Chiropractic care can be of significant value to the aging adult. As we age, the tissues of the spine become weaker. Muscles, facet joints, ligaments, muscles become less hydrated, more fibrotic, and less capable of withstanding everyday stress.
Accidents, falls, stress, tension, overexertion and countless other factors can result in a displacement or derangements of the spinal column, causing irritation to the spinal nerve roots. These irritations are often what cause malfunctions in the human body. Chiropractic care teaches that reducing or eliminating this irritation can cause your body to operate more efficiently and with greater comfort. Chiropractic also places an emphasis on a nutritional and exercise program, as well as wellness and lifestyle modifications for promoting physical health.
Doctors of chiropractic may assess patients through clinical examination, laboratory testing, diagnostic imaging and other diagnostic interventions to determine when chiropractic treatment is appropriate or when it is not appropriate. Chiropractors will readily refer patients to the appropriate health care provider when chiropractic care is not suitable for the patient's condition, or the condition warrants co-management in conjunction with other members of the health care team.
The most common therapeutic procedure performed by doctors of chiropractic is known as "spinal manipulation", also called "chiropractic adjustment." The purpose of manipulation is to restore joint mobility by manually applying a controlled force into joints that have become hypomobile (or restricted in their movement) as a result of a tissue injury. Tissue injury can be caused by a single traumatic event, such as improper lifting of a heavy object, or through repetitive stresses, such as sitting in an awkward position with poor spinal posture for an extended period of time. In either case, injured tissues undergo physical and chemical changes that can cause inflammation, pain, and diminished function for the sufferer. Manipulation or adjustment of the affected joint and tissues restores mobility which alleviates pain and muscle tightness, allowing tissues to heal.
In many cases, such as lower back pain, chiropractic care may be the primary method of treatment. When other medical conditions exist, chiropractic care may complement or support medical treatment by relieving the musculoskeletal aspects associated with the condition.
In planning a course of treatment, the Chiropractor will consider the condition and age of the spine as well as any existing abnormalities. Once these factors are taken into consideration the Chiropractor will, through the use of gentle adjusting techniques, physical therapies, stretching and exercise, reduce spinal pain. Spinal stresses are decreased, and flexibility and range of motion are improved. Degeneration is minimized.
The Chiropractor will involve the participation of the patient in order to make the treatments truly effective and long lasting. Treatments that focus on pain and other symptoms are less effective and may be dangerous because the underlying condition remains.