Chiropractor Chandler AZ

Golden Years - Injury Prevention and Treatment in Older People

Older Americans are living longer and exercising more than ever before. Whether it is a weekly game of tennis, a round of golf, or a daily long walk after dinner, people 65 and over are out front when it comes to exercise. Studies show that while exercise is important to all of us, it is even more crucial for people 65 and older to avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Besides the advantages we get physically, some research suggests that exercise can promote healing and prevent disease, something increasingly important as we grow older. Also, recent studies indicate that exercise can improve our memory and thinking skills as well. While active lifestyles for people who are 65 and older are critical, there is one drawback to all the moving around: Injuries.

People 65 and older are more prone to a wide range of soft tissue injuries compared to younger adults. Additionally, soft tissues - muscles, tendons and ligaments - do not heal as rapidly from strains, tears, and other injuries in older bodies. For older, active people, soft tissue injuries in the knees, elbows, wrists, and shoulders can be extremely painful. Seniors often turn to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for treatment, or eventually surgery if the pain does not abate. More often than not, people suffer in silence, or forego their favorite exercises in an effort to manage pain. Fortunately, injuries or recurring pain do not have to keep you from living an active lifestyle, or leave you susceptible to NSAIDs' side effects. There are new and innovative techniques to treat soft tissue injuries and get people back on the court, in the field, or on the back nine sooner rather than later.

The Graston Technique for Soft Tissue Treatment

One of the newer treatments to help active people 65 or over recover from a painful soft tissue injury is the Graston Technique (GT). GT is a form of soft tissue mobilization, and involves a trained practitioner using a specially designed set of stainless steel instruments to manipulate afflicted soft tissue. The GT instruments allow clinicians to identify injured tissue, and then are used to break down scar tissue and other restrictors. The technique facilitates increased blood flow to problem areas, alleviates pain, and can speed up the recovery process. While still a relatively new medical innovation, several clinical trials have affirmed the Graston Technique's effectiveness at addressing soft tissue injuries.

GT therapy

GT therapy is great news for older people whose soft tissue pain is holding them back. Typical soft tissue injuries, often called adhesions, can keep muscles painfully tight and limit range of motion. GT is particularly effective at addressing these conditions. Additionally, GT can immediately address the buildup of scar tissue, alleviate lingering pain, and promote soft tissue healing for other injuries as well. We commonly use Graston Technique on knee pain and tennis elbow. GT is also an effective technique for treating osteoarthritis in older people, and reducing the pain and range of motion limitations this condition causes. The Graston technique can be especially effective at addressing injuries before they become serious and debilitating, so it is worth checking with your physical therapist to get treatment as soon as your aches and pains start adding up.

Video: Scar Tissue Treatment with Graston Technique for Muscle Pain

Active Release Therapy (ART) for Active Lives

Active Release Therapy, or ART, is another relatively new non-invasive technique to treat common soft tissue injuries commonly seen in seniors. ART is a patented technique that involves hand manipulation of soft tissue by a trained practitioner. ART's 500-move treatment protocol is exceptionally effective at identifying damaged soft tissue, and then treating it. These carefully designed, precision movements, like GT, can help increase blood flow, alleviate pain, and restore range of motion. All of this, again, is great news for active older people who have aches and pains keeping them from enjoying their favorite pastimes.

Specially trained ART practitioners are adept at identifying the source of soft tissue injury or pain, then breaking down the scar tissue causing it. Active Release Therapy is also used as a preventative measure to keep muscles and tendons primed for workouts, thus avoiding injury altogether. Additionally, ART can be an effective treatment for osteoarthritis, and can facilitate pain abatement and improve range of motion so that otherwise healthy people can live happy, active lives. So if pain or injuries are holding you back, ART may be the right choice for you.

Don't Let Pain Slow You Down

For those 65 and older, living an active lifestyle is critical to good physical and mental well-being. However, as we become older, our bodies become more susceptible to a host of soft tissue injuries. The Graston Technique and Active Release Therapy offer innovative ways to keep your muscles and tendons in good shape, and prevent injury altogether. They are also extremely effective at treating soft tissue injuries and rapidly getting you back in action. They can even address the often debilitating pain of arthritis, too. So don't wait until it's too late. Do your homework, find a clinician who offers GT or ART and get back on your feet before anyone notices you were missing.

Our Chandler Chiropractic and Physical Therapy clinic treats patients with a variety of muscle, tendon, joint, and ligament injuries. The clinic provides treatment for runners, tri-athletes, and weekend warriors in addition to common headache, neck, and back patients traditionally seen in Chiropractic, Physical Therapy, Massage Therapy clinics. We work with all ages and abilities of the residents in Phoenix, Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, and Chandler AZ.