by Judy Soborowicz
Time and scientific investigation have proven that many of the commonly accepted consequences of staying alive longer are not inevitable; it is possible to have both a maturing and highly functional body and mind. For example, until recently diseases such as osteoporosis and heart disease were believed to be a natural, inevitable process solely caused by the aging process. We now know that exercise and dietary influences dramatically reduce the incidence of both of these potentially fatal and disabling disease processes.
In his book Aging with Grace, David Snowdon describes the findings of The Nun Study. Many of the findings of this longitudinal study on aging nuns related to small changes that could be made daily, to preserve the health of our brain as we age. For me this book is an affirmation that there is not a single structure included in our physical makeup, which is immune to the positive affect of small changes, at any age.
As a chiropractor, my primary concern is with the structure that supports and protects our brain and allows us to move, play, and maintain our independence in all stages of our lives. I will occasionally hear a patient comment about an ache or pain and follow it with a dismissal similar to ‘I guess it’s just arthritis, I am getting old.’ True, the most common form of arthritis can cause devastating changes to joints, but do these devastating changes have everything to do with age? The aging process as it occurs, happens slowly in the body as a whole. What is the reason then, that a person is able to have arthritis swelling and aches and pains in one knee and not the other? Why does the arthritis occur in one or two areas of the body, and leave large areas untouched?
Injuries cause certain joints to ‘feel older’ more quickly relative to non-injured joints. This belief may be the simple and well-accepted answer; however it is well known that mobilizing an aging arthritic joint improves function and reduces pain. When we make small adjustments to body mechanics, nerve flow, and strength, we improve overall function and our response to injury and aging.
If your shoulder is inflamed and hurting, maybe you have had treatment with cortisone or other therapies with no long lasting relief. Perhaps you have begun to consider surgery as your only and last option. If avoiding the expense, recovery time, and possible complications that accompany surgery are important to you, you should be aware that a potent treatment approach without the use of cortisone or surgery does exist. The chiropractic approach to determine if small beneficial adjustments can be made includes an evaluation of walking patterns and reflex changes in functional nerve patterns. If your friends say you slump or hitch when you walk, this could be an indicator your spinal nerves, which work to stabilize your spine, shoulders, and hips in a highly evolved functional pattern, are not performing to their potential. Small changes to this system without the use of drugs or surgery can be made. The view of the body as a dynamic healing structure, which has evolved to efficiently promote movement and survival, is the new science. Our brains and nerve systems are vitally important not only for the expression of fullness of life today, but also for the enjoyment of life tomorrow.
Judy Soborowicz practices chiropractic and nutrition at Active Health along with her husband John. She enjoys writing, researching, and lecturing on topics concerning chiropractic, healthcare, and experience gained along the way.