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Many of us have elderly parents and relatives and want the best for them.  Arthritis muscle and joint pain in the elderly can be treated with gentle Osteopathy and Acupuncture.  Even arthritic joints can be very gently mobilised and mucles streched using massage and gentle Osteopathic technique to restore elasticity and muscle length and reduve pain.  

Acupuncture can be also be effective in treating both muscle and joint pain, and seems to be able to reduce the 'low-grade inflammation' and the pain it exacerbates, so prevalent in the older generation. Osteopathy can be very gentle to help articulate joints and lengthen and stretch the associated muscles, and hopefully help slowly improve poor posture, or optimise compromised posture.

As an older osteopath myself, I would like to think that I understand the aging process and lifestyle challenges in many of the senior patients that come for routine treatment.
I can also relate well to this 'older' client group, perhaps far better than my 'younger' junior colleagues. 

It is never to late to make some improvement, and even on a bad day, or perhaps during a bad episode of increasing pain, Osteopathy and Acupuncture can be wonderfully restorative, helping reduce pain, and supporting a more active, healthy, enjoyable and independent life.  Osteopathy is generally a far more gentle treatment intervention than Chiropractic, and even Physiotherapy.  Physiotherapy is generally an 'exercise-based' program, whereas Osteopathy is more 'hands-on'.  You will get at least half an hour with an Osteopath, and hands-on treatment, fifteen minutes with a Physiotherapist, and ten minutes (sometimes less!) with a chiropractor.

All of us want to live a long (pain-free) life - yet none of us want the inevitable decline of the aging process!
We all grow older (yet differently) and the trick is to age well, and maintain optimum health and fitness, mobility, joint range of motion, muscle strength and muscle flexibility.
This is where an Osteopathy as a musculo-skeletal specialist can help, both with 'hands on' treatment, and in appropriate rehabilitation and recovery programs for the senior person.

We live in both a 'Youth Culture' and a 'Health and Fitness Culture', yet the 'Fitness Industry' seems more geared to the young, strong, active, able-bodied members of the community, rather than Seniors and the Elderly. Growing older, one almost feels as if the elderly become somehow 'marginalised' in our culture, especially those living alone, without a partner and/ or family members around. All of which is terribly unhelpful to one's quality of life, for we are, after all 'social animals' and humans are happiest when we feel 'connected' and supported within our community.

If one looks carefully, we find that there are, in fact many social activities that Seniors and those with limited fitness can fully participate in. I am thinking here of 'restorative yoga classes', gentle 'mat-work Pilates' and hydrotherapy (water walking) because even worn arthritic joints can be mobilised in the natural buoyancy of (especially salt or concentrated Epsom salts solution) water.

We might 'get away with' poor fitness levels in youth - and happily live a relatively pain-free life. In middle-age it begins to catch up with us. And if we life long enough, then living in (some degree of) pain is the Human condition. Having been in the fitness industry for over 40 years, and growing older myself - I think it fair enough that I can say all this. For it is not 'how old' a person is, but 'how fit' they are. And I am always impressed by 90 year-olds that run marathons, and seem to maintain optimum health and fitness!

Health and a relatively pain-free socially active and creative life as we get older, is of course, multi-factoral. Nutrition, sleep, mental and emotional health are all of supreme importance. Yet activity and exercise is also key. And all I would say here is that an appropriate individualised treatment plan including Osteopathy and Acupuncture can be incredibly helpful, especially in the short term (a bad day, a bad episode) together with lifestyle optimisation (stress management, sleep, nutrition, etc) in the long-term.

A 55 (or 65 or 75) year old body is very different to a 35 or 45 year old! This much is self-evident. Yet very few people in my 40 years of clinical experience in rehabilitation and exercise prescription as an Osteopath - know how to train and maintain optimum health and fitness, with advancing years, without some expert guidance.

Physiotherapy is an Exercise-based treatment intervention (Osteopathy is more hands-on treatment based). Yet physiotherapy seems to target the younger sports person, and often rely on 'strengthening' exercises alone. Older people are 'different' and muscle length (flexibility) is just as (of not perhaps more) important than purely muscle 'strength' based exercise.

And, on a bad day - when we feel to tired, unmotivated, or in to much pain - then treatment is best. Osteopathy and Acupuncture, and a consultation about nutrition, supplements, and lifestyle.

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christchurch   osteopathy   acupuncture

mike inman   osteopath


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