It’s no secret that quality chiropractic care provides important wellness benefits and can be used to treat many different conditions effectively. As a matter of fact, we here at Elevate Chiropractic in Fort Collins have made it a personal mission of ours to help share and spread this kind of information.
We believe that the more people who we touch with knowledge about their well being, as well as with our very own hands through professional chiropractic adjustments, then more people we can help benefit from this incredible form of affordable health care. In today’s blog, we will look at the role that chiropractic care can play in helping to improve or restore balance and posture and which group of people stand to benefit the most.
To learn more about our chiropractic care, our practice, or to schedule a comprehensive consultation, visit us online.
How Stability And Balance Work
Stability and balance are some of the most complex motor functions that we perform on a daily basis, especially when you consider that we are engaging, subconsciously, in being stable and balanced virtually every moment we are not laying down — that includes sitting.
To achieve this, our bodies are constantly responding, reacting, and adjusting to signals sent through our nervous system on a more or less continuous basis. While sensory input from many sources flows into this series of signals, the majority of the information we gather from the outside world to stay balanced comes from our eyes, our ears, and our brain.
This sensory data allows us to shift our wait, tense our core muscles, tilt our heads, and react swiftly to changes around us — often times without even actively recognizing we are doing it — as we stand, sit, and move throughout our environment. It’s an incredible achievement that we largely take for granted, that is until we begin to lose our ability to balance well or remain stable against outside forces.
Who Does Poor Balance Put At Risk?
There are lots of different circumstances that can provide balance and stability challenges for people of all ages and backgrounds. For instance, if you break your leg skiing, you’re going to have a hard time balancing the way you did when both of your legs were working properly. However, this is a purely mechanical issue that comes about because you are physically unable to respond to the sensory input telling you to shift your weight to an injured leg.
Infants and young children are other groups that struggle with balance and stability. However, this is due to the fact that all three of the primary systems that influence their balance are still developing and improving. Not to mention that the very young are “built” to withstand relatively frequent tumbles, falls, and stumbles due to soft, relatively flexible bones.
One group that is particularly at risk of having poor balance, and thus at a greater risk of experiencing the dangers of falling, is the elderly. As our bodies age, they handle physical stress less gracefully, which can leave us less physically responsive to balance signals sent from our brain. Consider the additional challenges of the reduced quality of vision and hearing that many people experience as they age, and you can easily understand why balance and stability are a common issue for elder adults.
What Are The Risks?
For most, the risks of a fall due to poor balance are relatively minimal: bruised and scraped palms, knees, and elbows — or possibly a broken wrist if the fall is bad. However, when it comes to adults over the age of 65, the consequences of a fall due to poor balance can be devastating.
Falls are the leading cause of death in people who are 65 or older. Sadly, roughly one in three people in this age group report having a fall of some degree of seriousness each year. As they continue to age, the chances of falling increases — especially for women. Worst of all, when an elderly person falls, they are significantly more likely to sustain a major injury and are expected to have almost twice as long as a hospital stay as a younger person who also fell.
Here are some more important statistics on falling after age 65:
- Roughly 9,500 deaths of older Americans are attributed to falls annually.
- More than half of these fatal falls involve people age 75 or older.
- Of people aged 65 and older who experience a fall, roughly 66 percent will fall again within 6 months time.
- In people between the ages of 65 and 69, one in 200 falls results in a broken hip.
- At age 85 and older, that number has risen to one in 10.
- 25 percent of seniors who fracture a hip will pass away within 6 months time.
However, regardless of the severity of the fall, the loss that almost all elder adults experience after falling is the loss of independence in their own lives as family members, spouses, doctors, and caretakers move to play a larger and more present role in their day to day safety.
How Does Chiropractic Care Help?
What can be done? Let’s consider again the way that balance is achieved — the eyes, ears, and brain send constant signals through the nervous system to the rest of the body in order to stay upright and stable. Although chiropractic care cannot help improve deteriorating vision or hearing, it can absolutely help clear the nervous system’s pathways through the neck and spine with chiropractic adjustments that reduce or remove vertebral subluxations, or physical obstructions, in the neck and spine.
Research has shown that these subluxations inhibit the effective delivery of neural signals for balance and stability and that removing them through quality chiropractic care an adjustments can quickly begin to help improve balance and stability.
Get Your Balance Back With Elevate Chiropractic
In our next blog, we will dive deeper into the research behind the treatment of vertebral subluxations and the improvement of balance. In the meantime, we encourage you to reach out to our friendly, professional team of chiropractors at Elevate Chiropractic if you or someone you know is struggling with balance and stability. We offer a comprehensive consultation to help you understand how we can help you improve balance, stability, and overall wellness. Schedule an appointment in Fort Collins today.