Benefits of a Lifetime of Chiropractic Care
By Martha Michael
Sitting down with men and women in their golden years may mean an afternoon of tall tales about the good old days. But the most productive advice you get from older adults is when they admit their mistakes and share regrets about choices they made.
The kinds of do-overs people verbalize often pertain to health outcomes stemming from their younger years, and those challenges rarely come from isolated incidents. Practices that are in place for 30 to 60 years are typically the ones that have the greatest impact on wellness.
And as easily as bad habits lead to health challenges, you can also choose routines that lay the groundwork for a lifetime of wellness. For instance, ongoing chiropractic care can mean the difference between actively enjoying your later years versus suffering from chronic conditions resulting from poor health choices.
When it comes to such decisions, draw on the experience of those who have been there, done that, and can vouch for the paths they took.
Maintain the Health of Your Spine
One of the most important decisions you can make is to maintain the health of your spine, which encases an integral part of your central nervous system -- your spinal cord. Your nervous system has an impact on the broadest range of health-related outcomes. It is a specialized network responsible for controlling and directing your body’s functions, including:
- The five senses
- Coordinated movement and balance
- Regulation of blood flow and blood pressure
- Ability to think and reason
- Consciousness, memories and language
Non-profit healthcare system PeaceHealth has an article on its website about the problems associated with neglecting the health of your nervous system. Symptoms vary depending on whether a problem occurs in the central nervous system, which is made up of your brain and spinal cord, or the peripheral nervous system, which consist of the nerves exiting the spinal canal controlling movement.
Acute nervous system malfunctions often occur suddenly and sometimes with fatal outcomes. Serious conditions include:
- Vascular disorders
- Head and spinal cord injuries
- Congenital disorders
- Mental health issues, such as anxiety disorders, depression, or psychosis
- Exposure to toxins, such as carbon monoxide, arsenic, or lead
There are also health challenges that are degenerative, which come on more gradually. Individuals lose function when they develop degenerative diseases such as:
- Parkinson's disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Alzheimer's disease
- Huntington's disease
- Peripheral neuropathies
Infections can also affect the central nervous system. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, encephalitis occurs when an infection of the brain activates the immune system. Inflammation of the meninges, the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord, is called meningitis, which affects approximately 10,000 Americans each year.
Though infants and seniors are particularly at risk, people of all ages have contracted meningitis. Dormitory residents -- college students and members of the military, for instance -- are more likely to contract meningococcal meningitis, which is fatal in 10-15 percent of cases. An additional 10-15 percent incur brain damage or other side effects.
It’s important to take every precaution necessary to make the most of our life healthwise. That means adopting good habits early on, but it’s never too late to salvage what we have.
Our future self will never get the chance to tell our current self what we need to know. Nor will our current self get a chance to impart wisdom to your younger self. It’s a tremendous advantage to have the 20/20 vision of someone who’s been there, who has navigated the twists and turns of the maze we call life. We must take advice where we can get it. With enough candor from our seniors, we can gain enough value from the choices they made to disregard the stories about walking 10 miles in the snow to school -- uphill both ways.
Future Self, Part 1: Future Self to Current Self: Make Healthy Choices
Future Self, Part 2: Be Aware of the Power of the Drug Industry
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this page are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this post is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics, including but not limited to the benefits of chiropractic care, exercise and nutrition. It is not intended to provide or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your chiropractor, physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this page.