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Chiropractic and Aging Gracefully: Joint Health and Mobility

Reviewed by: Dr. Steven Knauf, D.C.

By Donna Stark

Chiropractic and Aging Gracefully

At a time when the pursuit of eternal youth is more prevalent than ever, the question of how to age gracefully and look younger continues to grab the attention of many. Is age merely a number? Maybe with how we view life it is, but with everything else, we all know better. And if we don’t, those aching muscles and creaking bones will certainly remind us. So, perhaps the question we should be asking instead is this: Can we slow down the effects that each passing year bestows upon us?

It’s time to say goodbye to that rigid dichotomy between getting old and aging gracefully because both can be achieved simultaneously. However, one needs to acknowledge and understand the changes the body goes through during this cruel and never-ending journey.

Is Age Just a Number?

Redefining the aging process is something that people have been trying to do for decades, because -- and let’s face it -- nobody likes the thought of getting old. But the truth of the matter is that anyone who’s made it past their mid-30s knows that showing up for a new birthday each year is no small feat. As the years pass by, our bodies undergo a series of remarkable changes affecting everything from our skin to our joints to our thoughts, which is why it becomes crucial to consider both conventional and alternative methods to enhance our overall well-being. But before we can even think about doing so, we must first understand what happens to the body as it ages.

What Happens to Our Bodies When We Age?

As the body ages, it undergoes many changes, some of which can be more concerning or uncomfortable than others. However, by being aware of these changes and understanding what is happening, we can make more informed decisions regarding our overall health and wellness. We may even become more accepting and embrace the newer versions of our old selves.

Listed below are just a few of the health problems and challenges that can come from these changes in the body.

  • Skin - One of the first, outward signs of aging are changes in the skin. Skin will become thinner, wrinkled, and more fragile. Age spots and bruises are likely to appear as well.
  • Musculoskeletal system - The body physically becomes more frail with age too. Bones may lose density and become more prone to breaks, muscles may shrink in mass and become stiff or weak, and joints may become inflamed, painful, and stiff.
  • Mobility and balance - Mobility and balance issues also tend to suffer with age. These issues can lead to a reduction in physical activity and an increased risk of falling.
  • Weight - Inactivity, health challenges, and medications can cause significant changes in a person’s weight. Maintaining a healthy weight as one ages becomes more difficult with each passing year.
  • Memory - Whether it’s simple forgetfulness, a symptom of depression (or other mental health issue), or the result of a medical condition like Alzheimer’s, memory issues can be a big problem for seniors.
  • Overall wellness - Does the body start to fall apart as it ages? It sure seems like it. Older adults tend to deal with more illness, aches and pains, hearing and vision issues, and diseases than those who are younger.

After reading the examples listed above, it’s easy to see why so many people dread that extra birthday candle each year and why they do everything in their power to stay forever young.

How Can We Stay Younger Longer?

The aging process begins from the moment we are born and there is nothing we can do to stop the upward trajectory and then the downward trajectory. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t certain things we can do to possibly slow it down a bit. How can that be? It all starts with telomeres.

Telomeres are the protective structures, or caps, found at the ends of our chromosomes. They are required for cell division. At birth, our telomeres are relatively long, but as we age and as our cells replicate, the telomeres become shorter. Over time, they become shorter and shorter until they become so short that our cells can no longer divide. And when this happens, when the shorter telomere reaches that final stage, tissues age, which can lead to age-related diseases and other serious health issues.

But while there is no agreed-upon method to completely stop or reverse telomere shortening, some studies suggest that healthy lifestyle choices can have a positive impact. Here are some not-so-secret secrets on how to age gracefully, confidently, and most important of all, healthily.

  • Diet - You can maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of certain health issues by watching what you eat. Try to include more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and heart-healthy fats in your diet.
  • Physical fitness - Lose weight and alleviate joint pain with at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day. Don’t forget to strength-train two or more days of the week too.
  • Sleep - Getting enough sleep helps you stay healthy and alert. Follow a regular sleep schedule and try to avoid napping late in the afternoon.
  • Healthcare - Going to the doctor for regular health screenings is essential for healthy aging. If you can’t drive, are hard of hearing, or are prone to forgetfulness, bring a friend or advocate with you.
  • Connections - Older adults who are isolated and lonely are at a higher risk for heart disease, depression, and cognitive decline. Nurture your connections with friends and family or try to volunteer.

Finding the time to care for your physical, emotional, and mental health is critical, so make sure you are following the suggestions listed above. Additionally, don’t forget to visit your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic for a quick adjustment and beneficial advice.

Chiropractic Care and Its Anti-Aging Benefits

Chiropractic care offers an all-natural approach to healthcare for your age-related issues and helps to promote overall well-being as you journey through your body’s natural aging processes. It can provide pain relief without the need for prescription medications or invasive procedures, promotes quality sleep by easing muscle tension, relaxing the body, and reducing stress, and restores optimal function to the body’s nervous system which, in turn, improves your overall health and wellness

Equally as important, chiropractic treatments may improve your joint health and mobility. Why is that vital during the later years of your life? Because better joint health means better mobility, and better mobility means a more enhanced quality of life. Moving without pain enables one to remain active. This is significant because an active lifestyle helps to improve cardiovascular health, reduce the risk of future degeneration (arthritis), prevent falls and accidents, strengthen balance and coordination, support mental health, and lead to a greater sense of independence.

By establishing routine chiropractic care, you can start looking forward to healthier, happier, and more balanced days in your life. Visit The Joint Chiropractic today for a quick and easy consultation.

Staying Healthy No Matter What Your Age Is

It isn’t only women who are tossing their calendars in the trash -- men try to turn the clocks back too. We all have a vested interest in staying young, and by following the recommendations mentioned above and providing ourselves with some well-deserved care, we can all look forward to many more celebrations filled with birthday cakes and lots and lots of candles.

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