Both infants and adults can benefit from ongoing chiropractic care. In the chiropractic world, keeping the problem fixed and preventing its reoccurrence is just as important as the initial remedy.
Chiropractic Care for Older Adults
As most older adults know, a single fall can change their lives. For instance, an independent individual may fall in his or her home and land in a nursing facility. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.5 million older adults went to emergency rooms into 2013 after falling. Of these, 734,000 were hospitalized. The best solution? Prevent falling in the first place. Here are a few strategies to minimize your fall risk and keep you living independently.
Improve Your Balance
How is your balance? Take the One Leg Standing Test to find out. Stand for as long as possible on one leg. If you can’t make it for five seconds, you need to improve your balance.
Many older adults minimize their movement for fear of falling. Unfortunately, lack of exercise increases the risk of falling. You need to keep your legs strong and practice balancing. Part of balance practice is learning to catch yourself when you start to fall. Tai chi is especially helpful. See if there’s a tai chi or other type of exercise class for seniors in your neighborhood.
Enlist Your Doctors’ Help
Some combinations of medications can cause impaired balance. Ask your doctor to review your prescription and over-the-counter medications and determine whether interactions could make you drowsy or dizzy.
Vision greatly affects balance. Just try standing on one leg and closing your eyes, and you’ll see how important your vision is. Regular eye check-ups ensure you have the best lenses for your eyeglasses.
Making Homes Safer
Given that many seniors spend a lot of time at home, that’s where many fall. But a few adjustments can greatly reduce tripping hazards.
Here’s how to make your home safer:
Clear the floor and stairs of anything likely to trip you, such as books, shoes and papers
Add grab bars to your shower and by the toilet
Buy non-slip mats for the tub and shower
Keep your home well-lit. Use bright bulbs, night lights and lighting strips along stairways
Avoid ladders and step stools. Keep frequently used items on low shelves where you can easily reach them.
Wear shoes inside, rather than socks or slippers
A 2012 issue of Chiropractic and Manual Therapies estimated that 5 percent of older Americans visit chiropractors annually. This number will increase as the population ages.
Chiropractors help reduce fall risk by assessing posture and gait, and using spinal manipulation to improve musculoskeletal alignment. Better posture leads to fewer falls. If you are over 65, your chiropractic doctor will probably use low-force techniques to manipulate your spine.
Many patients find pain relief through chiropractic adjustments. This can reduce patients’ use of pain medications, thereby helping patients avoid the side effects of the medications. Many chiropractors also advise on nutrition, exercises and ergonomics, all of which aid in fall prevention.
If you’re a senior concerned about your health, call our clinic today.
Chiropractic Care for Children
Many people think that chiropractors treat only adults. But children can also benefit from regular chiropractic care. Injuries that children receive during their everyday lives and while playing sports can cause many symptoms that can be treated by chiropractors. This includes soreness, discomfort, stiffness or neck pain.
Pediatric chiropractors — those that are trained to work with children — always adapt the treatment to fit the special needs of their young patients. They also provide highly skilled treatments that are very gentle.
Why Chiropractic Care for Children
Children may experience trauma at birth that affects their body. Later childhood activities — like learning to walk, participating in sports or riding a bicycle — can also cause spinal health problems, or make them worse.
Even injuries that appear to be minor — such as a fall off a bicycle — can damage other parts of the body, such as the pelvis, skull, spine and limbs. Chiropractors are uniquely trained to identify problems in these areas.
Chiropractors can also determine whether “growing pains” are signs of more severe health problems. Regular chiropractic care for children may be able to head off problems that many adults experience later in life.
Treating Childhood Conditions
One of the main types of chiropractic care for children is treating back and neck pain or other issues related to the spine. Chiropractors can check children as young as newborns for problems, especially those related to the health of their spine.
Chiropractors may also be able to help with other childhood conditions, such as:
- Chronic ear infections
- Difficulty nursing
Types of Treatment for Children
When chiropractors work with children, they provide the same highly skilled treatments that adults receive. They use a hands-on, drug-free approach. Visits include a physical exam, diagnosis and treatment. In the case of children, chiropractors use a very gentle approach, suitable to the age of the child.
Children who already have a regular pediatrician — who provides medications and treats serious illnesses — can also benefit from a pediatric chiropractor. Much of the work that chiropractors do with children is preventative wellness care, such as helping their spine stay healthy as they grow.
Chiropractors are for all ages. Contact your chiropractor to learn more about chiropractic care for your child.
Chiropractic Care for Athletes
Chiropractic care and sports training go hand in hand. Many professional athletes have publicly shared that chiropractic adjustments are crucial before and after their athletic feats. NFL champion Emmit Smith likened a single football game to being in more than 30 car accidents. With this kind of impact on the body, athletes need the best healthcare possible. Smith and many other athletes, from golfers to track and field stars, partially attribute their success and career longevity to chiropractic care.
What happens when you add impact to spinal misalignment? Injury. Chiropractic doctors assess athletes’ bodies, identifying problems with joints, muscles and movement patterns. Between spinal adjustments and exercises to strengthen weak areas, chiropractors help athletes prevent many injuries.
Many athletes claim that, not only does chiropractic care decrease injuries, but it even enhances their game. Chiropractic treatment improves flexibility and range of motion, which are important for peak performance in many sports. Heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield claims that visiting a chiropractor three times a week improves his performance in the ring, and that most boxers regularly visit chiropractors. Golfers also feel the difference in their swing.
Athletes frequently consult chiropractors about their injuries. Sports trainers in particular tend to send their athletes to chiropractors for low-back pain and musculoskeletal problems. Proper chiropractic care can decrease an injury’s severity and reduce pain. The athlete may recover faster than she or he would without chiropractic treatments, allowing a quicker return to the game.
You don’t have to be a professional athlete to warrant chiropractic care for your sports injuries. Millions of people run marathons, race bikes or participate in golf and tennis tournaments without ever going pro. Over the course of their athletic lives, most will have at least a few strained muscles, jarred spines, torn ligaments and other painful consequences. If your injuries are lessening your joy in your sport and interfering with your training or goals, call our clinic so we can help get you back on the court, green or field.