Many people of advanced age are interested in chiropractic and other so-called `alternative` therapies for their purported benefits and low risks. Elderly people, just like everyone else, need to assess the benefit and safety of any treatment they receive and they need to understand what that treatment entails prior to making that first appointment. That said, older people have special needs their doctor must take into consideration prior to applying treatment. Older people probably have more complicated health histories than their younger selves did, they may have more brittle bones and more arthritic joints. The Doctor of Chiropractic knows this and will apply appropriate measures to make sure the treatment corresponds to each person’s unique physical needs. The answer to the questions is `Yes, the elderly can visit a chiropractor.`
A Doctor of Chiropractic, like a chiropractor in Chapel Hill, NC, will perform a good examination prior to creating a treatment plan or performing a spinal adjustment. This examination, consisting of: history, vital sign assessment, range of motion of and palpation of spine and extremities, orthopedic and neurological assessment of involved and connected areas, and necessary imaging and other tests; will give necessary information. Be prepared to also provide your chiropractor a list of medications and supplements you take- many medications and supplements, while helpful may have negative side-effects that need to be considered for your health’s sake.
Following the exam, your chiropractor will create a treatment plan, generally consisting of a plan to adjust vertebral bodies that are irritated and to sooth irritated areas with physical therapy modalities for several visits. The goals of the treatment plan will be to reduce spinal subluxations- spinal vertebral units that are inflamed and/or misaligned sending pain and irritation along their paths. Sometimes these subluxations are new, sometimes the subluxations have been negatively affecting the patient for many years- reducing their vitality and creating pain. The chiropractic adjustment helps reduce that subluxation, reduce the corresponding pain and improve the patient’s vitality.
For older people who have delicate bones and joints, the best chiropractic adjustment therapy may be the gentle activator instrument adjustor, or another gentle technique sacral occipital technique. Gentle massage and physical therapy techniques such as cold or heat application, transcutaneous electrostimulation (TENS) application, ultrasound application may be prescribed and applied in office to relax and rehabilitate injured and irritated nerves, muscles and tissues.
Elderly people can, and should, visit a chiropractor. In our office, we love working with older patients and look forward to helping them return to greater levels of vitality with less pain- naturally. Call or email us today to schedule that first appointment.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Acupractic Natural Healing Center for their insight into chiropractic treatment.