Chiropractic for Seniors: What’s Proprioception Got to Do With It?

Chiropractic Care for SeniorsHave you ever been asked to close your eyes, tilt your head back and touch the tip of your nose with the tip of your finger? If so, how did you do? Although it may seem like a silly exercise, it’s actually a simple way to test one’s proprioception function. Proprioception function is the ability to know what our bodies are doing at all times. Unfortunately, it can deteriorate as we age. That’s why it is often taken into account by Indianapolis chiropractors who provide chiropractic for seniors.

Before we explain how chiropractic for seniors may help reduce neuromuscular functional deficits, it is crucial to have a basic understanding of how humans achieve proprioception in the first place. For that, we need to look at our bodies? musculoskeletal and central nervous systems. They contain receptor nerves that send information from our skin, muscles, ligaments and joints to our brains for processing. If that information gets misdirected, misinterpreted or not received at all, we are likely to sustain proprioception function deficits.

So what causes problems along the pathway? The answer is, “a lot of things.” For some, the loss may be related to medications, disease, dehydration, infection, temporary illness, inactivity or injury. It can also be brought about by the normal aging process, which brings us back to how chiropractic for seniors may impact proprioception function.

If the disruption in the senior’s sensory pathway is caused by inactivity or injury, chiropractors may help in several ways. For example, let’s assume that a senior is having trouble maintaining his or her balance. The problem could rest within the person’s neuromuscular or neurotendinous spindles. Perhaps there is a receptor in those spindles that is under stress due to an injury or overwork. A chiropractor could examine the area for those things and then provide chiropractic care designed to alleviate the stress. Once the stress is minimized or eliminated, the senior may be able to regain his or her proprioception function.

To learn more about proprioception function and how it may be altered, please call our office to schedule an appointment with our licensed chiropractor that specializes in chiropractic for seniors.

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Chiropractic for Seniors Can Help Address Weather Related Pain

Chiropractic Care for SeniorsAccording to a January 2014 article that appeared in the Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain, Mother Nature can have quite an effect on seniors’ musculoskeletal health. At least that appears to be the case for elderly individuals dealing with an osteoarthritis diagnosis. In the journal article, researchers provided concrete evidence that relative humidity, barometric pressure and temperature can all cause an arthritic, elderly person’s pain to increase. So what can people do to achieve pain relief when Ma Nature is unleashing her worst? Some healthcare professionals suggest that chiropractic for seniors may provide the best solution.

In February 2012, the periodical, Chiropractic & Manual Therapies, published research completed by multiple American health professionals. It indicated that chiropractic for seniors can effectively provide pain relief and improve a person’s overall mobility. The list of specific chiropractic techniques that the researchers considered in their study included spinal manipulation and acupuncture. Both were shown to lessen arthritic pain in a person’s spine, and knees as well as help improve thoracic function.

Why does chiropractic for seniors work in situations involving osteoarthritis and the weather? To gain a better understanding of the topic, it pays to look closer at the disease. It is widely accepted that osteoarthritis is caused by stress being placed onto a body’s joints. Our joints are made up of cartilage, collagen, muscles, nerves, blood vessels and ligaments. They are naturally under pressure and some components, like cartilage, contain fluid.

When changes occur in our external environment’s barometric pressure, temperature and relative humidity, they can alter the amount of pressure that our bodies feel internally. That added pressure, in turn, can increase joint pain and swelling. Chiropractic techniques provide relief by releasing some of that internal pressure and allowing our joints to move freely again.

To learn more about chiropractic for seniors and how it can make foul weather days more manageable, please consult with your Indianapolis chiropractor.

Importance of Chiropractic for Seniors During Aging

Chiropractic Care for SeniorsFor seniors, regular Indianapolis chiropractic treatment is essential for preventing the development of back pain, misalignment and osteoporosis. The prevelance of such conditions tends to increase as we age, which is why chiropractic treatment is so important as a preventative measure. By learning more about the advantages of chiropractic for seniors, deciding if chiropractic is right for yourself or a senior that you know should be achievable.

Increased Range of Motion in the Spine and Extremities

As we age, maintaining flexibility is essential for retaining the ability to complete everyday actions such as walking up stairs, doing laundry or lifting up a child. An increased range of motion can also compute to higher performance in sports such as golf or being able to garden or complete repairs and maintenance around the house without difficulty.

Decreased Joint Degeneration

As the human body ages, the spine is more prone to damage from a misaligned spine. According to NewMilfordPatch, “A subluxated (misaligned) spine is much like a misaligned wheel on an automobile. This misalignment will cause the spine (and the wheel) to wear out prematurely. Since all moving parts will eventually wear down over time, it is very important to get your spine aligned periodically. Chiropractic care decreases spinal degeneration and other arthritic changes by normalizing the spinal alignment and reducing spinal stress.” With a young body, misalignment may not be so serious. However, older spines can become damaged much more quickly, which is why preventative chiropractic treatment can be so important.

Staying Out of a Nursing Home

No one who is aging looks forward to the day they may need to check into a nursing home. Seniors who underwent regular chiropractic treatment are not only more likely to participate in strenuous exercise and less likely to suffer from arthritis, but also have only a 5% chance of being admitted to a nursing home. It seems that there is a definite connection between chiropractic treatment for seniors and their ability to exercise, leading to a prolonged independent state.

Chiropractic for Seniors Wishing To Age In Place

Chiropractic Care for SeniorsAccording to the U.S. Census Bureau’s reports, the number of seniors in America is expected to rise substantially in the coming years. Many of those seniors are understandably hoping to age in place. You may very well be one of them. One way to increase your chances of aging in place is to utilize chiropractic care services for seniors. They can benefit seniors in a myriad of ways. Here’s a look at some of them:

Falls Prevention

According to the CDC, each year, millions of seniors experience falls that result in health problems like hip fractures and traumatic brain injuries. The falls are often caused by a variety of issues including limited range of motion. Chiropractic care providers can assist seniors by increasing their range of motion thereby reducing their risk of taking a fall. The routine chiropractic visits may also be used in conjunction with in-home exercise programs and nutritional counseling. In-home exercise programs will help with range of motion issues as well. The nutritional counseling services, on the other hand, can help stave off bone degenerative diseases like osteoporosis.

Pain Management

As people get older, they are also more apt to find themselves faced with chronic pain. An article by American Nurse Today noted that the pain may be the result of falls or medical issues like osteoarthritis, spondylolisthesis and cardiovascular disease. Well guess what? That pain can also be managed with the aid of routine chiropractic care services. During the visits, a Indianapolis chiropractor can work with the senior’s connective tissues, muscles, spine, joints and bones in attempt to relieve their discomfort.

Cognition and Circulatory Issues

Lastly, one of the major health issue that tends to facilitate a skilled nursing home admission is a loss of cognition. BioMed Central notes that loss of cognition may be due to vascular dementia and stroke. Both conditions are caused by circulatory problems. The good news is circulatory problems may be reduced through chiropractic care too. Chiropractors can improve a person’s circulation through the adjustment and manipulation of the musculoskeletal system.

For more in-depth information about how chiropractic care can help seniors age in place, contact your Indianapolis chiropractor’s office today.

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