
- improved cognitive function
- decreased risk of falls
- better sleep quality
- improved mental health
Treatment of Chronic Conditions
Chiropractic’s holistic approach to health (it’s much more than just neck-cracking, people!) can sometimes be used to treat or co-treat chronic conditions. For example, one study offered preliminary evidence that spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) may have the potential to be effective in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in people over the age of 65.
It’s essential for a patient’s care providers to be in dialogue about their treatment; this is especially the case for seniors. Those who suffer from severe osteoporosis, those with a low tolerance for pain, and others with special medical considerations may not be candidates for some types of chiropractic treatment.
It’s worth keeping in mind, however, that knowledgeable, experienced chiropractors can tailor their treatment plans to each patient’s needs, abilities, and limitations. If you’re an older person curious about what chiropractic can do for you, schedule a visit with a chiropractor. They’ll work with you to decide if treatment is right for you.