While ageing is not a choice we make, how we choose to age certainly is. For many people youth is not a time of life - it’s a state of mind. In western society today, the fastest growing age group is the over 60s. Your chances of reaching the ripe old age of 100 have never been so good. But for some, the idea of living to be a centenarian is filled with the dread of long illness and nursing homes, rather than extra years to fill with ‘living’. Sometimes we fall victim to the attitude of society, “You’ll just have to live with it, you’re getting older.” This is a common response from many older people when discussing their aches, pains and lack of mobility. It is considered a quaint oddity for an older person to run a marathon, parachute from a plane or ride a bike interstate, and may get them onto the local evening news. However, pain does not have to be a feature of life as you age. In most cases there is a solution to the pain and lack of mobility that so often accompanies ageing.
One common condition that affects seniors is osteoarthritis. This is a degenerative ‘wear and tear’ condition that causes loss of cartilage around joints. Like the tyres on a car, we all wear out with use eventually. However, just as tyres wear out faster if the wheels are out of alignment, our joints may wear out faster if they are injured or if we have poor muscle balance. Undue stress on one particular portion of the joint may predispose it to increased degeneration. Proper care following injury is important to restore joint alignment and muscle function. This ensures joint stresses are evenly distributed. For some seniors, chiropractors may also recommend supplementation with ‘glucosamine’ and ‘chondroitin’ which research shows may benefit arthritic joints.
Another issue with ageing is osteoporosis. This is a thinning of the bony matrix that is particularly common in post-menopausal women. Weight-bearing exercise is critical for older people to keep bones strong and reduce the effect of osteoporosis.
Chiropractors see patients in all seasons of their lives and can provide benefit to seniors just as any other age group. The challenge of keeping up with grandchildren, lowering the golf handicap or exploring the world is made easier when attention is paid to keeping a strong spine and a balanced body. Chiropractic spinal adjustments improve mobility and restore function to stiff and worn joints. This in turn allows the nervous system - the electricity that gives life to our body - to be more dynamic and vital, improving overall health and wellbeing.
Chiropractic techniques for seniors are gentle and very safe, so age is no barrier to chiropractic care. Do something positive and find out how chiropractic care can improve the quality of your life and keep you ageing like fine wine.
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