As we age, muscle strength and spine health begin to decline. This typically occurs from years of poor posture and repetitive motion creating subluxations. Subluxation is when the joints of the spine are out of alignment or cannot function properly, creating stress on the nervous system, which commonly leads to pain. The longer subluxations are present within the spine, the more damage occurs not only to the spine’s bones but also to the nervous system. When the joints of the spine are functioning as they should, the nervous system is able to function optimally.
The nervous system controls all the functions of the entire body, so improvement in nervous system function can improve not only pain but also immune function, balance, and coordination. This is why we believe chiropractic is critical, especially as we age. We have very gentle and specific techniques that focus on reducing subluxations within the spine, which in turn reduces stress on the nervous system, ultimately allowing your body to function the best it can. Chiropractic care for seniors is a great way to ensure that you will enjoy retirement, keep up with your grandkids, and continue doing the things you love to do!
How We Care for Seniors in Arlington Heights, IL
Comprehensive Consultation and Exam
We want to be sure that we know exactly what is causing your pain before recommending any treatment, and that first starts with sitting down with one of our doctors who will really listen to your concerns and history. Understanding your history and how it may contribute to your current condition is vital. We are always shocked when patients tell us they have never had as thorough of an evaluation with a doctor who truly listens. Once we have a better idea of what has been going on, your chiropractor will recommend a comprehensive examination, including palpation of the spine, posture analysis, orthopedic tests, computerized neurological scans, and digital X-rays (if needed). At the end of the consultation and evaluation, the goal is to determine if dysfunction in the spine and nervous system is the root cause of your complaint(s) and to determine the most effective treatment plan.
Specific Chiropractic Care
The nervous system consists of the brain and the spinal cord, which controls everything we do. The spinal cord is housed and protected by the spine. As chiropractors, we treat what we call subluxations. A subluxation is a joint of the spine that is misaligned or fixated and puts stress and pressure on the nervous system preventing normal function. Subluxations can be caused by significant events like falls and car accidents and minor repetitive stressors like cleaning, golfing, and sitting with your legs crossed. Subluxations create inflammation and pain. Chiropractic adjustments for seniors are specific movements performed on areas of the spine where subluxations are present. Adjustments remove pressure on the nervous system, allowing your nerves to function optimally, reducing your pain, and improving your overall health. Our chiropractors are trained in many safe and gentle adjusting techniques to correct subluxation. We know that every patient will respond differently to our adjustments, so we have studied many different techniques to tailor your treatment to you specifically.
Custom Therapeutic Exercises
When the joints of the spine are misaligned or not functioning how they should, it can create muscle weakness and imbalance. For this reason, you will receive a customized therapy plan to be done at home to ensure proper healing. These exercises are designed around your unique situation and will help strengthen and stabilize the healthy structure of your spine. These exercises will help you hold adjustments longer and prevent future injury and pain.
Common Conditions We Treat for Seniors in Arlington Heights, IL
Arthritis occurs over time from poor posture (use of technology, including phones and computers) and repetitive motions (sitting for long hours). When the joints of the spine cannot move correctly, it creates wear and tear on the spine leading to arthritis. This can appear as the thinning of the disc or the osteophyte (bony) formation on the spine’s bones.
Arthritis is a degenerative process which means that when left untreated, the wear and tear progress to the point where movement is very limited, and there tends to be much more pain involved. The conventional healthcare model will typically treat from the outside in, recommending over-the-counter or prescribed medication to reduce pain. If severe enough, they may recommend spinal injections or surgery.
Chiropractic care focuses on treating from the inside out, focusing on resolving the underlying problem which typically arises from within the spine and nervous system. Our approach reduces your pain and allows your body to function optimally. Arthritis is very common, especially as we age, which is why it’s so important to have your spine evaluated sooner rather than later.
Neuropathy is damage that has occurred to the peripheral nerves – the nerves that travel into the extremities. Symptoms include numbness/tingling (especially in the hands and feet), pain, sensitivity to touch, weakness, and muscle cramping. Neuropathy can result from traumatic injuries, injections, or metabolic conditions. One of the most common causes is diabetes.
Spinal subluxations can also cause neuropathy. Subluxations are joints of the spine that are not aligned properly or cannot function properly, creating pressure on the nerves that exit the spine. The nervous system interference caused by subluxations can often cause pain, sensitivity, weakness, and cramping in the extremities. For example, subluxations in the lower neck can affect the arms and hands, and subluxations in the lower back can affect the legs and feet. Chiropractic adjustments reduce subluxations, taking the pressure off the peripheral nerves and reducing the symptoms of neuropathy.
Chronic Pain Relief
Pain typically appears long after the underlying problem has started. This means years of damage have accumulated by the time you feel pain. When pain is left untreated, damage continues to occur, resulting in chronic pain. Pain, especially in the head, neck, and lower back, commonly arises when the spine’s joints are misaligned or unable to function properly. This typically occurs from years of poor posture and repetitive motions.
The typical treatment for chronic pain involves medications that cover the symptoms of the underlying damage. Chiropractic care addresses the root cause of your chronic pain to restore motion into the joints of the spine that are not functioning properly, reducing nerve inflammation and pain. Chronic pain typically takes much longer to resolve due to the degree of damage that has occurred over the years, so getting treated sooner rather than later is the best option.
As we age, our balance and strength decline, increasing our risk for falls. Falls are one major way subluxations arise within the spine’s joints. Subluxations are joints that are out of alignment or unable to move and function properly. When this occurs, it creates stress and inflammation on our nerves leading to pain. Chiropractic care not only removes subluxations within the spine that can arise from falling, but it also can prevent falls by improving balance and coordination due to optimal nervous system function. Correcting subluxations with regular chiropractic care (even in the absence of symptoms) allows your brain to communicate with your body at its highest potential, improving coordination and strength.
As we age, our joints wear down through years of repetitive motion and poor posture. Spinal joint pain typically occurs when the spine’s joints are not functioning as they should. When the joints cannot move properly, it not only creates wear and tear on the vertebrae but also starts to cause thinning of the discs, which in turn leads to inflammation and pain. The longer this is left untreated, the worse your pain will become.
Chiropractic care is an excellent form of treatment to manage your pain and prevent degeneration from progressing. Chiropractic adjustments focus on restoring motion in joints that are not functioning properly. This takes pressure off the nervous system, allowing your body to function optimally.
People are often prescribed medication such as muscle relaxers or anti-inflammatories to help reduce pain. This may help temporarily, however, it does not resolve the underlying problem of the joint(s) not functioning correctly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, chiropractic care is safe for seniors with arthritis. Arthritis occurs over time from poor posture and repetitive motions. When the joints of the spine cannot move properly, it creates wear and tear on the bones forming arthritis. Chiropractic care focuses on restoring the motion of the joints to ensure proper movement can occur, preventing arthritis from progressing. Our chiropractors are trained in many gentle chiropractic techniques to address arthritis comfortably.
Chiropractic adjustments do not cause arthritis. Arthritis arises over time from poor posture and repetitive motions. This causes the spine’s joints to be misaligned or fixated, creating wear and tear on the bones and the discs, the spaces between the bones. Adjustments restore motion into the fixated joints, allowing them to function correctly and slowing the process of arthritis.
Through a thorough evaluation, we can obtain detailed information as to where your pain is arising. Before every adjustment, the doctor will check your leg length to determine if one leg is shorter than the other, indicating the direction of rotation and misalignment within the pelvis. They will continue to check the motion of the joints all the way up the spine. Ideally, a joint should have some give and glide nicely when pressure is applied. A joint not moving properly feels like pushing into a brick wall. This is an indication that an adjustment is needed.
Pain typically arises from the joints of the spine not functioning correctly. This creates pressure on the nerves that exit the spine leading to inflammation and pain. Over-the-counter medication typically taken to improve pain is just a temporary fix, which is why your pain may not improve. Chiropractic care focuses on healing from within the body, meaning we work on resolving the underlying cause of your pain so your pain does not return.
Chiropractic care can help with so much more than just pain relief. Many people come into the office because they are experiencing pain, and pain is typically the first thing to improve, but it does not mean the underlying issue is resolved. Chiropractic care for seniors focuses on restoring motion into the joints of the spine that are not functioning properly, taking pressure off the nervous system, and allowing your body to function optimally. With adjustments, you may also notice improved immune function, decreased muscle tightness, better management of daily stress, improved sleep quality, improved digestion, and so much more. Many of our patients continue with chiropractic wellness care to ensure that they continue to experience all of the benefits of chiropractic care.