Chiropractic care isn't just for the young. In fact, as bodies age, tissues deteriorate, bones become fragile, and muscles lose their strength. A chiropractor can help you deal with these problems as you age.
Concerns Geriatric Patients May Have
Some older people may have concerns that keep them from considering the services of a chiropractor. Some common concerns are:
- Afraid of the unknown – Chiropractic care tends to fall into the realm of holistic or alternative medicine. For older patients that have only seen traditional doctors, this may be frightening. The best way to overcome this fear would be to make an appointment to sit and talk with a chiropractor. Bring your concerns to the table. Most people will walk away feeling much better and educated.
- Fragile bones – Geriatric patient's bones are usually more fragile than those of younger patients, but chiropractors can use equipment such as gentle hydraulics and handheld instruments. These techniques are sometimes referred to as low force instrument adjusting.
- Getting on and off the treatment table – The thought of trying to get up onto a treatment table can be intimidating to anyone with back pain. Geriatric patients may have an increased concern. Most should be happy to know that there are hydraulic tables that make this process a breeze. Someone will help the patient get situated onto the table in a standing position. Once they are comfortable, the table is slowly moved by hydraulics into a comfortable laying position.
Common Ailments and How Chiropractic Care Can Help
Any time an older person experiences back pain that hasn't been diagnosed, they should see their doctor. Once the cause of the pain is known, a visit to the chiropractor may be in order. Some common reasons a geriatric patient might visit a chiropractor are:
- Sciatica – As a person's spine changes throughout the aging process, things such as bone spurs or herniated disks may develop. These conditions often cause pain in the sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back down through your hips, buttocks and down your leg. This pain is referred to as sciatica and can be debilitating for someone of any age, but especially geriatric patients. A chiropractor may be able to help with the underlying cause of sciatica. Through adjustments, treatments, and an exercise program the patient may experience a good deal of relief.
- Spinal Alignment – Part of the aging process involves loss of muscle tone. As the muscles that help keep the spine aligned weaken, older people may experience pain, loss of balance, and reduced flexibility. Regular visits to the chiropractor for adjustments will help keep the spine aligned. Depending on the needs of the patient, the chiropractor may use any number of techniques. Remember, there are gentle ways to perform adjustments.
- Arthritis – Arthritis pain in the neck, shoulders, back and other areas can often be relieved by chiropractic treatments. With chiropractic care, arthritic patients may experience less pain and increased range of motion.
Chiropractic care is most effective when paired with exercise. Geriatric patients will be given exercises that are suitable to their individual needs and abilities. Simple stretches, walking, balance and strengthening exercises may be part of a prescribed regime. Contact a local chiropractor like Claremont Chiropractic today for more information.