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Empowering seniors in the North Thompson Valley:Healthy aging is healthy moving

By Dr. Zach Paul,DC – Backwoods Chiropractic

As a chiropractor who helps many patients over the age of 65, a big part of my day is to encourage my patients to get moving and exercising in new ways. I think all health care providers would agree that if there was one thing a person can do that will increase their quality of life it would be exercising. Although moving the body is important for all age groups, it is especially beneficial to the older demographic. When the stats are considered it is no surprise why that is so:

• 50% of chronic conditions are attributed to joint issues/diseases in people over 60 years old

• 30% of people over 75 years of age suffer from pain daily

• 47% of people over 65 years old report having been diagnosed with arthritis

• 25% of elderly Canadians have activities of daily living limited by musculoskeletal pain

Musculoskeletal (muscle, bones, joints) conditions are the most common cause of severe chronic pain and physical disability.

How do all of these statistics relate to movement and exercise? The simple answer is that people adapt perfectly to their lifestyle and environment (as an average over their lifetime). Our bodies adapt to the activities we do (or lack thereof). This is why you can see the difference between a marathon runner’s body who is always running (to get faster) and a sumo wrestler who is always eating (to get bigger). Their bodies have adapted to the exact environment the owners have put it through.

Why is it so common for people to “throw their back out” when bending over to pick up something very light and trivial? The answer is that their body was not adapted to be able to handle that movement at that exact point in time. Otherwise it would not have caused pain. Therefore, the main goal is to get your capacity for movement above the level of your daily activities to avoid trivial injuries. And exercise is the only way I know of to do that.

If you are an elderly person who keeps your body moving you can most definitely expect: Less pain, better mood, better sleep, healthier blood pressure, slower progression of degenerative processes like arthritis, less falls, better coordination and gait, better reaction time and of course stronger muscles for things like opening jars and going up stairs or picking up your grandchildren. Quality of life is impacted by pain and function so you can expect a high quality of life with more functional pain free movement.

Even when people keep their bodies moving sometimes accidents happen and injuries result. In these times a healthcare provider can be consulted for guidance and treatment. Efficacy of chiropractic care and “spinal manipulative therapy” (adjustments) have been extensively investigated. In fact, manipulation is one of the most studied forms of conservative treatment for spinal pain. The evidence base includes numerous systematic reviews which attest to the appropriateness of getting adjusted, combined with exercise, for spinal pain syndromes. Further, government inquiries have concluded that chiropractic is safe and effective while demonstrating high patient satisfaction.

It should also be noted that certain injuries require certain exercises and treatments or therapy. Some movement directions should be avoided with certain injuries. This is a good reason to seek out your healthcare provider for guidance on the most appropriate treatments and self care to speed up the healing process. or go to

If you don’t have a current health care provider on your team; Backwoods Chiropractic in Barriere, B.C., is always accepting new patients to guide people through their health journey. Find out more by calling Backwoods Chiropractic, at:https://backwoodschiropractic.janeapp.com/ or call: 778-694-8997