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Chiropractic Care for Seniors

Have you ever wondered if chiropractic care is right for you? Here, Dr. Rhiannon Clauss, D.C. of Capital District Family Chiropractic answers six questions about seniors and chiropractic.

  1. What is Chiropractic?

Chiropractic is the philosophy, science, and art of locating and correcting subluxation. Subluxation is a spinal restriction interfering with the flow of information throughout the nervous system. Subluxation causes lack of ease of systemic function of the body by limiting the flow of nerve impulses between the brain and the body.

  1. Is Chiropractic care safe for seniors?

Chiropractic care is safe for seniors and, in fact, is a service covered by Medicare. There are many different chiropractic techniques and an appropriate technique for a senior would be chosen based on his or her spinal degeneration and integrity.

  1. What are the most common parts of the body or ailments you treat seniors for?

Most seniors, like the general public, are under the impression that chiropractic care is for conditions such as neck pain, back pain, and headaches. While chiropractic care is effective in relieving these symptoms, it is truly a healthcare approach to support the body in improved overall function and wellness. Seniors also seek care to stop the progression of spinal degeneration (most commonly referred to as arthritis by their primary care provider).

  1. In what ways is chiropractic better than other forms of treatment?

I don't know that it's appropriate to say that chiropractic is "better" than any other forms of treatment. As chiropractors, we do not claim to treat anything. Chiropractic is not a form of allopathic medicine. (Allopathic medicine refers to a system in which medical doctors and other healthcare professionals (such as nurses, pharmacists, and therapists) treat symptoms and diseases using drugs, radiation, or surgery.) Chiropractic is a vitalistic form of healthcare, respecting the fact that the body is self-healing and self-regulating. This process of self-healing and self-regulating is controlled and coordinated by the nervous system. Chiropractic applies that principle and seeks to restore optimal function of the nervous system so that the body can restore homeostasis. Treatment by other healthcare professions seek to treat symptoms or disease processes through drugs, surgery or radiation.

  1. How does chiropractic care for seniors differ than care for other populations?

Chiropractic care is safe and effective for the senior population. When caring for seniors, the level of degeneration of the spine and bone density is taken into account when choosing a technique to apply to the patient's care. Otherwise, the same principles of restoring the body's ability to function optimally by reducing stress and tension in the nervous system is the ultimate goal of chiropractic care in all populations.

  1. What should seniors know before coming into a chiropractic office?

It would be prudent to find out if the chiropractic is participating in Medicare and also be aware that Medicare does not cover the initial examination or x-rays performed by or ordered by a chiropractor. Also, I would recommend they see a chiropractic that either takes or refers out for spinal x-rays so that the integrity of the joints of the spine as well as bone density is taken into account when choosing and applying a technique. I would recommend asking if they are taking new patients that are seniors.