Most of them will face the health issues commonly associated with aging, and that’s where chiropractic care will play a pivotal role. Already, an estimated 5% of the senior population sees a Doctor of Chiropractic annually, and 14% of all patients treated by DCs are 65 or older.
Those numbers will rise exponentially as the population of seniors increases, as well as the level of public awareness and acceptance of chiropractic care spreads. For that reason, educating our audience, followers, and patients is critical.
Here are some facts about chiropractic care for seniors for you to share with them:
What can chiropractic do for seniors?
In summary, chiropractic care can help seniors manage acute and chronic pain, improve mobility and function, increase flexibility, restore postural alignment, improve balance, de-stress and tune the nervous system, increase immune function, and improve overall health and quality of life.
What happens to us as we age
Every person undergoes a series of changes to their body and systems as they age.
When we grow older, spinal discs, joints, ligaments, muscles and other spinal tissues become weaker, less hydrated, and less able to endure normal wear and tear. Too often, back pain from spinal degeneration (arthritis) comes into play, and even debilitating injuries can result.
But while growing older is inevitable, suffering because of it shouldn’t be considered a natural state, thanks to health measures including regular chiropractic care.
Routine chiropractic care has a number of benefits that are especially important as we age:
Back pain is a common musculoskeletal problem among older adults, with a reported 6% suffering disabling back pain and 23% suffering from non-disabling pain. However, chiropractic care is the most effective, non-invasive, and safe way to treat pain from spinal related conditions.
Increased Range of Motion
Chiropractic care increases range of motion in the spine, as well as the extremities, improving many aspects of their health and even lifestyle.
Increased Balance and Coordination
Older people often suffer from problems with their balance and coordination. These have been shown to stem from injuries or degenerative changes to the cervical spine (neck region), and the resulting compromised sense of body awareness. But chiropractic care helps restore balance and coordination by stimulating the joint receptors in the cervical spine, normalizing function.
Decreased Incidence of Falling
Restoring spinal joint receptors to counteract the effects of aging on balance and coordination is so important because it helps decrease the incidence of falling. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that falls are responsible for 90% of the 850,000 bone fractures that occur annually for U.S. adults 65 and up.
Furthermore, about one-third of people 65 and older fall each year. That leads to direct medical costs of at least $19 billion now, but expected to reach $44 billion by 2020 [When seniors fall and become injured, about 40-50% of them never fully recover, losing their independence and forced to enter a nursing home or care facility.
Decreased Joint Degeneration
As we age, our joints and spine degenerate naturally over time. But a subluxated (misaligned) spine will cause additional stress, causing the spine to wear out more quickly. But chiropractic care for seniors will help decrease spinal degeneration and by normalizing spinal alignment and reducing undue stress.
Regular visits to the chiropractor will help alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with joint arthritis, which has become an epidemic among our elderly population.
Boost Immune System Function
By removing subluxations – or blockages of the nervous system, we allow it to function optimally. By helping boost the nervous system and immune system in seniors, they see suffer less sickness, fewer complications, and faster recovery times.
Decrease reliance on medication
The instance of prescription Opioid addiction and death are at epidemic levels in the U.S., and that grave issue faces seniors, too. In fact, studies show that 1 in 25 older adults (approximately 2.2 million) are at risk for a major potential drug-drug interaction. Chiropractic care is a safe alternative to risky surgeries and prescribing highly addictive and dangerous medications, including Opioid painkillers.
Chiropractic care has a host of other benefits for seniors
Going to visit a Chiropractor regularly will improve a senior’s health in many other ways, including decreasing typical day-to-day muscle stiffness and rigidity, improving flexibility, achieving a straighter posture, increasing energy, and reducing tissue inflammation.
Increased health, well-being, and quality of life
Chiropractic care will allow seniors to age as gracefully as possible, staying active and enjoying friends and family. That has a huge impact on their quality of life, emotional outlook, and their ability to stay young at heart – and in body!