People often ask whether chiropractic is a helpful treatment for older people. The answer is emphatically yes! It could be argued that treatment is especially important amongst our elderly population as ongoing chronic pain could have other serious ramifications.
As we get older, the spine, along with the rest of us, changes during the ageing process. It becomes less flexible and less adept at dealing with daily stresses and strains. This can make an individual more vulnerable to injury.
This can be caused by a direct effect, as adequate core strength and spinal stability are vital in avoiding trips and falls. More indirectly, spinal problems can affect overall quality of life with factors such as impaired flexibility having an impact on an older individual‘s overall health and ability to live independently.
More conventional therapies involve the use of analgesic medication in trying to alleviate joint and spinal pain. As chiropractors, we advocate a drug free therapy, and this is especially important in our older population where drug interactions and side effects can cause significant morbidity in their own right. As we age, our kidneys and liver are not as effective at breaking down drug and drug products and this can cause problems.
The great benefit of chiropractic is being able to target the source of pain and offer a drug free solution.
The techniques that chiropractors use can be greatly adapted from one patient to the next.
Unfortunately it is a fact of life that as we get older our joints do start to wear out. The amount that the joints wear varies from individual to individual.
Those people that have more wear in their joints are more likely to suffer from a variety of different problems. These can range from stiffness and an aching in the joint, to more severe acute pain which can indicate a nerve impingement (trapped nerve). It is a sadly all too common school of thought that as we get older, we just have to put up with curse of arthritic pain, and that pain relief is the only option. Not so!
Chiropractic offers a range of therapies which, in the right combination can reduce pain and help with mobility. People wrongly assume that chiropractic is too forceful a technique in the elderly. Ben always tailors therapy plans to each individual and massage as well gentle mobilisation can be used in conjunction with low impact instrumentation (such as use of the Activator TM).
Ben’s oldest client is 101 years old manages independently on his own at home. Over time he had become troubled with right back and hip pain which was distracting day and night. This had a massive impact on his quality of life and became quite lowering, affecting his confidence in his ability to manage on his own.
Ben assessed and diagnosed tight lower back and hip musculature. Some gentle mobilisation techniques and massage have made a huge difference and our centenarian is doing simple stretches at home which have helped him to maintain a reduction in pain and an increase in flexibility
It is all too easy to write off the symptoms in older people as being impossible to treat. Do not hesitate to ask Ben if you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms that might be helped by chiropractic