According to the US Department of Health, the most common cause of functional disability in people over 50 is due to spinal disorders. Why?? Far too many people live their lives under the impression that lacking spinal pain, "everything must be okay!" Unfortunately, this is not the case. Our spines are composed of an intricate series of mechanical parts (24 vertebrae plus the pelvic girdle) that are subject to wear and tear. Just like the engine of a car, we must have our spines maintained on a routine basis if we are to avoid unnecessarily painful and costly consequences in the future. While this is a fact that escapes no one, there is something we can do to limit the amount and degree of damage that is done.
Spinal Problems...Can they be Prevented?
While there is no guarantee that spinal injury could be 100% avoided, there are certain steps that can be taken to improve our chances. These consist of the following:
- Get adjusted regularly (1-2 times per month, depending on activity level).
- Stretch daily, including yoga and/or pilates.
- Eat a diet rich in natural sources of vitamins and minerals, especially calcium (i.e. green leafy vegetables).
- Perform core and paraspinal strengthening activities on a daily basis.
- Adopt good posture habits.
Regular spinal maintenance adjustments provide the same benefit as other preventive health services. For example, by going to the dentist on a regular basis for cleanings, the teeth and gums are kept healthy and any potentially harmful problems (i.e. cavities, gum disease, etc.) are identified and cured before they become major problems. By getting adjusted regularly, our patients stay out of pain, improve spinal function, and enjoy better overall health by optimizing the health of the nervous system. Because the nervous system controls all body systems, including the immune and digestive systems, many of our patients report not getting sick as often as their friends/family/neighbors. How awesome!