Our Chiropractic care restores function, enhances mobility, and helps support your nervous system.
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.
While technology creates many new possibilities for entertainment, connecting with others and getting work done, it also spawns new health problems. Ten years ago, nobody had “text neck.” Now many people are reaping the unwanted musculoskeletal consequences of tech overuse.
Instead of holding mobile devices straight out in front of their faces to maintain good posture, most people hold their devices close to their bodies, dropping their heads to see what’s on the screen. Since the average head weighs 10 pounds, constantly dropping it forward hunches your shoulders, inflames tissue in your neck and strains your spine. This technologically induced neck problem is often referred to as “text neck.” Text neck is on the rise with kids and young adults, traditionally an age group that had few spinal problems.
How do you avoid this forward-head posture? Cultivate body awareness. Roll your shoulders back and down. Notice if your head juts forward from your chest. If so, slide it back so your ears are over your shoulders. Check your posture frequently to prevent bad habits from sneaking back into your life. Mobile apps can alert you if your chin slips to an angle that puts you at risk for text neck.
Too Much Sitting
Sitting at the computer for long periods of time causes all the problems of text neck and then some. In addition to a hunched back, you could also be gaining weight, tightening lower body muscles and even shaving years off your life. Many recent scientific studies link a sedentary life to an earlier death. Insufficient physical activity kills about 3.2 million people per year, according to the World Health Organization. This makes it a leading risk factor for mortality.
But most people can’t just quit their desk jobs. Instead, set a timer to remind you to take a two-minute walk every hour. Check your posture throughout the work day. If possible, get a standing desk or one that adjusts between sitting and standing so you can decrease your number of seated hours.
People usually blink their eyes about 20 times per minute. Unless they’re sitting at a computer, which drastically reduces blink rate to once or twice each minute. Infrequent blinking can cause your eyes to dry out. What’s the solution? Take more breaks, blink deliberately every so often or use lubricant-only eye drops.
Call Your Chiropractor
Technology affects everybody’s health. If you’re suffering from back or neck pain, headaches or eye strain, talk to your chiropractic doctor. In addition to adjusting your spine, a chiropractor can advise you on ergonomic work stations and exercises to decrease your pain and prevent future problems.
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.
A child’s nervous system is the controller and regulator of all the other systems in their growing body. From blood flow, to brain function and bone growth, the nervous system plays a central role in keeping things working and healthy. Stress and misalignment of the spine can have serious impacts on your child’s overall health, behavior, and development. Curis is a chiropractic clinic that offers gentle and non-invasive therapy that works to correct underlying issues before they become hard-wired in during development, providing support for a pain-free and successful childhood.
It may be difficult to imagine that a child would need chiropractic care. They seldom complain of chronic pain the way adults do and their bodies appear to be made of rubber in the way they bounce back from injury. The truth is, children’s bodies are under a lot of stress while they are in a state of development and keeping them healthy requires maintenance.
Stress and trauma to the body and spine commonly begin with the birthing process. Infant’s spines can easily become misaligned from the intense pressure involved in both natural and Cesarean births. Unfortunately, other than crying, they have no way of communicating their pain, and it’s a source to us. Throughout infancy they may sleep in awkward positions, and occasionally take a tumble. As children, they grow into toddlers who strain, and twist, and fall, while learning to crawl and walk. Luckily, they are very resilient and can take a lot of impact, but it is not uncommon for these injuries to develop into patterns of movement that will pull a child’s bones out of alignment over time.
As kids, they may start to develop bad posture. Sitting in front of a computer or TV can have serious repercussions on the spine. Playing contact sports, wearing heavy backpacks (most likely the wrong way), and even sitting in desks can all cause issues. As teenagers, they begin to deal with the stress of more daily responsibilities, like becoming part of the workforce, and use their bodies to perform physical labor such as painting houses, serving tables, and the like.
As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities throughout development for a child’s body, and particularly their spine, to become out of alignment which will affect other aspects of their healthy nervous system function and development.
How Can I tell if my Child needs Chiropractic Care?
A child’s spine can become quite misaligned without any awareness on their part of pain or discomfort. Children have not always developed enough awareness of their bodies to identify a subtle chronic issue developing. Even when a child is experiencing pain, they may not be able to communicate it to you and it can come across as grumpiness, acting out, or incessant crying. Issues with the spine can also be the source of many other childhood issues, such as colic, ear infections, and ADHD.
What is Chiropractic Care for kids?
A chiropractic treatment for a child begins with an extensive examination to determine the exact issue and the best route for treatment. Even if your child is too young to communicate, or too shy, a chiropractor has the skills to work with them to find out exactly what is going on before proceeding with treatment, if it is determined treatment is needed. Gentle and non-invasive adjustments are then made to the spine. Children will often become relaxed and even fall asleep following treatment, a good sign that it has been effective.
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 Emmitt 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.