Seniors don’t have to learn how to live with pain! Chiropractic care for the elderly can help, as it is, one of the most effective and safest forms of health care to treat pain related conditions. The elder we live, the more issues we have with our muscles and joints. Dr. Jimenez discusses the aging process and how it affects those in their prime of life. Dr. Jimenez offers a range of treatment options. From deep tissue massage, manual therapy and spinal manipulation. Seniors experiencing problems and or pain can benefit from chiropractic treatment. Chiropractic treatment has been shown to have multiple benefits for the elderly. Increased mobility, decreased risk of falls and other injuries. And routine chiropractic treatment can not only help improve overall health and well-being, but gives them more sense of independence in their lives. For Answers to any questions you may have please call Dr. Jimenez at (915) 850-0900.
Increase in sports-related fractures among young and active people
Any type of bone fracture, especially when the spine is involved, comes with the most common and debilitating symptom is severe pain.
Managing pain correctly is vital to the proper healing of a fractured bone.
Unfortunately, the common treatments prescribed to manage fracture pain can cause significant side effects, especially when used beyond the short-term or acute phase of pain.
Bone fractures cannot be always be avoided, but when it comes to osteoporosis, everyone can take steps to help minimize the risk of developing the condition.
How to Prevent Osteoporosis and Bone Fracture
First, understand that osteoporosis is not a normal part of the aging process.
It is an irreversible and degenerative disease that causes bones to become porous over time.
Prevention should begin as early as possible, as this will benefit an individual later in life.
It’s never too late to begin taking steps!
Protecting the bones begins with the most important thing and that is diet.
Most individuals’ diet does not fill the recommended daily values of calcium and Vitamin D.
Both are essential for strong bone health and density.
Diet must be well-balanced with an abundance of:
Green leafy vegetables
Dairy sources high in calcium:
However, vitamin D is typically highest in sources of wild-caught fatty fish like salmon and tuna.
Regular exercise is the next important step to help reduce the risk and keep bones strong.
Do exercises that are both:
Weight-bearing (high/low-impact aerobics or walking/jogging)
Muscle-strengthening (weightlifting and exercise bands)
Yoga and Pilates can also help to improve:
These are essential in the prevention of bone fractures from falls.
Engage in exercise that you enjoy, this way you will stick with it on a regular basis.
Try for two to three sessions a week if you’re beginning and try to work up to five.
While diet and exercise are extremely important to prevent osteoporosis, there are some areas that should be removed from the lifestyle or limited.
These chemicals in bothcigarettes and heavy alcohol consumption are known to be significant contributors to bone loss.
Injury Medical & Chiropractic Clinic offers not only chiropractic treatment, but exercise, and diet programs set up by professional life/health coaches that are customized to each patient. Set up an appointment today, we can help!
Chronic Body Pain Treatment El Paso, TX Chiropractor
Aracely Norte suffered a slip-and-fall accident which tremendously limited her ability to work, affecting her quality of life. Due to the chronic pain she experienced, Aracely had difficulty engaging in her regular, everyday responsibilities. After her lawyer recommended Dr. Alex Jimenez, chiropractor, Aracely found the relief she was looking for.
Chronic pain is a common issue that can occur due to a variety of reasons, including injuries and underlying conditions, however, chiropractic care can help eliminate chronic pain symptoms from the source.
As with most conditions, prevention is the most effective treatment. If you have a family history or fall under any of the risk factors, there are things you can do to minimize the effects or prevent the conditions completely.
Your chiropractor can talk to you about lifestyle changes, exercise, and diet as well as supplements that you can take. Chiropractic adjustments can also be effective for many patients with osteopenia and osteoporosis as long as the chosen technique is a low force technique like Activator.
As you move into your senior years, you may expect some discomfort and loss of mobility. Aging is hard on the body. But it is important to understand that there are things you can do to feel better. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and chiropractic care can all make your senior years active and thriving.
How Chiropractic Can Make Your Senior Years Fantastic
The benefits of chiropractic for seniors can be considerable, including:
1. Takes away the pain.
If you are experiencing pain due to spinal or joint issues, chiropractic can help. Chiropractic care focuses on providing pain relief without the need for prescription medications or surgery.
Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of chiropractic for pain relief. In fact, one study showed that chiropractic was considerably more effective than prescribed medications. It is unfortunate that many seniors assume that their pain is here to stay—when it may be reduced or eliminated completely through regular chiropractic care.
2. Improves balance.
Seniors who are suffering from balance and coordination issues often have problems with the cervical spine, the technical term for the neck. When degenerative disc disease or other injuries disrupt the function of the mechanoreceptors located in the neck—responsible for sending to the brain important information related to balance—then problems with balance can result.
Chiropractic adjustments and other related therapies are quite effective in treating neck injuries and degenerative disc disease. Regular adjustments from your chiropractor may be enough to help you get your balance back.
3. Improves mobility.
Injuries and aging can lead to a loss of range of motion, both in the spine and in the extremities. Fortunately, chiropractic care is designed to help you regain range of motion.
Your chiropractor has a variety of treatment methods to heal existing injuries while also improving range of motion. It may take several treatments to achieve the results you want, but a few visits to the chiropractor are well worth the increased range of motion you will enjoy.
4. Wear and tear on the joints is reduced.
The spine and joints need to be aligned to minimize wear on discs, bones and other tissues. When you go for an extended period of time with a misaligned spine, it will increase the rate that your joints wear down.
One of the major benefits of chiropractic care is the way it keeps your whole body in alignment. As long as alignment is maintained, wear is minimized. Of course, alignment is lost in day-to-day life, but you can get it back by visiting the chiropractor again.
When you visit your chiropractor, he or she will ask you a number of questions and listen to your story to better understand the challenges you are dealing with. Once the chiropractor understands your situation, he or she will design an overall treatment plan designed to help you be as healthy as possible. Seniors that get regular chiropractic care often say they feel much better than they did before—which allows them to do more of the things they love to do.
Osteopenia and osteoporosis, two very similar conditions, that are defined as decreased bone density, but osteopenia is far less. However, it is still a problem due to an increase of breaking a bone because of bone fragility.
Osteopenia usually doesn’t cause symptoms unless a bone is broken. However, some patients who present with osteopenia complain of dull back pain.
Symptoms associated with osteoporosis include the following:
Back pain, caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra
Loss of height over time
A stooped posture
A bone fracture that occurs much more easily than expected
The causes and those at risk?
Women (primarily small-boned Caucasian and Asian) are most at risk for both conditions, primarily those who are age 65 or older as well as women who are postmenopausal. However, men can also be affected.
Anyone who meets any of the criteria for being at risk for either of the bone conditions should be evaluated. Often, catching the conditions early can make a significant difference in the effects that they have on the body and in some cases, can even be arrested so that they don’t progress.
Some of the common causes of both conditions include:
Excessive alcohol consumption
Vitamin D deficiency
Bulimia, anorexia, and other eating disorders
Estrogen deficiency in women
Certain hormone imbalances
Certain treatments including radiation and chemotherapy
Low testosterone in men
Medications including anti-seizure, hydrocortisone, and steroids
It should also be noted that certain types of diets, particularly those that advocate extremely low fat, or no fat can also cause problems. Vitamin D is necessary for calcium absorption in the body, but vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin meaning the body requires some fat in order to make use of it. When there is inadequate fat, the vitamin cannot be absorbed and in turn, calcium cannot be absorbed.
A family history of osteopenia, osteoporosis, or low bone mass can increase a person risk by 50% to 85%.
Bone mineral density (BMD) tests are used to diagnose both osteopenia and osteoporosis by measuring the calcium levels in bone. This type of test can also provide an estimate of how much at risk a person is for bone fractures.
This test is painless and non-invasive. It is usually performed on the heel, shin bone, wrist, spine, finger, or hip.
Two common types of these tests are radiographs, a standard diagnostic tool for osteopenia, and Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA). A DEXA scan is essentially a low energy x-ray so patients are not exposed to as much radiation as they would be if they had a regular x-ray. The results are attained by comparing the score (measurements were taken) to scans of individuals who do not have the condition.
Once the score is measured and compared, it is assessed using a chart that identifies the level or risk:
+1.0 to -1.0 – Normal bone density
-1.0 to -2.5 – Low bone density
-2.5 or higher – At risk for osteoporosis
What Treatments Is Available?
As with most conditions, prevention is the most effective treatment. If you have a family history or fall under any of the risk factors, there are things you can do to minimize the effects or prevent the conditions completely.
Your chiropractor can talk to you about lifestyle changes, exercise, and diet as well as supplements that you can take. Chiropractic adjustments can also be effective for many patients with osteopenia and osteoporosis as long as the chosen technique is a low force technique like Activator.
Many patients find these natural treatments preferable to any medications that may be prescribed. The most important thing you should do, though, is get a bone density test if you are in an at-risk category, are a woman who is postmenopausal or age 65 or older.
Chiropractic care is a safe, natural treatment for people of all ages and senior citizens can benefit from it. It is far more preferable than many other options including pharmaceuticals with their unpleasant and even harmful side effects, and surgery. Several studies have also shown that regular chiropractic treatment benefits geriatric patients and can even help keep them out of long-term care facilities and nursing homes. In short, seniors who get chiropractic on a regular basis are healthier and also enjoy these great benefits.
Reduced Risk of Degeneration of the Joints (Including the Spine)
When the spine is not aligned, it can cause wear and friction on the joints, resulting in damage. Regular spinal alignment keeps the spine in the correct position so that the body is balanced. It reduces the risk of spinal degeneration as well as certain types of arthritis by decreasing the amount of stress on the spine and bringing it into a more normal, natural alignment.
Improved Range of Motion
As a person gets older, their range of motion decreases. This is especially true of people who are sedentary or who have sustained an injury that kept them confined to a bed or wheelchair for a long time.
Helping improve a person’s range of motion is one of the best benefits of chiropractic. While there are certain levels and each person has a goal for how much range of motion they want, a chiropractor can help them get as close to those goals as possible.
Better Coordination and Balance
Most of the coordination and balance problems that seniors experience come from degenerative changes or injuries that affect the cervical spine. The back side of the cervical spine joints houses mechanoreceptors, structures that are responsible for providing the brain with vital information that regulates coordination and balance. When that area is compromised, their function is hindered. By stimulating the mechanoreceptors, a chiropractor can help restore or improve the condition.
Decreased Risk of Falls
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in the United States, every second of every day some older adult falls. Among Americans who are age 65 and older, there are 850,000 bone fractures each year, and falls are the cause for 90% of them. A chiropractor can stimulate the mechanoreceptors which reside in the cervical spine, normalizing them and helping to restore the patient’s balance and coordination.
Stronger Immune System and Better Health
When the spine is properly aligned, the body is better able to function as it should. This includes the digestive system, respiratory system, and even the heart. Neural impulses can be transmitted and received more efficiently and effectively.
Chiropractic has been proven time and again to be one of the safest, most effective methods for treating pain, particularly those that involve the spine. Chiropractic helps to correct the problem that is causing the pain and helps heal the soft tissue structures that are around the area. Where pain medicine, muscle relaxants, and anti-inflammatory medication are little more than band-aids that treat the symptoms while ignoring the cause, chiropractic gets to the root of the problem and begins treatment there.
In addition to spinal adjustments, the chiropractor will typically recommend stretching and special exercises as well as lifestyle changes and diet modifications. Elderly patients benefit from the whole body, holistic approach to health care that is at the heart of chiropractic. The result is better health and a better quality of life.
If you are in your 40s, and you measured your height, chances are you would not be the same height that you were in, say, high school. It’s true. As we get older, we tend to shrink. A French study in 2010, measures more than 8,000 women who were over the age of 60. They then asked each woman to estimate her own height. Nearly all of the women in the study overestimated their height. Some overestimated by as much as 2 inches. This is not wishful thinking on the women’s part; they were recalling their tallest height. Shrinking in stature is a normal part of the aging process, but there are ways you can stop it – or at least slow it down.
What Causes People to Shrink?
There are several reasons why a person may lose some height as they age :
A condition like osteoporosis can cause loss of bone density, leading to a compression fracture which is essentially a collapse of the vertebrae
Flattening of the feet. As we age our arches flatten out and this can take inches off our height
Dehydration of the discs that lie between each vertebra. The dehydration can cause the discs to compress.
A stooped posture caused by loss of muscle in the core or abdomen
Getting Shorter by the Numbers
It is estimated that the average person will lose about ¼ to ½ inch every decade after they turn 40 (although some estimates say 30 and others say 50). Women are also more prone to height loss than men. The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) found that between 30 and 70 years of age, women lost, on the average, 2 inches while men lost around 1 inch of height. By the age of 80, women had lost a little more than 3 inches while men lost 2. However, with all of the varying factors, some people will lose more and others will lose less – and some don’t shrink an inch.
Health Implications of Height Loss
It is important to know that height loss can be an indicator of a problem. Probably the most concerning of the conditions is skeletal problems, such as a compression fracture.
Such a condition can be debilitating, causing back pain and mobility problems. Muscle loss can also cause pain, as can compressed discs. It is important to stay on top of it, get ahead of any potential problems.
Height loss can also be a symptom of other problems that are physiological or metabolic in nature. It can also indicate inadequate nutrition or poor health. In short, if you experience height loss, it may be in your best interest to pay attention and talk to your doctor.
Combating the Shrinkage
While genetics does play a large part in certain conditions that can cause you to lose height, there are some things you can do that may help. If you are still below the threshold age, start now to take care of yourself, get the proper nutrition, exercise, get enough sleep, and drink plenty of water. The better the foundation that you build when you are young, the better off you will be as you age.
Older people may be able to slow the shrinkage by eating a healthy diet that is rich in calcium, doing weight-bearing exercises, staying hydrated, and avoiding unhealthy practices such as drinking alcohol and smoking. Study after study shows that exercise works, so that should be a priority. Hydration is also key. In the end, the better you take care of your body when you are young, the better care it will take of you when you are older.
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You try to stand up from a seated position and feel a stab of pain in your lower back. It may even shoot through your hip, buttock, or down the back of your thigh. The pain may even get worse then you walk uphill or sit for a long period of time. While these symptoms could mean a pinched nerve, lumbar disc herniation, hip bursitis, or degenerative hip disease, it could also be sacroiliac joint dysfunction.
What Is Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction?
The sacroiliac (SI) joint is located in the pelvis. It is very strong as it is a weight bearing joint connecting the pelvis to the sacrum. It is surrounded by tough ligaments that reinforce it, providing added support.
There is an SI joint located on each side of the sacrum and they work together, moving as a single unit to act as a shock absorber for the spine and for transmitting force of the upper body. Just like any other joint in the body, the SI joint can be injured or diseased, causing it to become unstable and inflamed, causing pain and limited mobility.
What Causes SI Joint Inflammation?
While doctors have not established how the pain is generated, it is believed that it is due to a change in the normal motion of the joint. This could occur due to:
Hypermobility (Instability or Too Much Movement) – This can cause the pain to reside in the lower back. It can also be felt in the hip or both the hip and lower back and may even radiate into the groin.
Hypomobility (Fixation or Too Little Movement) – This can cause the pain to reside in the lower back or buttocks and may radiate down one leg, usually in the back of the thigh. It usually doesn’t reach the knee, but sometimes can even reach the ankle and foot. In this way, the condition mimics sciatica.
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction typically affects women who are young or middle aged. Older women and men are rarely affected although it does happen.
What Are Treatment Options For Sacroiliac Joint Pain?
When SI joint pain is initially diagnosed the treatment is usually fairly conservative. Medication, physical therapy, and injections are used by doctors for pain management.
NSAIDs and other similar medications decrease inflammation and reduce pain, while physical therapy can readjust the SI joint in cases where it is dislocated or immobilized. It also includes exercises that stabilize the joint for pain management over the long term.
Steroid injections directly into the sacroiliac joint can help with the reduction of inflammation and pain while making physical therapy more effective. When steroid injections are effective but the effects are temporary there is another non-surgical treatment that is sometimes used called RFA, or radiofrequency ablation.
In cases where the conservative methods do not achieve the desired results there are surgical options that provide pain reduction and stabilization on a more permanent scale. SI fusion involves fusing the joint, providing relief.
However, there is a treatment option that is non-invasive, doesn’t involve steroids or medications that could have harmful side effects – chiropractic.
Osteoporosis is a significant health problem in the United States and worldwide. An estimated 10 million individuals have osteoporosis in the U.S. alone and an additional 18 million individuals are at risk of developing the disease, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). Females make up 80 percent of individuals who suffer from osteoporosis, but it also occurs in males although it is often underdiagnosed and thus underreported.
What is equally disturbing is that another 34 million individuals in the U.S. are at risk of developing osteopenia, a common precursor to osteoporosis. Many experts blame the typical American diet and lifestyle, although genetics can also contribute to a person’s likelihood of developing either of the diseases. The prevalence of both osteoporosis and osteopenia are serious health issues so it is important to understand them.
What Is Osteopenia?
Osteopenia is often a warning sign of impending osteoporosis. Nearly half of all Americans who are more than 50 years old have the disease.
Osteopenia is a bone disease, marked by a decrease in bone mineral density – or bone loss. While it is not as devastating as osteoporosis, it is a strong indicator that the patient will eventually develop the disease.
Nutrition and exercise are common treatments for osteopenia. Occasionally doctors will prescribe medication, but that is usually not the preferred treatment. Exercise, specifically weight bearing exercise, is a very effective treatment and preventative measure against these diseases.
Incorporating calcium and vitamin D are also common treatments. These can be in the form of supplements, but patients are also encouraged to eat calcium rich foods such as yogurt, leafy greens like spinach, and sardines.
What Is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a serious condition that causes bones to become extremely brittle and weak. The word “Osteoporosis” literally means “porous bone” which is indicative of the primary characteristic of the disease.
When the bone is viewed under a microscope, it has tiny holes in its surface. While healthy bone has a honeycomb appearance under a microscope, bone with osteoporosis has much larger spaces and holes. The mass and density of osteoporotic bone is severely compromised. This can result in frequent broken bones as well as chronic pain and a patient can even lose several inches in height.
Patients with osteoporosis can also experience limited mobility due to the disease or broken bones that may occur as a result. This can lead to other health problems including depression and obesity. These conditions can exacerbate the disease itself and increase the patient’s pain. Often patients with osteoporosis, particularly at advanced stages, require long term care in a facility such as a nursing home.
The real danger is not how devastating it is to bones, it is the way it can go undetected for so long. Often it is not discovered until a bone is actually broken or the patient’s upper back begins curving forward. Sometimes the patient may become shorter. At that stage it is usually very advanced. With the right treatment, though, it can be slowed or stopped. Sometimes bone density can be improved and the disorder can be reversed at least to some degree.
What To Do If You Have Osteoporosis Or Osteopenia
If you suspect that you may have osteoporosis or osteopenia, or may be at risk for developing it, the first thing you need to do is talk to your doctor to confirm that you do have it. From there you can decide on a course of action which is usually exercise, diet, lifestyle changes, and chiropractic treatments. The sooner you take steps to protect and improve your health, the less likely you are to develop long term conditions.
Injury Medical Clinic: Fibromyalgia Care & Treatment
The aging process can usher in a variety of conditions and health issues that are confined (mostly) to the elderly. Chronic pain, arthritis, loss of mobility, and other issues can occur as a person get older, but senior citizens are finding that chiropractic provides some great benefits for the older demographic.
Better Range Of Motion
Regular chiropractic care has been shown to increase spinal range of motion as well as in the extremities. Limited range of motion can occur due to age or inactivity – sometimes a combination of the two.
Having the ability to move easier has many great benefits. It allows seniors to more actively engage with their environment. They can get on their hands and knees to work in the garden, bend down to pick up grandchildren, and improve leisure activities like golfing. Increased range of motion is one of the most common (and appreciated!) benefits of chiropractic treatment.
Decreased Degeneration Of Joints
When the spine is misaligned it can lead to other parts of the body becoming misaligned as well. This can lead to unusual and unnatural wearing of the joints. Over time, the joints can become worn down, painful, and cause difficulty in mobility and flexibility.
Chiropractic care is a very effective treatment for decreasing the degeneration of the spine and even other joints. When the body is in proper alignment it no longer has to adapt through postural compensation. This reduces stress on the spine and joints while relieving pain and restoring mobility.
Chiropractic has long been recognized for its effectiveness in providing drug free pain relief for everything from back pain to headaches to arthritis. While pain medication and anti-inflammatory drugs only suppress the symptoms, chiropractic addresses the root of the problem.
Spinal alignments and other chiropractic techniques help to relieve pain for a variety of issues, not just back and neck pain. What’s more, chiropractic does not have the undesirable, sometimes dangerous side effects that drugs can.
Overall Better Health & Wellbeing
Proper spinal alignment can greatly benefit a person’s health, wellbeing, and even their mood. It allows them to become more active so they get exercise. They sleep better and have more energy.
An aligned spine also lets them more fully engage with their family, friends, and the world. They can get out and do things they were once unable to do and when they are active and happier the entire body benefits.
Improved Coordination & Balance
The aging process can have a significant impact on a person’s balance and coordination. This can have a variety of causes including degenerative changes to the spine, typically in the neck area. Injury to this area is another culprit.
There are special receptors that reside along the cervical spine in the rear of the joints. These receptors work to send vital messages to the brain regarding coordination and balance. When the spine and especially the neck are out of alignment, it can hinder how these receptors send and receive messages to the brain. The result is a condition called loss of proprioception, or sense of body awareness.
As the condition progresses, the patient relies on vision to determine the location of their feet, legs, and other limbs. The worse it gets, the less able the patient is in compensating and can become prone to falling.
Injuries from falling are one of the most common reasons elderly people visit emergency departments each year. Chiropractic can help realign the neck and spine, allowing the messages to move much easier, thus restoring balance and coordination.
Prevents Seniors From Being Confined To Nursing Homes
Senior citizens who are regular chiropractic patients are more likely to engage in exercise that is more strenuous. They are more active, have fewer injuries, and are basically happier and more positive.
The more active and mobile senior citizens are, the less likely they are to be placed in a nursing home due to medical conditions or the “typical” aging issues. Simply put, chiropractic for seniors changes the way many people look at aging – and places it in a much more positive, active light.
Injury Medical Clinic: Elderly & Geriatric Fitness
Question: My parents are elderly, and both hurt their backs. What type of doctor or physician should I look for?
Chiropractic care is safe and effective for elderly adults with back pain, according to new research. To better understand the risk and benefits of chiropractic care in elderly individuals, El Paso, TX. Chiropractor, Dr. Alexander Jimenez, answers questions regarding chiropractic care for elderly individuals with back pain.
Q: Is Chiropractic Care Safe For Elderly People?
Dr. Jimenez: Chiropractic care is one of the safest interventions for the care of back pain. The dangers of a serious problem after a chiropractic adjustment would be like the danger of having a serious problem after an immunization–exceptionally small. However, minor side effects lasting up to approximately 3 days are very common, most commonly muscle stiffness and soreness. These side effects are similar to those you get when you begin a workout program. People have a smaller chance of severe side effects from manipulation and manual treatment than they do from medication taken for the very same ailments. You should always discuss any side effects from treatment with your chiropractor right away.
Q: What Are The Benefits Of Chiropractic Care For The Treatment Of Low Back Pain In Older Adults?
Dr. Jimenez: Chiropractic care has been used for over 100 years to assist patients with back pain. One of the best benefits of trying chiropractic care first is that you can avoid the risk of side effects from taking medications for pain. Opioid drug addiction is a serious crisis in America. Trying non-drug therapies, such as chiropractic care first may help to reduce the high rates of opioid dependency in the USA.
Actually, the most recent treatment principle for low back pain (from the American College of Physicians), specifically states that people should attempt non-drug options first. The health dangers of pain medications are even greater for older adults compared to younger people, since many older people have other illnesses that affect their wellbeing, and their own bodies process drugs more slowly. Also, many drugs, particularly opioids, increase older people’s risk of falls, which is a very considerable risk in this age group.
Q: What Questions Should I Ask My Chiropractor Before Receiving Treatment?
Dr. Jimenez: When first talking with a chiropractor, inquire which sort of treatments he or she may use for back pain. Chiropractic care incorporates many different non-drug approaches in addition to spinal manipulation, including other kinds of manual therapy in addition to exercise. Ask the chiropractor to explain or illustrate the type of spinal manipulation he or she uses (many chiropractors have photographs or can demonstrate what they do), so that you feel comfortable with it. Should you feel uncomfortable with the therapy, feel free to ask whether there are alternate kinds of manipulation he or she may use as there are many different ways to perform spinal manipulation for optimum patient comfort, and also achieve the same targets.
Q: What Should I Tell A Chiropractor About My Medical History, Medicines, & Spinal Condition?
Dr. Jimenez: First of all, since chiropractors are trained to choose a thorough patient history, including questions regarding medication, past injuries or surgeries, and any recent changes in your health, most likely you won’t have to volunteer this information. You’ll be asked about your health history on a patient intake form. Then the doctor will ask you more questions in person. Make sure to talk about all health information about current and previous conditions, drugs, history of accidents and surgeries or alternative therapy, and current changes in your health, even if you think they are not important, they may be.
The chiropractor will also inquire what makes your pain worse or better, and if you have had changes in strength, recent falls, or balance issues, changes in your bowel or bladder function along with other relevant health factors like eating and sleep habits. The chiropractor should then perform a thorough physical examination, including your neurological system, to be certain that spinal manipulation is ideal for you. He or she’ll also see what kinds of adjustments will make your pain better or worse. The chiropractor will use all of this information to develop a treatment plan that’s specific for you to help you fulfill your goals for returning to a normal lifestyle.
Older adults who don’t have a history of cardiovascular problems don’t benefit from taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, says a new study of seniors with high blood pressure and moderately high cholesterol.
Researchers from New York University School of Medicine studied the data from 2,867 older adults and found that they had the same risk of dying as seniors who didn’t take statins, and also suffered the same amount of heart attacks and strokes. In fact, statins may have caused more harm than good since more deaths occurred in the group taking statins.
“This study doesn’t surprise me at all,” says Dr. David Brownstein, a board-certified physician and editor of the newsletter Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health. “In fact, it should be expected.
“When you know the mechanisms of how statins work in the body, how anyone could predict that they will prolong a person’s life is beyond me, particularly in older people,” Brownstein tells Newsmax Health.
“Seniors depend on adequate cholesterol for a host of reactions in the body, including proper brain function and proper hormonal production,” he says.
“Some studies have shown that statins increase the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, even if you take CoQ 10 to help cope with some of statins’ side effects, because statins lower cholesterol.
“The highest concentration of cholesterol in the body is in the brain,” Brownstein says. “The brain actually produces its own cholesterol, and it needs cholesterol to function properly.
“Since statins have been shown to fail in 97 to 99 percent of the people who take them, I can’t imagine — with those odds — why anyone would consider taking this drug when they know the side effects are severe and many.”
Still, statins continue to be prescribed and are one of the most commonly prescribed medicines in the world. “Big pharma has convinced doctors that statins are much more effective than they are by using questionable statistical methods,” Brownstein says. “Unfortunately, most doctors don’t understand how to read statistics and don’t know how to read the studies.
“This isn’t the first study to show that statins harm patients,” Brownstein says and points to a 2015 study, published in Critical Care Medicine, which found that the lower a patient’s cholesterol levels, the higher the risk of dying during the 30-day period following a heart attack.
“The increased risk the researchers found isn’t nominal,” he said. “Patients with low LDL (bad) cholesterol levels coupled with low triglyceride levels had an astounding 990 percent increased risk of dying!”
A 2016 study published in the British Medical Journal found that not only do high cholesterol levels not shorten the lifespan of senior citizens, they may live as long — or longer — than their peers with low levels.
The results, which came after analyzing more than 68,000 patients over the age of 60, questioned conventional medicine’s belief that seniors with high cholesterol, especially high levels of low-density lipoprotein or LDL, are more at risk of dying from heart attack and stroke, and need statin drugs to lower their cholesterol levels.
The study suggested that high cholesterol may, in fact, be protective against diseases which are common in the elderly, including neurological disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
“If your cholesterol is elevated, the first thing you need to do is to look at your diet,” says Brownstein. “You should follow a healthy diet by eliminating refined foods and eating whole, organic foods. Your cholesterol levels will naturally drop to their optimal levels.
“But to chemically lower them with a drug that fails 97 to 99 percent of the time — I don’t understand it.”
If you’d like a food or supplement to help you lower your cholesterol naturally, consider the following:
Red yeast rice. According to the University of Maryland, red yeast rice has the same chemical composition as the prescription drug lovastatin. A five-year, double-blind study of patients who had suffered a heart attack found that an extract of Chinese red yeast rice, Xuezhikang (XZK), reduced the risk of repeat heart attacks by 45 percent. The extract also decreased heart bypass surgery, cardiovascular mortality, and total mortality by a third.
Bergamot. Several studies have found that bergamot, an extract made from the bergamot fruit and used to give Earl Grey tea its distinctive flavor, lowers cholesterol safely and naturally. Several studies have shown it reduces LDL (low density or “bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides, while raising levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.
Green tea. Green tea lowers bad cholesterol and raises good cholesterol. Several studies have found that green tea blocks the absorption of up to 89 percent of cholesterol from foods. Black tea has also been found to be protective.
Research carried out by the universities of Glasgow and Mauritius found that drinking three cups of tea daily reduced LDL cholesterol by more than 16 percent when compared with a control group who drank the same amount of hot water. Scientists believe the health benefits are due to antioxidants in the tea called polyphenols, which were boosted by 400 percent in the tea-drinking group.
Oatmeal. Numerous studies conducted over the past 50 years have shown that oatmeal reduces bad cholesterol. The Mayo Clinic recommends eating one-and-a-half cups of cooked oatmeal each day. Oatmeal contains soluble fiber, a cholesterol-lowering component of foods which is also found in beans, apples, and many other whole foods. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that oats lowered cholesterol levels almost as well as prescription cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Older, obese adults need to shed weight, but dieting can worsen their frailty. A new study addresses this conundrum, suggesting seniors take up both aerobic and resistance exercise while slimming down.
Engaging in aerobic and resistance exercise while losing weight enabled study participants to maintain more muscle mass and bone density compared to folks who did just one type of exercise or none at all, the researchers found.
Elderly and Obese, Here is What to Do
“The best way to improve functional status and reverse frailty in older adults with obesity is by means of diet and regular exercise using a combination of resistance and aerobic exercise training,” said study leader Dr. Dennis Villareal. He’s a professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
More than one-third of people age 65 and older in the United States are obese, according to the study authors. Obesity worsens the typical age-related decline in physical functioning and causes frailty, while weight loss can lead to harmful declines in muscle mass and bone density.
The researchers wanted to see what combination of exercise, along with dieting for weight loss, might be best. They randomly assigned 160 obese and sedentary adults, age 65 or older, to one of four groups: weight loss and aerobic training; weight loss and resistance training; or weight loss and a combination of both types of exercise. The fourth group served as controls and didn’t exercise or try to lose weight.
After six months, physical performance test scores increased by 21 percent in the combination exercise group, but just 14 percent among those who only did aerobic exercise or resistance exercise, Villareal’s team said.
The researchers also found that lean body mass and bone density declined less in the combination and resistance groups than in the aerobic group.
One strength of the study is its evaluation of several regimens, said Miriam Nelson, director of the Sustainability Institute at the University of New Hampshire.
Such research is critical, as ”the majority of [older] people are either overweight or obese,” said Nelson, who wasn’t involved in the study.
It’s About Health NOT Weight
While many studies of obese or overweight older adults focus only on exercise and weight loss, “this is really looking at health,” she said.
“Health in aging is really [about] functioning,” Nelson said. Maintaining muscle strength and bone density is essential to remain mobile and functional, she pointed out.
“All these multiple factors are what dictate to a large extent somebody’s ability to be independent, healthy and to live life to its fullest as they age,” Nelson added.
At the outset of the study, participants were mildly to moderately frail, according to the authors.
The researchers assessed the seniors’ physical performance, muscle mass and bone health over the 26-week study.
The overall winners, the combination group, exercised three times a week, from 75 to 90 minutes each session.
Aerobic exercises included treadmill walking, stationary cycling and stair climbing. Resistance training involved upper-body and lower-body exercises on weight-lifting machines. All groups also did flexibility and balance exercises.
The study showed a clear inverse relationship between weight loss and lower back pain. The greater the weight loss in the studied clients, the less lower back and knee pain was clearly presented
The study was published May 17 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
SOURCES: Dennis T. Villareal, M.D., professor, medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, and staff physician, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston; Miriam Nelson, director, Sustainability Institute, University of New Hampshire, Durham; May 17, 2017, New England Journal of Medicine
News stories are written and provided by HealthDay and do not reflect federal policy, the views of MedlinePlus, the National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Richard Overton, the oldest living U.S. World War II veteran, turned 111 on Thursday in Texas.
Overton, an Austin resident, served with the Army’s 1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion in the Pacific Theater from 1942 to 1945.
He celebrated his 111th birthday with a lunch party at the University of Texas club, which was attended by Austin Mayor Steve Adler and other dignitaries. Overton received many gifts, including an autographed football from the University of Texas, ABC News reported.
The mayor declared May 11 Richard Overton Day and temporarily renamed Hamilton Avenue, where Overton lives, Richard Overton Avenue in his honor.
A GoFundMe campaign in January raised funds to allow Overton to stay in the home where he has lived for more than 70 years since he came home from the war, rather than be moved to an assisted living facility.
“111, that’s pretty old, ain’t it,” Overton said, USA Today reported. “I can still get around, I can still talk, I can still see, I can still walk.” Overton credits “cigars and God” for his longevity, admitting he had already had a few cigars that day.
Overton, a sharpshooter in the war, has been honored numerous times for his service, including for his 107th birthday having breakfast with President Barack Obama in the White House.
Overton was born May 11, 1906, in Bastrop County, Texas, Fox News reported.
Twitter users in his community and from far beyond it shared their appreciation and good wishes with Overton to mark his special day.
@AP Happy Birthday Richard Overton. U are much loved in our state.Hope u see many more years.My aunt lived 2 106. You’re looking good.
Prices for generic topical steroids to treat skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis are on the rise, and many seniors may pay more for generic medications than the brand-name versions, a U.S. study finds.
Researchers compared average out-of-pocket patient costs as well as spending by Medicare, the U.S. health insurance program for people 65 and older, for several commonly prescribed topical corticosteroids that have been used for decades to treat a wide variety of inflammatory skin conditions.
Medicare Part D, the drug benefit program, spent $2.3 billion on topical steroids between 2011 and 2015, the study found. During that period, spending surged 227 percent while the number of prescriptions increased just 37 percent.
If doctors had prescribed the cheapest version when a variety of similarly effective options were available, Medicare could have saved $944.8 million, the researchers calculate.
Patients could have saved a lot too; seniors’ annual out-of-pocket spending for topical steroids grew from $41.4 million to $101.8 million, 146 percent, during the study period.
“Patients often have difficulty paying for their medications and many patients on Medicare are retired and on fixed incomes,” said senior study author Dr. Arash Mostaghimi, a dermatology researcher at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
“Paying extra for their medications may mean going without other medications or sometimes food,” Mostaghimi said by email.
Generics accounted for almost 98 percent of total spending on topical steroids during the study period, the researchers report in JAMA Dermatology.
In theory, generic drugs are supposed to come on the market after brand-name versions lose U.S. patent protection and help lower prices by increasing competition. The study of topical steroid costs, however, offers one look at a much more complex and confusing reality.
For the study, researchers examined costs for drugs grouped based on potency, or how much medication is blended into the ointments and creams. They sorted drugs into five classes, with one being the most potent and five being the weakest potency.
Costs grew at the slowest rate, 23 percent, for the weakest steroids, the study found. By contrast, costs rose the most, 604 percent overall, for the most potent group of steroids.
Within that group of most potent steroids, the steepest increase in average user costs was for clobetasol propionate (Temovate), which is used to treat itching and inflammation from skin issues caused by allergic reactions, eczema and psoriasis. During the study, user costs for this drug climbed by more than 605 percent.
Limitations of the study include the lack of data on certain drug manufacturer rebates that might help lower costs, the authors note. Researchers also didn’t know if doctors had certain clinical reasons for choosing specific versions of similar medicines.
Still, the study illustrates something doctors already see all the time: that these costs often take a toll on patients, said Dr. Joslyn Kirby, author of an accompanying editorial and a dermatology researcher at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.
One challenge for doctors is that they can’t always see what different steroids of similar potency cost when they prescribe the drugs, because that’s not in electronic medical records, Kirby said by email.
“I ask my patients to contact me and let me know if the medication I prescribed during the appointment is too expensive when they go to the pharmacy,” Kirby added. “I need my patients to know that it’s ok to tell me that something is too expensive, because I can work with our staff to find an alternative or a solution.”
The health benefits of exercise are well-established for people of all ages. But until now, little has been known about which type of exercise best counters the aging process in senior citizens.
The answer may be high-intensity interval training, suggests a new study published in Cell Metabolism by researchers from the Mayo Clinic.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) alternates short bursts of intense aerobic activity such as biking or walking with short periods of easing up on the same activity.
This type of exercise, which originated in Sweden, is promoted as an efficient training method that avoids the risk of injuries associated with non-stop, repetitive activity.
Compared to other types of exercise, it appears to be dramatically more effective at boosting the activity of aging cells and even reversing age-related cellular damage.
The Mayo Clinic researchers recruited 72 healthy but sedentary men and women from two age groups: “young” subjects ages 18-30 and “older” subjects ages 65-80.
The researchers conducted baseline measurements of aerobic fitness, lean muscle mass, blood-sugar levels, and insulin sensitivity. After taking biopsies from the subjects’ thighs, they also assessed genetic activity in muscle cells and the health of the energy-producing mitochondria within those cells.
As we age, mitochondrial capacity gradually deteriorates. As a result, cells become damaged and weak.
The researchers randomly assigned subjects to one of three groups:
HIIT on stationary bicycles. Three days per week, they pedaled hard for four minutes, eased up for three minutes, then repeated the sequence three more times. On other days, they did a moderate treadmill routine,
Moderate-intensity training. Three days per week, they pedaled on stationary bikes for 30 minutes. On other days, they lifted light weights.
Vigorous weight training. Participants engaged in weight lifting several times per week.
No exercise. A fourth group did not engage in organized physical activity.
After 12 weeks, the researchers found that all three exercise groups experienced significant gains in fitness and blood-sugar regulation compared to non-exercisers.
As expected, they found that the high-intensity interval training group had the biggest improvement in endurance while the weight training group had the biggest improvement in muscle mass and strength.
But they were astonished to find that high-intensity interval training was most strongly associated with age-reversing changes at the genetic and cellular levels.
In the “younger” group assigned to high-intensity interval training, the activity level changed in 274 genes. That compared to activity-level changes in 170 genes in the moderate-intensity training group and 74 genes in the weight training group.
Genetic changes were even more dramatic in the “older” group assigned to high-intensity interval training. They saw activity-level changes in nearly 400 genes. That compared to activity-level changes in only 33 genes in the weight training group and only 19 genes in the moderate-intensity training group.
High-intensity interval training had a similar effect on mitochondrial capacity: a 49 percent increase in the “younger” group and a whopping 69 percent increase in the “older” group.
This type of exercise also led to improved insulin sensitivity, which is associated with a reduced risk of diabetes.
The researchers cautioned that their primary goal was to show how exercise works at a molecular level, not to provide prescriptive exercise for seniors or anyone else. They hope to learn more about how exercise benefits different tissues in the body.
For the time being, they say that vigorous exercise remains the most effective way to bolster health.
“There are substantial basic science data to support the idea that exercise is critically important to prevent or delay aging. There’s no substitute for that,” senior author Dr. Sreekumaran Nair said in a statement.
Most experts agree that many older adults can participate in an age-appropriate high-intensity interval training program that takes into account their physical limitations.
Older adults are more likely to have an underlying health issue such as osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension or a history heart disease, heart attack, or stroke.
So it’s essential for them to consult with their primary care provider and take a cardio-stress test before beginning a new exercise program, especially one that involves vigorous activity.
As our bodies age, it becomes more and more important to stay healthy and active. While bones and muscles may weaken, it is still possible to be out and about and doing the things we love. Many senior citizens face chronic pain or other issues related to the body deteriorating over time. Luckily, chiropractic care has been to shown to have multiple benefits for the elderly, from increased mobility to decreased risk of falls and other injuries.
Some seniors may be concerned about receiving spinal manipulation due to the delicate nature of their bodies. However, chiropractic doctors have been specially trained to treat the sensitive needs of the elderly in a safe and effective way. The first step is to examine the spine in order to find any vertebrae that are out of place. These subluxations can lead to many problems, from pain due to the misalignment to immune systems because of nerve blockage.
For seniors who are struggling with decreased mobility, chiropractic care has been show to help restore this deficit. Results will vary due to the nature of the patient’s individual needs. Some seniors may find themselves able to bend over again and play with grand-kids or garden. Others who enjoy golf may find an increase in their drive distance. These small improvements can lead to a large increase in overall quality of life for all patients. People with more severe mobility issues may be able to regain strength through a mix of chiropractic and physical therapy.
Many seniors also suffer from balance and coordination issues. These problems are often caused by previous injuries or degenerative changes in the cervical spine (the neck area). Studies have shown that chiropractic care can help to restore decreased coordination by stimulating joint receptors in the neck. This stimulation helps normalize joint receptor functioning, which controls balance and coordination.
In addition to the above issues, seniors also see chiropractors to find relief from chronic pain, decreased energy, and to avoid the need for additional cares. A recent study found that seniors who received chiropractic care were far more likely to remain in their homes versus seniors that did not receive care. Chiropractic can be a safe and effective way for seniors to stay healthy, active, and independent. Speak to your primary care doctor about how chiropractic can help you today!
When a proper nutrition and physical activity has ensured a healthy aging process, the development of degeneration complications may still occur, however, chiropractic care can help. Chiropractic is an alternative, treatment option which can be utilized by seniors to maintain a healthy body and overall wellness.
For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .