If you've reached your senior citizen years and you've still never been to a chiropractor, you may be hesitant to see one now even though you're dealing with chronic back pain. There's no better time than the present to schedule your appointment. Chiropractic therapy is especially beneficial for people in your general age group for a few particular reasons.
What to Expect During Chiropractic Treatment
You might have an image of a chiropractic doctor as a back-cracker, performing rapid adjustments to the neck and spine. Chiropractors offer much more than this type of therapy, and they are gentler with patients who need a lighter touch—which may very well describe you.
In addition to spinal adjustments, you may also receive:
- deep-heat ultrasound therapy for healing effects
- transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to relieve nerve pain
- gentle stretching therapy
- instructions on exercises to do at home
- adaptive devices that can improve chronic pain, such as a special pillow to alleviate pressure on the neck while lying down
As you can see, chiropractic therapy in many ways is similar to physical therapy. That may be reassuring, since physical therapy is a type of conventional medical treatment.
Resolving Spinal Misalignment
According to chiropractic theory, the spine tends to become misaligned over time at points known as subluxations. These alignment problems may occur due to injury, overuse, problems with posture, or general wear and tear. If you are in your 60s or older and experiencing back pain, and you have never been to a chiropractor, you may experience substantial relief by having long-standing subluxations resolved.
In addition to pain relief, you are likely to gain two other important advantages as well:
Improved Range of Motion
Chiropractic therapy may help you gain better flexibility and decrease stiffness. You may once again be able to do activities you've been avoiding, such as bending over to pick up something from the floor or reaching up to get something from a shelf above your head.
Decreased Risk of Falling
Realigning the spine and improving your flexibility can help your balance and coordination. This is particularly important for people in their senior years, since these individuals can become more susceptible to falls that cause serious injury.
Research on chiropractic care for senior citizens is scant. One important study, however, found significant positive effects for geriatric patients receiving chiropractic therapy. They were less likely to have been hospitalized in the past few years or to have needed nursing home care. They were more likely to get regular exercise and to be in good to excellent health.
What Can You Do Now?
Schedule an appointment with a chiropractor in Phoenix, AZ, or your local area. When you call the clinic, let them know your age and briefly explain your goals for treatment. You'll be making a beneficial step forward to relieving your chronic back pain and achieving other improvements in health.