Ageing can make the body weaker, with tendons and joints not as thick as they used to be. There are also conditions like osteoarthritis and osteoporosis which affect the elderly. Manual therapy for these patients needs to be gentle and this makes cranial osteopathy an ideal choice.
All our osteopaths work using this gentle approach which allows us to treat our patients without the need for heavy manipulation or massage. Instead we work to take our patients bodies to a balance point and allow them to unwind using very little force.
Some common complaints that seniors present to our osteopaths for are similar to those for adult complaints, but can be more widespread and movement may be more restricted. Lower back pain, headaches, hip and knee pain are all very common. these conditions will generally be due to some tension in the muscles surrounding the joints and a build up of inflammation from poor lymphatic drainage in the area.
Our osteopaths will work with each individual to find which muscles need to be released for more movement and better drainage of the area.
Knee Pain, Loss of Strength and Poor Hip Movement Can Cause Many Problems For Seniors
As we age we lose strength in any muscles which haven’t been used frequently. Most people when picking something up from the floor will use their back to bend rather than their hips and knees. Over time this leads to significant weakness in the leg and hip muscles. A large proportion of seniors are unable to get down onto and then up off of the floor without assistance from either some furniture or another person due to pain and weakness.
This means they are far more likely to fall over if they get unsteady because the muscles won’t be strong enough to stop them from falling if they suddenly have to use one leg strongly to balance themselves from a fall. naturally this is not ideal. Not only are they more likely to fall and hurt themselves, they are also more likely to not be able to get up and call for help if they need it.
Osteopathic treatment for the knee can be very helpful for seniors in this situation. Our osteopaths will work to improve the movement in the knee and also the lymphatic drainage so that there is less pain. We can also recommend some strengthening exercises to help our patients reacquire their mobility.
Lower Back Pain Can Be Made Worse By Knee Problems
This problem can happen to any person, but is more frequently seen in the senior age group. They have spent a lifetime using their back to bend over and get things from the floor rathe than squatting down. this means that all the force is put through the lower back which strains the very small muscles which are actually designed for stabiliing your posture instead.
Chronic poor posture is also a large contributing factor to tlower back pain and in seniors this has been causing problems for their back for a longer time than a young adult so there will be more accumulated strain in the muscles and joints of the lower back.
Osteopathic treatment will work to address the tight muscles and strained joints in the lower back but will also consider how the knees and hips are working so that less strain will be put on them in the future.