This week is healthy aging week; it’s an important week to note because currently in this country we have rising life expectancy which comes with certain challenges. Chiropractic is an excellent medical resource for the aging population. What most do not realize is that chiropractic is safe and effective for all ages—even the very young and very old. In fact, chiropractic may play an important role in the future health care system for the aging population. Having a healthy spine as we age is essential for staying active and staying well. A well-functioning spine leads to better movement and flexibility, something that the aging population is sorely lacking. In practice I have many older patients that deal with back pain that affects their activities of daily living and limits their movement. It is not uncommon that I will hear things like, “I can only sit for a few minutes before I have to get up and move because the pain is too much,” or conversely I’ll hear, “I can only walk a short distance before I have to sit down because the pain is too strong.” This can be frustrating and limiting for the patient. It is always my goal in practice to improve pain, function, and activities of daily living.
While chiropractic is generally safe for most individuals, the chiropractor may change adjusting methods for older individuals. There are many different adjusting methods including gentle low force techniques and instrument assisted methods. I have geriatric patients that respond remarkably well to the Activator Method, the Activator is an adjusting instrument that provides specific and gentle adjustments. I am asked quite frequently if someone should be adjusted if they have conditions like osteoporosis, osteopenia, or arthritis and the answer is generally YES. Actually, individuals with these conditions should ESPECIALLY be adjusted. Chiropractic can help keep joints moving properly which can help combat some arthritic symptoms such as stiffness. In chiropractic we also will help give you tips and tools for home care such as exercises and stretches, fall prevention, nutrition advice, and supplement recommendations, all of these paired with regular adjustments can help you feel your best as you age. We love seeing seniors in our office make an appointment today!
Here are some tips from the American Chiropractic Association for preventing falls:
- -Remove throw rugs.
-Secure carpet edges.
-Remove low furniture and objects on the floor.
-Remove cords and wires on the floor.
-Check for adequate lighting at night (especially along the
path to the bathroom).
-Secure carpet or treads on stairs.
-Install handrails on staircases.
-Eliminate chairs that are too low to sit in and get out of easily.
-Do not wax your floors – or use non-skid wax.
-Ensure the telephone can be reached from the floor.
- -Install grab bars in the bathtub/shower and by the toilet.
-Use rubber mats in the bathtub/shower.
-Pick up floor mats when you aren’t using the bathtub/
shower to avoid tripping over them.
-Install a raised toilet seat.
- -Repair cracked sidewalks.
-Install handrails on stairs and steps.
-Trim shrubbery along the pathway to the home.
-Install adequate lighting by doorways and along walkways leading to doors
Image labeled as free to use share or modify even commercially
Healthy Living Preventing Falls: Tips for Seniors. ACA. Accessed on 09/27/18