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Chiropractic in the Golden Years

As a Sports Chiropractor, I often get asked if my practice accepts non-athletes.  Commonly the question comes from existing patients seeking care for their parents.  The answer is—and always will be—yes.  Having training that extends past the already rigorous curriculum of chiropractic school only makes me more adept at examining, diagnosing, and treating conditions in any patient population.  As for patients' parents—and all individuals 65 years and older—I believe that they need it as much as their children and grandchildren, regardless of activity levels.  

Chiropractic can play a vital role in ensuring the proper functioning of joints and balance of muscles as patients deal with chronic conditions that are associated with aging.  It is every bit as important that they receive the same, competent care as the younger generations—only with modifications.  

Treating the 65 and older population requires an ability to sometimes sift through a stack of medical records, work around existing medical conditions, and to know when less is more when it comes to treatment.  

Accounting for a previous surgery, pre-existing health condition, or perhaps an artificial joint is very important when it comes to treating any patient, but the painful truth is that we are all acquiring a greater collection of these as we move through life.  Will suggested supplements can have negative reactions with existing medications?  Will certain positions for joint manipulation put artificial joints at risk?  Can the patient comfortably hold positions for exercise or treatment?  

It is important to know the full history prior to beginning treatment.  Some patients whose health has suffered, have extensive collections of medical records that they present in the office on their first visit.  Some are vitally important, and others are not relevant.  It is up to the physician to determine which is which, and to apply the information derived from the records appropriately.  

As we age past thirty years and beyond, our bodies do not heal and recover at the same rate as they once did when we were taking our youth for granted.  Recovery is not limited to healing up from an injury.  Many forms of physical medicine use a breakdown of dysfunctional tissue to allow the body to replace it with more healthy, functional tissues.  This is an important step in recovery from injury, but one must remember that a 70 year old will not recover from this treatment as quickly as a 20 year old.  Swelling may be more pronounced, the body will not clean up the damaged tissue as quickly, and the new tissue will take longer to be formed.  For myofascial work, one should typically incorporate more time in between treatments, as well as taking into account how aggressive that treatment is in the first place.  

Each patient is different in their health, condition, activity levels, genetics, and health history.  For this reason, it is of paramount importance to treat each patient as if they are not a condition, but rather an individual.  A competent, trained healthcare provider will recognize this, and tailor their programs to each patient—there is no place for cook book-care in chiropractic or medicine.  

If you have questions about your health, if chiropractic is for you, or anything you read in this post, please do not hesitate to contact one of our Doctors of Chiropractic at Evergreen Spine & Sports Medicine by phone at 303-670-8902, or email at

Originally posted on October 16, 2015

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