Tips For Enjoying the First 100 Years of Your LifeYou may be thinking, "What do you mean by the first 100 years? You mean there's a second 100 years?"
Truth be told, the human body was designed to last over a hundred years of age. The problem is that many people may be living a long life but they're not living the kind of life with the quality that they want to live. There’s often pain, disability, nursing home stays, being in a wheelchair and being confined in some manner.
Improving Your Quality and Quantity of Life
People are already living longer. If you look back to the turn of last century or the early 1900’s, if you lived past 49 years of age, you were living past the average. If you look at today, 78.8 years is how long the average American lives. By 2050, that number is going to be pushed up even higher. I wouldn't be surprised if it gets close to 100 years and beyond.
What's more important than the length of life is the quality of life. Would you want to live a longer life if you did not have quality of life? I believe most people would agree they wouldn’t want to live longer without a higher quality of life. The point is that the chance that you're going to live past the ripe old age of 80 is quite likely and extending every year.
Medical experts are learning several things about people who are living longer. Baby Boomers (people born after World War II through the year 1964) are providing us a great opportunity to see how a longer life is affecting us. When studying Baby Boomers, we realized that Alzheimer's is a disease that we didn't use to see very often. We’re seeing as people live longer, diseases that weren’t as prevalent a problem are popping up and affecting us. Cosmetic changes and wrinkle treatments are also something we are seeing.
Our Current Health Philosophy Neglects the Value of Maintaining the Structural System of our Bodies
We are neglecting our spine and the musculoskeletal system. As a result, people are physically disabled and suffering with the inability to move. They are unable to live the life they hoped for. It’s unfortunate when a person who works hard most of their life is unable to move around freely during retirement years because their body is shot. Instead, they spend most of their time visiting the doctor and taking pain medications unable to enjoy the life they've worked so hard to enjoy.
The most common cause of disability in people over age 50 is functional disability such as spinal disorders, shoulder, knee and hip problems. The question you have to ask yourself is whether you believe you’re going to live past the age of 50. If you plan to live past 50 or you are already past 50 years of age, you need to be actively participating in your functional health so you can take care of yourself as you age. Cosmetic changes and wrinkle treatments are also something we are seeing.
Let me just give you an example...if I could tell you that someone was going to rob your house, would you do something to prevent it from happening? Of course you would! You'd call the police or do something to be ready for that person who's going to come and break into your home.
The sames goes for the knowledge that your mobility will dramatically decrease as you age if you are not doing something to prevent it. If you lose some mobility at age 65 for example, but you lived 20 or 30 more years, how much would you really enjoy those last 20 or 30 years? Wouldn’t you like to have lived those years pain and disability free? Not being able to move freely doesn’t sound very fun or attractive to me at all. That's why prevention is paramount to your health. People need to plan ahead and take a proactive approach to their functional (mobility) health.
There's plenty of people who are taking proactive plans with their finances so they have plenty of money in retirement. How sad is it that people have their financial security taken care of but they’re not healthy enough to enjoy the funds they've set aside. They can't enjoy their grandchildren and great-grandchildren the way they’d like to. What a terrible thing!
Another thing that has improved in our culture is that we do a great job taking caring for our teeth. Everybody understands that they're supposed to brush and floss daily. Many of us go to the dentist twice a year to maintain prevention.
Let’s look at wrinkles and the cosmetic industry. People will spend thousands of dollars fixing the wrinkles on their face so they look younger however, what is going to make someone look even older than their wrinkles? It’s poor posture, inflexibility and a lack of mobility. If you've ever seen a person with poor posture, I think you can agree that they look old! In contrast, if people stand up and have good erect posture that's an image of health.
Posture is something that we specialize in here at All Seasons Full Body Chiropractic Center. I recently increased my education on this topic by getting a certification as a posture expert. Our office is perfectly positioned to help you protect and guard yourself from spinal problems.
Your Lack of Mobility Will Make you Look Older Than the Crow's Feet on your Face.
We joke that if your spine was on your face you would take better care of it. If a person chips their tooth, it’s likely they are going to be looking for an appointment to get that fixed relatively quickly because we don't like the way it looks on us because it’s noticeably unattractive. We're self-conscious. The problem with the spine is that we can't see it.
I hope I have painted a detailed picture for you as to the value of having a chiropractor on your health care team. It’s critical. We have the ability to take x-rays to see what's going on structurally for you. The scary thing is that I've seen plenty of bad spots on people who are in their teenage years or early 20’s. If these problems aren’t identified and treated, they will become debilitating later in life. If it’s been awhile since you’ve had x-rays or recent imaging of your spine, it makes sense to get that checked. That's the only way to know what kind of shape your spine is in.
You Don't Wait for Your Teeth to Fall out Before you Take Care of Them. The Same Goes For Your Spine.
You don’t want to wait until your back goes out before you take care of it. The chance of living past 50 years of age is pretty likely so it’s important to begin undergoing preventative chiropractic care.
You can't get a spine transplant. Modern technology allows people to get new knees, hips, shoulders….even a new heart! They now can replace several vital organs which has brought relief to many people but you can't replace your spine. If you let your spine go downhill and neglect it, you're in for a world of hurt.
Whether you Currently Have Pain or Not, it is Important to be Seen by a Chiropractor.
If you have had issues in your neck or back, it’s your body telling you that it requires attention. That’s where we come in. We can help you.
Many times when we talk about spinal problems in the elderly, we talk about low back pain however, 1 in 3 people struggle with neck pain as well.
Why does our spine give us so much trouble as we age? The reason is because we're very hard on ourselves. The occupational safety hazard administration said that by the time we're thirteen years old we've already had over a thousand traumas to our spine.
Who hasn't fallen off their bike as a child? Or fallen out of a tree, jumped on beds, tumbled down steps...we do all these things. High school sports do a lot of damage to our spine. Have you ever been in an auto accident? Spinal injuries are prevalent in auto accidents. My point is, there are thousands of opportunities to hurt ourselves. Injuries when we are younger cause problems later in life, even if we aren’t aware of it at the time of the injury. Scar tissue develops if not treated initially, and people begin to notice the pain later in life. For these reasons, preventive chiropractic care is essential. In my opinion, everyone should have an appointment with their chiropractor at least once a month. They should also be performing spinal stretches and exercise on a daily basis. You brush and floss daily. Your spine requires and deserves that same amount of attention.
Let's take a look at what happens to you and your family if you just let nature take its course and don't really bother with any preventive care. This is something called the Health Span Curve (See Figure B).
We enjoy great health growing up and even in our 20’s and 30’s but what happens is a person's health declines and their level of function declines rapidly when they get into their 40’s and beyond. By the time they're in their retirement years, they have lost a majority of their function. They simply can't do the things they want to do because they let their health and mobility decline. They've neglected to create a plan to take care of themselves.
So here’s something you may be wondering. Can I do anything to change this scale or is it just too late? The good news is with a preventive Chiropractic Care Program, we can absolutely change this so you don't witness and experience that steep decline in your health and activity levels. This is where chiropractic really shines and can really serve the public tremendously. Whether you're a teenager or in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, or in your retirement years, chiropractic care can have a very positive effect on your mobility and quality of life.
So you understand the importance of preventative chiropractic care. What is the next step? The first step is to start wherever you're at and get a thorough evaluation where we look at your posture and spine to determine how are you moving. We conduct a posture scan with a technology called Surface EMG (with our MyoVision device) which measures muscle activity.
There are three phases to chiropractic care.
Nobody wants to be in pain so our first goal together is to find out the cause of your pain, if you have any. Oftentimes what we find is a condition called vertebral subluxation where the person has lost the proper alignment between the vertebrae of their spine.
When the frame of your car is bent or out of alignment, you wouldn't travel down the road straight. The same is true of the frame of your human body. If your spine is out of alignment or there is a subluxation, it's going to cause interference with the nervous system.
Our nerves are what control most everything in the body such as our cellular processes and any type of movement. The nerves send signals to our muscles creating movement. When a person has a subluxation or misalignment of the spine, it can interfere with the spinal cord as well as the spinal nerve roots so not only will people have back problems but also nerve system problems.
Chiropractors are specifically designed to treat these problems through adjustments. Adjustments are performed in the first phase of care where the doctor places his or her hands on the spine which are gentle but forceful realignments in the spine to help relieve the nerve pressure and also restore the motion of the joint. Oftentimes people love to get adjusted as it provides relief. Even kids enjoy adjustments. Kids will oftentimes run to get up on the adjusting tables when they come into our office and they look forward to their visits. We have different hand-held adjusting instruments that makes the treatment comfortable. It's often a painless procedure.
The first goal is to get a person out of pain in this relief phase of care with adjustments and strengthening exercises.
Stabilization and Strengthening
The next level of care after pain relief is stabilization and strengthening. This is where we help a person get the most out of their chiropractic care by stabilizing and strengthening the spinal structures. It's one thing to get adjusted but it's another to help strengthen these core muscle groups around the spine.
Speaking of the core, the core area of the body is something that we work on strengthening so the adjustments hold. Oftentimes people have subluxations or misalignments of their spine for years or even decades before they seek treatment. When this is the case, our muscles need to be re-trained to maintain that correction through stabilizing and strengthening. Unless the spine and joints are put back into alignment with adjustments and then re-trained through strengthening, the body is naturally going to go back to this misaligned condition. It’s similar to working out and getting into tip-top shape. If you don’t maintain that through regular workouts, you're gradually going to start to lose that muscle mass that you've been building up. We want to make sure that doesn't happen. Similar to an orthodontist who straightens your teeth. The orthodontist provides a retainer to help maintain that alignment.
The maintenance phase of chiropractic care is after we have brought the spine back into alignment and the surrounding tissues have been stabilized and strengthened. Our goal is to keep your spine in proper alignment. At this point, the treatment frequency lessens and we talk about what kind of care that you need to maintain this alignment. We're going to put a plan together that makes sense, that's affordable and also essential to really protecting the investment that you made over these weeks and maybe even months during phases 1 and 2.
We want you to continue to maintain mobility for rest of their life. If you think about it, does your dentist want you to come back for the rest of your life to take care of your teeth? Does your medical or eye doctors want to see you for annual checkups or come in for prevention care? Of course! Any responsible healthcare practitioner is going to want to see you for the rest of your life on some kind of basis to help prevent problems and maintain an optimum level of function. Since the spine is so key to our movement and health, it makes sense to do something to maintain your spine for the rest of your life.
Our goal is to get people doing regular spinal exercises and stretching and strengthening to help improve your posture to prevent postural collapse. We don’t want you to age any faster than you want to. We want to help you move so you can work and play and stay young for these first hundred years. That is our goal for chiropractic care.
It’s never too soon to start chiropractic care. Did you know that one of the most traumatic experiences that we may ever experience is our very own birth process? Being born can sometimes place tremendous stresses, strains and even injury to a newborn’s spine. Research has shown that there's a high likelihood an infant’s spine will be traumatized during the birth process. The good news is getting newborns seen by a chiropractor, even when they’re days old, can be a tremendous benefit toward the prevention of spinal problems down the road.
Your entire family can benefit from chiropractic care. Have your whole family come in and get it checked. It doesn't take that long and preventive care goes a long way to eliminating problems later in life. It's one of the best investments you're ever going to make toward your health. Being able to move freely and without pain is one of the most precious gifts we have. It allows us to be in control of our future and to be able to play with your kids, grandkids and, if you take care of your spine, great grandkids! It is a joy for me to be able to facilitate the opportunity for people to experience these things in their later years.
If you're not currently a patient and you want to find out:
- what kind of shape your spine is in;
- what your posture is like;
- whether you have any muscle tension;
- the evidence of any irritated nerves; and
- whether your back has any misalignments,
give our office a call at (701)356-0016. We'll schedule a time to take you through a consultation with one of our doctors. We want to provide you quality information about your health and the state of your spine so you can make the right choices for your body. The choices you make now will pave the way for your future. It’s never too soon to start making plans to enjoy your best life now.
All Seasons Full Body Chiropractic Center, LLC
1102 43rd St S Ste F
Fargo, ND 58103