When we’re younger, it’s easy to take our extensive range of motion and flexibility for granted. But as we age, a number of health conditions and the cumulative effects of wear and tear can affect our ability to move the way we used to. When this happens it can be difficult to carry on the activities of daily life. Even things as simple as picking something up off the floor or tying your shoes can be challenging activities when your movements are curtailed. Luckily, regular chiropractic care can help increase both range of motion and flexibility.
A study performed in 2001 by researchers at the Phillip Chiropractic Research Centre of RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, and published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that chiropractic adjustments increased range of motion in the 105 patients who participated in the study. There were three phases of this study, in which each of the participants was given no adjustments, fake adjustments or true adjustments. In each phase, the patients who were given the true adjustments showed a significant improvement in range of motion, which was not the case for the other two groups.
A decrease in range of motion and flexibility can result in a downward spiral of disability. An injury or degenerative condition can cause pain, swelling and stiffness, limiting flexibility and range of motion. So we avoid activities that involve the affected body parts, either consciously or unconsciously. This then becomes a classic case of “use it or lose it”. Without regular exercise, the muscles and joints stiffen, adhesions and scar tissue can form, and mobility is further reduced. Eventually, a person can become completely incapacitated.
A chiropractor uses spinal adjustments and manipulations to other parts of the body to realign the bones and joints so as to reduce pain, restore range of motion, and improve flexibility, balance and coordination. These adjustments may be performed manually, or other techniques may be used to increase circulation and improve function, such as ultrasound, trigger point therapy and electrical stimulation. Your chiropractor can also recommend specific exercises that can be done at home to increase your strength and flexibility so that you’re able to maintain and build upon the gains from your chiropractic adjustments.
Many people restrict their activities due to back pain, which is the most common complaint of those who enter a chiropractor’s office. Regular chiropractic care can reduce or eliminate the source of your back and joint pain, allowing you to resume your normal activities and to remain more flexible into your golden years.