Maturing Gracefully.

iStock_000008819301Medium.jpg For many people, the "golden years" are more bronze than golden. Let's take a look at some recent statistics:

  • 75% of older adults take one or more prescription drugs [1]
  • 25% of older adults take five or more meds on a regular basis [1]
  • Falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for persons aged 65 years or older [2]
  • "No risk factor for falls is as potentially preventable or reversible as medication use." [3]
  • Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) cause over 100,000 deaths per year in the United States, making ADRs the fourth (4th) leading cause of death in the United States. [4]
  • "...more than 1,900,000 adverse drug events...occur each year among 38 million Medicare enrollees; furthermore, ...there are in excess of 180,000 life threatening or fatal adverse drug events per year, of which more than 50% may be preventable." [5]
  • In 1999, 82% of aged Medicare beneficiaries had 1 or more chrnoic conditions, and 65% had multiple chronic conditions. 24% had four or more chronic conditions. [6]

These may be surprising statistics, but getting older doesn't mean you have to "feel" old - or act it. It doesn't mean you will need to take multiple medications or "learn to live with it". You probably know people in their 60's, 70's and beyond with energy, enthusiasm, activity and more zest for life than people half their age.

If that's your goal too, making chiropractic care part of your lifestyle can help you attain that goal. Chiropractic care helps you improve your current health and maintain your good long-term health over the entire course of your life, including your golden years.

A recent study found that older people who utilize chiropractic care report better overall health, fewer symptomatic chronic conditions, and more mobility than seniors who were not under chiropractic care. This three year study, headed by Ian Coulter, Ph.D. of the Rand Corporation Research Institute, also showed that older people who use chiropractic care on a regular basis were less likely to use prescription drugs and more likely to exercise regularly and participate in community activities.

Here is a list of the seven most frequent benefits that chiropractic care provides for seniors:

  1. Increased Range of Motion of the Spine and Extremities. Increased range of motion can positively and drastically affect their lives in many ways--for some, it means they can pick up their grandchildren, for others it means they can garden without pain or get an extra 40 yards of distance on the golf course.
  2. Increased Balance and Coordination. Many problems with balance and coordination in the aging population have been shown to come from injury or degenerative changes to the cervical spine (neck). Structures known as mechanoreceptors are located in the joints of the cervical spine and are responsible for providing the brain with essential information related to balance, coordination, and your awareness of your body's position in space. Any degenerative changes can alter your body's position in space as well as your perception of your body's position.
  3. Decreased Incidence of Falling. Chiropractic care reduces the risk of falling by normalizing the mechanoreceptors of the cervical spine.
  4. Decreased Joint Degeneration. A subluxated (misaligned) spine is much like a misaligned wheel on an automobile. This misalignment will cause the spine (and the wheel) to wear out prematurely. This will affect the shape of the vertebrae and has the potential to cause or contribute to disc and nerve problems. Realigning the vertebrae stops the wear and tear and often reverses the amount of degeneration present.
  5. Pain Relief. Chiropractic care is one of the most effective and safest forms of health care for neuro-musculo-skeletal problems. Most of these disorders are related to abnormalities of spinal alignment and its effect on the surrounding nerves and soft tissue structures. Doctors of Chiropractic are specifically trained in the detection and correction of vertebral subluxation--spinal misalignment that affects the central nervous system.
  6. Helps Keep Seniors out of Nursing Homes. Another key finding in Dr. Coulter's study was that, at three years follow-up, less than 5% of those who used chiropractic care lived in a nursing home while 48% of those who did not use chiropractic care did live in a nursing home.
  7. Increased Health and Well-Being. While the first 6 benefits are noteworthy, this is the overall theme of chiropractic care. Keeping our body functioning well increases the likelihood that we can self-heal and self-regulate optimally. Doing the things that make us happy are what keep us fulfilled and looking forward to each new day. Regular chiropractic care increases our quality of life, health, and overall well-being.

The NUCCA Procedure is uniquely suited to caring for older adults. The specificity and gentleness of the correction significantly reduces any chance of injury. The fact that there is no twisting, cracking, or popping of the head, neck, or spine eliminates any apprehension an older person may have regarding spinal care.

We regularly ask our older practice members what changes they notice once they are under NUCCA care. Here are some of the responses we hear everyday:

I feel great!
I feel elegant!
You keep this old body in shape!
I am more flexible!
I have so much energy!
I'm sleeping better!
I have no more pain!
I feel more balanced!
All my medicines expired--I don't need them anymore!
I haven't had a cold in 5 years!

We are pleased to have so many vibrant, energetic, and fun older adults as part of our practice. Beyond the benefits they receive from NUCCA care, we thoroughly enjoy learning about them and hearing their life stories. It is so refreshing and reaffirming to us to see the result of years of making wise and healthy lifestyle choices.

Contact us at 434-817-7788 to schedule a health evaluation.

"Until someone personally experiences it they can't fully understand the total results and the benefits of NUCCA. I was at the point where the chiropractor I was going to said there was no more he could do for me. I met Dr. Mike while he was demonstrating this new upper cervical procedure. I decided to give it a try. Well after a few visits I told him I felt good all over and that my hearing was much better. Of course, he asked how? Well, I told him that my wife used to tell me that I needed a hearing aid and now I can hear what she can't. He showed me where [chiropractic] was founded when a doctor used it on a deaf man and restored his hearing. I must say that I feel much better all over this old eighty-three year old body of mine. Keep up the good work Dr. Michael! "

C.J., Nelson County, VA

"Fifteen years ago I started having trouble with headaches, feelings of dizziness, and neck problems. I have gone to many doctors who tried to find what my particular problem was, but could not. In the summer of 2001 my family physician had referred me to a neurologist, and ENT, and an eye specialist. None of them could find the cause for my problems either. My physician put me on medication for vertigo which did not get rid of my problem, only gave me temporary relief and helped me get around without falling. On one particular day I had a very bad attack of vertigo and had to spend the next two days and three nights in bed. At this point, I decided to try something on my own. My sister and brother-in-law who go to a NUCCA doctor in Las Vegas sent me information via email about Dr. Mike. When I came to Dr. Mike, he found that one leg was a little shorter than the other, one hip was higher than the other, and my head was off-center. After my first correction, the dizziness was completely gone. I could tolerate light and sound much better, and the discomfort in the back of my neck had subsided greatly. Since then I have kept my alignment and my arthritis is getting better as time passes. Thanks, Dr. Mike!

E.R., Rustburg, VA

[1] From Medco Drug Trends Report 2008, May 2008 (data from 2007)

[2] MMWR March 7, 2008 / 57(09):225-29

[3] Leipzig, RM, Cumming, RG, Tinetti, ME. JAGS 1999;47:30-39.

[4] Lazarou J, Pomeranz BH, Corey PN. Incidence of Adverse Drug Reactions in hospitalized Patients: A Meta-analysis of Prospective Studies. JAMA 1998;279: 1200-1205.

[5] Gurwitz JH, Field TS, Harrold LR, et al. Incidence and preventability of adverse drug events among older persons in the ambulatory setting. JAMA 2003;289:1107-16.

[6] Wolff JL, et al. Prevalence, expenditures, and complications of multiple chronic conditions in the elderly. Arch Intern Med. 2002; 162:2269-2276.

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