When the thought of chiropractic care comes to mind, the patients are usually envisioned as younger, active individuals who are injured in athletic competitions or physically demanding jobs. Middle aged "weekend warriors" who attempt to play beyond their abilities and hurt themselves in the process may also be considered as prime patients for chiropractors.
However, seniors may benefit most from chiropractic care and its ability to reduce pain and promote healing and general well-being.
How is chiropractic care performed?
Chiropractic care involves realigning the spinal vertebra when they have become misaligned. Contrary to popular belief formed by TV shows depicting chiropractic practices, the spine is not violently yanked into alignment with a sudden loud cracking sound. Chiropractors do manually manipulate the spinal vertebra as well as stretch the muscles surrounding them, but they do it with great care to avoid additional injury or stress to the spine.
Why is chiropractic care needed?
When the spinal vertebra are forced out of alignment by either a single violent act or from consistent pressure, the spinal nerves may become irritated. This can cause pain in various areas of the body, as well as localized pain at the area of misalignment.
The nerves along the spine carry impulses from the brain to every part of the body. When this neural pathway becomes corrupted, pain receptors can be stimulated and healing impaired or halted. The inability of the brain to promote healing can lead to a general malaise throughout the body if the corruption of the neural pathways is extensive.
Why is chiropractic therapy beneficial to seniors?
Seniors may need ongoing treatment to minimize the effects of aging and a more sedentary lifestyle. As the deep abdominal and back muscles become weaker with age, they can often no longer support the spine in an effective manner. Prolonged sitting can place cumulative stress on the lower spine, where the sciatic nerve connects to the spinal nerves.
The sciatic nerve runs from the base of the spine to the feet, and irritation of the sciatic nerve can result in pain or numbness at any point along its path. Older individuals are often more prone to sciatic pain or numbness in the feet because of muscle weakness combined with inactivity and its pressure on the lower vertebra of the spine.
Seniors are also more prone to chronic pain, slower healing, and a general malaise. Ongoing chiropractic therapy may provide some relief from the effects of aging and provide greater mobility, which can increase physical activity. Physical activity will then stimulate the brain to release endorphins, which produce a mild euphoria to combat depression and act as a natural pain reducer.
Weight loss can also be enhanced through physical activity, which then reduces pressure on the spine and enhances the benefits of chiropractic therapy. While it's not a fountain of youth, chiropractic therapy can make life more pleasant and offer greater possibilities for seniors to lead a more active and fulfilling life. For more information, talk to a company like Centerpointe Chiropractic - Lou Rossi DC.