We do not want our seniors to suffer needlessly. Staying healthy, feeling good and doing the things that you enjoy and that are important to us make each day better. We provide gentle and safe techniques that can benefit even those with arthritis or osteoporosis. Our goal is to help you keep doing the things you love.
Chiropractic is the most frequently utilized type of complementary and alternative care for seniors. Chiropractic care can be used to reduce pain, restore mobility, optimize function, improve flexibility and prevent unneccessary disability.
Benefits for Seniors:
- Pain Relief
- Improved Range of Motion
- Decreased Incidence of Falls
- Chronic Pain Relief
- Improved Balance
There is a rising number of older adults in the United States. It's estimated that 20% of the US population will be 65 or older by 2030. Conditions such as spinal arthritis and chronic pain do NOT have to be synonymous with the aging process. In general, arthritis is the gradual breakdown or deterioration of the joint spaces in your musculoskeletal systems. It's estimated that 8 out of 10 Americans over the age of 55 suffer from one form of arthritis. There are many causes of arthritis, including age. Injury of an area and a suppressed or weakened immune system are other causes. Arthritis can affect individuals in different ways. Joints including the spine, fingers, wrists, shoulders, knees and toes, lose their normal shape and large amounts of fluid and debris can fill the joint space.
Symptoms of Arthritis:
- Increased falling
- Joint pain
- Loss of muscle control
- Muscle spasms
- Stabbing pain in the extremities
Most Common Types of Arhritis:
Osteoarthritis: This the degenerative form of arthritis that affects mostly the elderly. In some individuals, osteoarthritis may affect the spine's facet joints and this makes it difficult to bend or twist. This is the kind of arthritis chiropractors are very good at alleviating and preventing through promotion of gentle movement in the spine. Osteoarthritis causes pain becuase as the cartilage starts to break down, the joint is stripped of its protective material and the joints begin rubbing against one another. Specifically with the intervertebral discs of the spine, when there is any sort of injury to the neck or back, the associated lost of motion is detrimental in kickstarting the aging process. This is why any injuries should be assessed and addressed by your chiropractor as quickly as possible in order to prevent the risk of scar tissue formation and increased likelihood of degeneration.
In most people, the body responds to the onset of arthritis by makine extra bone around the area of invovlement (called bone spurs or osteophytes) in an attempt to shore up the degerating joint. In advanced forms of spinal osteoarthritis, there are often bone spurs found in the joint or disc spaces, where the cartilage has begun to break down and deteriorate. Bone spurs sometimes block the spaces where nerve roots leave the spinal canal, causing pain. This is when patients usually begin to seek care, because once the nerve is involved there is an onset of pain and symptoms.
Rheumatoid Arthritis: An equally painful and destructive form of arthritis is called rheumatoid arthritis. It is characterized by bouts of flare ups and systemic responses. RA causes inflammation of the joint tissues, leading to pain, wekaness, anemia (lowered red blood cell count), and loss of appetite. Chiropractors provide palliative care for patients with RA. During acute flare ups, gentle techniques can help alleviate pain.
- Dougherty PE, Hawk C, Weiner DK, Gleberzon B, Andrew K, Killinger L. The role of chiropractic care in older adults. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies. 2012;20:3. doi:10.1186/2045-709X-20-3.
- Hawk C, Rupert R, Colonvega M, Hall S, Boyd J, Hyland J. Chiropractic care for older adults at risk for falls: a preliminary assessment. J Am Chiropr Assoc 2005;42(September/October):10-18.
- American Geriatric Society. The management of chronic pain in older persons: AGS Panel on Chronic Pain in Older Persons. J Am Geriatr Soc 1998;46(5):635-651.
- Hawk C, Pfefer MT, Strunk R, Ramcharan M, Uhl N. Feasibility study of short-term effects of chiropractic manipulation on older adults with impaired balance. J Chiropr Med (in press).