Osteoporosis is a common ailment, especially in adults over 50 years of age. This refers to having low bone density. The bones are not as strong as they could be and can fracture easily. The CDC reports that 1 in 5 women have osteoporosis, and 1 in 20 men have osteoporosis. Your risk increases if you have the following. Low hormone levels, an eating disorder, inadequate amounts of calcium and/or vitamin D, or have taken certain medications long term. In some cases, having less bone mass in hereditary. With many patients living with osteoporosis: is chiropractic care safe?
Osteoporosis is often considered a contraindication to care. However, chiropractors are able to treat patients with low bone density safely and effectively.
Safe Treatments for Osteoporosis
There are many aspects of chiropractic care that are safe for patients with osteoporosis. A 2012 study shows that even an elderly patient with osteoporosis and a compression fracture of the spine can get good results from working with a chiropractor.
Chiropractic components that have been effective on patients with osteoporosis include:
- Soft Tissue Massage Therapy: Mobilizing soft tissue adhesions is a safe way chiropractors can treat patients without putting stress on the spine or other bones in the body.
- Activator-Assisted Manipulative Therapy- Chiropractors can use a tool called an Activator to provide gentle adjustments to the spine.
- Rehabilitative Exercises- Chiropractors can prescribe therapeutic exercise to help improve posture and prevent misalignments of the spine.
- Lifestyle Coaching: By “coaching” a patient through ways to improve their health, chiropractors will help you find ways to manage illnesses and ailments- and live an overall healthier lifestyle.
- Therapeutic Modalities: paraffin, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, moist heat, and cryotherapy are all used to help treat pain and are safe for those with low bone density.
How Chiropractic Care Can Improve Your Health
Chiropractic care treats the body as a whole, and improves the function of the nervous system. How can chiropractors help manage osteoporosis specifically? Osteoporosis can be managed with exercise, nutrition, and improving your overall health. Weight-bearing strengthening exercises can help build up the density of bones. Likewise, having less pain will help you stay active and keep your bones strong.
Through lifestyle coaching, a chiropractor can help you reduce or eliminate tobacco and alcohol use. These have been shown to increase the risk for osteoporosis and lower bone density. Chiropractors can also guide you through ways to improve your nutrition. Foods high in calcium, Vitamin D will help strengthen bones. At the same time, foods that can decrease bone density include those high in salt and sugar.
Lastly, it is important to note that every patient is different chiropractic care might not work for severe osteoporosis. A full evaluation and bone scans can help determine the severity. Be sure to speak with you chiropractor about all you health issues upon the initial evaluation.