The “silver tsunami” is among our nation. The US Census Bureau is projecting that there will be 1 in 5 adults over the age of 65 by the year 2030; “This age group is projected to increase to 88.5 million by the year 2050” (Johnson, 2012). Along with the rise in geriatric patients comes, increasing healthcare costs and a greater need for geriatric healthcare providers. Safe, non-invasive, prescription drug-free care and pain relief is a necessity for older adults to function and thrive in their later years. Chiropractic care offers a natural form of healthcare to the aging population while improving their quality of life.
How can chiropractic help?
Preventing falls at home, nutritional advice, increasing physical activity and allowing senior citizens to continue to enjoy the activities they love are essential to care plans. Chiropractic care has been proven to help improve the quality of life, decrease pain, increase ranges of motion and maintain mobility for elderly patients. Lowering the risk of falls is essential due to the direct association of increased mortality. Proper mechanoreceptor function and a balanced musculoskeletal system are vital to minimizing injuries/falls at or away from home.
Chiropractors focus on the nervous system, making sure it is functioning optimally so the body can heal itself efficiently and correctly. Chiropractic adjustments help to restore joint motion, soft-tissue techniques to relax tight muscles, stretching/strengthening exercises, nutritional counseling, and ergonomic re-education are just some of the ways chiropractors can help patients of all ages, especially geriatric ones, live healthier more active lives.
Common concerns of the geriatric patient
It is important to note that extremity (shoulder, knee, hip, ankle, foot, elbow and wrist) complaints are common among the aging population. Chiropractic can help to minimize or eliminate pain and discomfort in all areas of the body, including the extremities. It is important to note that maintaining proper range of motion in the neck through chiropractic adjustments and soft tissue techniques can help to prolong a senior’s driving privileges. Falling at home is also a big concern and fear that elderly people have. Losing independence and becoming unable to perform normal activities of daily living (dressing, showering, cooking, cleaning, etc.), along with hobbies, (gardening, crafts, tennis, golf, etc.), due to pain, can take a huge toll on a person’s quality of life and health.
No prescription required!
Chiropractic offers a safe, effective, low cost, non-invasive way to decrease/eliminate pain and improve health! Most people over the age of 65 are on multiple medications for multiple symptoms and conditions. Chiropractic care provides a holistic, natural way to decrease pain, increase ranges of motion, encourage proper biomechanics and lifestyle changes, improve proprioception, decrease the incidence of falls and improve quality of life.
• All natural, holistic
• Non-invasive (no surgery or medications)
• Gentle techniques available for low bone density patients
• High patient satisfaction
• Improved quality of life
• Decreased pain
• Increased ranges of motion
• Improved nervous and immune system function
Healthcare providers, of all types must work together so everyone has the opportunity to age well. “Waiting for chronic diseases to disable [the] aging patient and then trying to fix these patients after years of poor lifestyle choice have taken their toll is inefficient and ill-advised” (Johnson, 2012). Emphasizing the prevention of chronic lifestyle illnesses at younger ages will help people focus on preventative health care versus sick care.
If you or someone you know is elderly, in pain or is not living the life that you or they once used to, please share this article with them and have them make an appointment with a chiropractor today!
Best Practices Recommendations for Chiropractic Care for Older Adults: Results of a Consensus Process: Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, July/August 2010; Hawk, et al.
Complementary and Alternative Care in the Long-Term Care Setting: Annals of Long-Term Care/Volume 13, Number 4/April 2005; Dougherty and Katz
Chiropractic Care and Public Health: Answering Difficult Questions About Safety, Care Through the Lifespan, and Community Action: Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, September 2012; Johnson, et al.