The Key to Maintaining Good Balance, Even in the Later Years

You may not notice your sense of balance from moment to moment, but it’s working for you almost every hour of the day. Getting in and out of bed, in and out of a car, going up and down stairs or just walking from room to room—good balance is essential. A person whose balance becomes impaired is at greater risk for falls. At any age, a fall can result in a sprain or broken bone. In one’s senior years, the risks are even greater.

That’s why I pay careful attention to my patients’ ability to maintain good balance. With chiropractic, I have tools to improve their ability to maintain good balance and therefore reduce their risk for falls. You don’t have to consider poor balance to be an inevitable consequence of aging because I have seen chiropractic improve my patients’ sense of balance despite their senior citizen status!

 

The Beauty of the Human Body’s Balanced Structure

The human body is built to be able to maintain good balance. It has a certain inherent alignment pattern that makes balance relatively effortless. If this alignment pattern is thrown off by injury, poor posture, arthritic changes or other problems, then it can be more difficult to stay upright.

Take the spine, for example. It is supposed to have four curves in it, starting at the head and ending at the tailbone. When these curves are in good condition, the body’s mechanisms can stay in balance. Running, dodging, even complex gymnastics are possible.

The spine is also supposed to have a perfect alignment from top to bottom. Vertebrae should not slip out of their ideal positions. As long as the alignment is perfect, the nerves that leave the brain and reach every extremity can transmit messages easily. There are no blocks on these nerve flows that could be caused by pressure from a misaligned vertebra.

 

When That Beautiful Structure Becomes Imbalanced

When the curves begin to deteriorate or if there are misalignments that impede healthy nerve flows, the whole system can begin to go wrong. It can become harder and harder to maintain one’s balance.

This is the progression that can take a person from good balance to poor, unsteady balance.

  1. A person’s nerves control their muscles. Good, healthy nerve flow keeps the muscles in good tone and it’s easy to control those muscles and respond to changes in the environment.
  2. When spinal alignment deteriorates, the nervous system becomes inflamed.
  3. With this inflammation, the muscles become weaker. They are less responsive to a person’s control.
  4. What can happen then is that a person may become unsteady on their feet.

This progression of deterioration can make even walking from room to room treacherous. An individual may also be unable to make a fast response to something as minor as stepping on a wet spot in the kitchen or catching a toe on a rumpled rug.

 

Neuropathy: Another Factor in Poor Balance

Neuropathy is weakness, numbness, tingling and pain that results from nerve damage. It is most common in the hands and feet. A person suffering from neuropathy may be unable to feel the ground through their feet. This makes walking difficult and dangerous. As neuropathy advances, a person is likely to become uncoordinated and unstable.

 

How Chiropractic Care Can Help

Good chiropractic care helps restore those four natural curves to the spine. Adjustments also improve the alignment of the vertebrae, removing nerve interference and reducing inflammation.

I also offer my patients nutritional supplements that can improve all kinds of functions that help a person maintain good balance. They help lower inflammation, provide vital nutrients for keeping muscles and nerves healthy and may even be able to improve symptoms of neuropathy.

I am pleased to be able to help my patients of every age maintain better balance so they can reduce their risk of falls and injuries.

Another one of the therapies I offer is Pressure Point Therapy. This therapy relieves tight, hard points in muscles that block nerve flows. When those flows are blocked, pain and poor function can result. By releasing these points, we open up nerve flow and improve pain and movement. I am the only chiropractor in the Greater St. Louis area to offer this therapy! Want to try it at no cost? Call my office at 314-310-8359 to schedule an appointment for Pressure Point Therapy.

 


About Dr. Dustan Mattingly: Dr. Dusty discovered chiropractic after it helped him recover from an injury he suffered while in the military. Chiropractic eliminated his neck pain, sparing him the ill effects of painkillers and surgery. He graduated from the Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa and then went on to study additional chiropractic techniques, the specialized treatment of sports and accident injuries and nutrition. He also mastered the art of Pressure Point Therapy to improve patients’ response to treatment. With this specialized technique, he found he could provide increased relief from pain and muscle dysfunction and help a patient recover more quickly from the effects of stress or injuries.

By Dustan Mattingly, January 22, 2024