Are you over the age of 50? Do you find yourself having trouble moving around or finding the same energy levels as you once did? While this is common in aging, it doesn’t have to dominate your life. In fact, there are plenty of ways you can alleviate your troubles, including with the help of chiropractic care. Below you’ll discover more behind what chiropractic care is and other reasons why chiropractic care is beneficial.
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What Are the Benefits of Chiropractic Care?
Chiropractic care is a unique type of holistic medicine that focuses on using musculoskeletal adjustments and massage for pain relief. While it’s mainly used for bone and joint ailments, it can also be useful in improving your overall health.
Why Should Adults Over 50 Use Chiropractic Care?
Adults over 50 can run into quite a few health problems. Some of the most include:
- Heart disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Type 2 diabetes
These ailments aren’t only uncomfortable but can make it difficult for you to live life normally.
Is Chiropractic Care Safe for Older Adults?
Some might be concerned that chiropractic care could make their troubles worse. The good news is this isn’t the case. Chiropractic care is very safe for older adults, including those who suffer from a degenerative disease. However, to ensure things go smoothly, a chiropractor will start slowly in their treatments. This will give your body time to build itself up.
Top 8 Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Those Over 50
It Increases Flexibility
A problem many older adults have is that they find it difficult to move as freely as they once could. This lack of motion might be due to health problems or extreme muscle tension. A chiropractor fixes flexibility problems by ensuring that your bones and joints are aligned. They’ll feel around certain areas to find tension, swelling, or pain. Once they identify a problem, they will adjust your body to fix it. By doing so, it will improve your range of motion.
It Boosts Your Immune System
As we get older, our immune system slowly declines. This can make it harder for your body to fight off diseases, especially if you currently have chronic conditions. When pathogens enter your body, it can increase inflammation which can damage your organs, tissues, and cells.
Chiropractic care boosts your immune system because it reduces inflammation and flushes toxins out of your body. In addition to this, chiropractic adjustments will focus on your nervous system which is connected to your immune system. If the nerves are out of place around your spine, it can make it harder for your immune system to function correctly. By doing spinal manipulations, it will ensure that these nerves are in place.
It Provides Pain Relief
One of the best benefits of chiropractic care is that it provides pain relief. Many people over 50 tend to have various types of pain, including low back pain, headaches, joint pain, osteoarthritis, and muscle strain. These can range from minor aches and pains to severe ones.
To help with this, a chiropractor will feel around your spine. Because most ailments are connected to your spine’s health, adjusting your spine is believed to alleviate all types of pain. Depending on your needs, a chiropractor will perform certain adjustments. These might include the Gonstead technique, flexion-distraction, the drop table technique, and the activator technique.
When an adjustment is done, you’ll find that it loosens tension and releases endorphins, a natural painkiller. The more consistent you are with chiropractic care, the more likely you’ll receive long-term pain relief.
It Helps You Be More Energetic
You might be surprised to learn that chiropractic care can help you be more active. By removing tension and subluxations throughout your body, it encourages you to have more energy because it’s easier for you to move around.
Besides this, chiropractic care helps your digestive and circulatory systems work better. When these systems are able to function normally, it prevents them from taking too much energy from your body to operate. This provides you with extra energy to move.
It Improves Your Coordination
A common problem in many older adults is a lack of coordination. It can sometimes be harder for those over 50 to move their joints quickly which can result in muscle weakness and a loss of balance. If your neck or spine is misaligned, it can make it difficult for your body to stay balanced and coordinated.
Chiropractic care keeps your neck and spine aligned to prevent these coordination issues. It also invigorates your senses which keeps you alert to muscle problems.
Besides adjustments, chiropractors will often include a few exercise and diet tips to improve your coordination.
There are a handful of exercises that a chiropractor might recommend you do for coordination purposes, some of which are listed below.
By tossing a small ball (like a tennis ball) back and forth to a partner, it can strengthen your muscle movement and enhance your hand-eye coordination.
To do this exercise, simply place a sturdy box in front of you. Then, have someone point to a leg for you to step up on the box with. As they indicate the leg, try to move quickly to lift it up.
This quick exercise requires you to stand on one foot for as long as you can. To do so, stand in one place and then lift up one of your legs. You can use a chair to help support your body. Try to hold your leg up for at least 10 seconds before switching to the other one. Remember to also use correct posture as you do so.
Consuming a good diet can play a huge role in your coordination skills. This is because certain items can improve your brain’s health, reduce oxidative stress, and strengthen your muscles. Some items your chiropractor might recommend include:
- Dark chocolate
- Swiss chard
Chiropractic Is Holistic
Chiropractic care is holistic meaning it uses non-invasive and natural means to heal your body. This can be very helpful, especially if you prefer not to rely on medications or surgery for relief. Besides adjustments, chiropractic care also incorporates diet changes and exercises into your treatment. These will work to naturally heal pain and keep your body flexible and healthy.
Chiropractic care also uses massage therapy to alleviate pain. A massage not only relaxes your body, but reduces muscle tension, increases blood circulation, flushes toxins out of your body, and improves your flexibility.
A chiropractic massage therapist will use one of many different types of massage on your body. Some of these include:
- Deep tissue
- Hot stone
- Trigger point
While each of these uses unique motions and techniques to provide relief, they are very effective. You’ll find that they can even boost the effects of your chiropractic treatment. Because of this, a massage is often done before and after your chiropractic adjustments.
It Improves Your Cognitive Skills
Studies have shown that many people aged 50 and older are losing more cognitive functioning than previous generations. While it’s still not known why this is the case, professionals believe it could be due to loneliness, depression, and a lack of physical activity.
To improve your cognitive skills, a chiropractor will focus on the area of your brain known as the prefrontal cortex. This region is in charge of all your cognitive movements, including personality expression, social behavior, and decision making. When a chiropractic adjustment is done in this area, it increases brain activity in it. Over time, this will help you to think faster, focus better, and move freely.
It Treats Stress
Stress is a common problem in all age groups, but especially so with adults over 50. It’s thought that compared to other generations, older adults are 47% more likely to be stressed. Stress comes with many symptoms, including fatigue, depression, anxiety, and high blood pressure. If not gotten under control, it could lead to heart attacks, strokes, and heart disease.
Chiropractors work to reduce stress in the body by doing a few different things. The first is by fixing nerve irritation up and down your spine. If there is nerve irritation, it could make your body’s fight-or-flight response overwork. Adjustments will reduce this and regulate nerve functioning.
The adjustments will also ensure that there aren’t any misaligned vertebrae poking on your nervous system. If there are, it could hurt the communication between your body and brain causing extra stress. If a chiropractor finds a misalignment, they will work to ensure it’s put back in place.
After your treatment, a chiropractor might recommend taking vitamin B supplements or food high in it to encourage the adjustments to work better. Vitamin B is known for reducing anxiety and stress. Some edible items they might suggest adding to your diet with it include:
- Brown rice
Chiropractic care offers many benefits for adults over 50. No matter what your needs, you’ll find that it provides plenty of holistic perks to ensure you stay healthy and active.
Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab and has been a chiropractor for over 20 years. Besides chiropractic care, his practice has also treated thousands of Anchorage patients from different health problems through massage therapy.
He is a proud member of the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians. And he continues his education to remain active and updated in all studies related to neurology, physical rehab, biomechanics, spine conditions, brain injury trauma, and more.