Chiropractic Increases Spinal Range of Motion.
Increasing spinal range of motion can positively influence lives in many ways. For some, an increased range of motion means being able to bend down to pickup the grandchildren. For others, it translates into an extra 30 yards of distance out of their driver on the golf course.
Chiropractic care has a long history of helping individuals like yourself reach these and other goals through increases in spinal range of motion. Best of all, increases in spinal range of motion can occur immediately following chiropractic treatments. This is one of the reasons why many top professional sporting teams have team chiropractors treat the athletes prior to and during sporting events.
The treatments utilized by chiropractors have been consistently shown to be one of the most effective and safest forms of care to treat the majority of back, neck and head pain complaints. This is because most causes of back, neck and head disorders are related to abnormalities of the soft tissue components within the spine - something doctors of chiropractic are specifically trained to identify and treat.
As we age, balance and coordination become increasingly impaired. Studies have shown that the receptors located in the joints of the upper cervical spine are largely responsible for providing the brain with essential information important for balance and coordination. Research has also shown that injury to these "neck" receptors is a significant cause of balance and coordination problems in humans.
According to Dr. Caranasos, MD:
Mechanoreceptors in cervical facet joints provide major input regarding the position of the head in relation to the body. With aging, mild defects impair mechanoreceptors function. Loss of proprioception can also involve the legs, especially with diabetes. With decreased proprioception, body positioning in space is impeded and the patient becomes reliant on vision to know the location of a limb. To compensate for the loss of proprioception in the legs, the feet are keep wider apart than usual. Steps become irregular and uneven in length. As impairment increases the patient becomes unable to compensate. With severe loss of proprioception, the patient is unable to get up from a chair or rise after a fall without assistance.
- Caranasos, MD, Isreal, MD. Gait Disorders in the Elderly. Hospital Practice. 1991; June 15:67-94.
According to Dr. Guyton, MD:
By far the most important proprioceptive information needed for the maintenance of equilibrium is that derived from the joint receptors of the neck.
- Guyton, MD. Textbook of Medical Physiology. 9th edition. WB Saunders, Philadelphia 1996;714.
Studies have shown that chiropractic care can help restore balance and coordination by stimulating the joint receptors (mechanoreceptors) in the cervical spine. This stimulation is thought to restore or normalize joint receptor functioning which leads to improvements in balance and coordination.
Fall injuries are extremely prevalent in the elderly population and are one of the most detrimental events that can occur to the older individual. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are responsible for 90% of the 850,000 bone fractures which occur annually among Americans past the age of 65.
Chiropractors reduce the risk of falls by (1) utilizing specific chiropractic adjustive techniques in the cervical spine to normalize cervical joint receptors which provide the brain with important balance and coordination information, (2) utilizing stretching and exercise programs to increase strength, flexibility, mobility, balance and coordination, and (3) utilizing diet and nutritional counseling to improve nutritional status, increase energy levels, and increase sense of well-being.
The above benefits also minimize other types of injuries as well as improve the outcome for injuries already sustained.
Spinal discs and spinal facet joints, similar to other joints, receive their nutrition and eliminate their wastes through joint movement. Without sufficient movement, adhesions and scar tissue will soon develop in the joints.
Chiropractic care involves restoring and optimizing spinal and extra-spinal joint motion which brings vital nutrients into the joint and flushes toxic waste products out. This helps keep the joints healthy and minimizes the degenerative joint changes which lead to arthritis.
Similar to an out-of-aligned wheel on an automobile, a misaligned spine with abnormal biomechanics will wear out prematurely. As all moving parts will eventually wear down over time, it's important to get the maximum "mileage" out of your spine, especially since it's the only one you'll ever get.
Chiropractic care is focused on optimizing spinal biomechanics which reduces spinal stress and, as a result, decreases spinal degeneration and other arthritic changes.
When you're free from nagging pain, stiff joints and can do the things you enjoy (golf, gardening, playing with the grandchildren, etc.) life is far more enjoyable. Feeling good, staying healthy and doing the things that make us happy are what keeps us looking forward to each new day.
Regular chiropractic care in those over the age of 40 is aimed at increasing the quality of life, and not just the elimination of pain and correction of soft tissue abnormalities. Don't cheat yourself from living life to its fullest... call today and let us get you started on a personalized health plan.