Everybody gets grey hair and wrinkles as they age, In the same way, it is normal for muscles, bones, joints and associated tissues to change. Ageing does not necessarily mean that we will experience increased pain or stiffness. However, if this does become a problem, people often find that treatment and advice from an osteopath can complement GP care and pharmaceutical products. If you do begin to notice problems, an osteopath can work with you to keep you healthier, allowing you to enjoy the pleasures of life into your later years.
How an osteopath can help
You don’t have to put up with aches and pains simply because you are getting older. In fact, many people find it helpful to talk to an osteopath about ways of keeping active, preventing common problems such as falls, or managing conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatic pain and osteoporosis. Osteopathic care is based on the individual needs of the patient and so varies depending on your age, fitness levels and diagnosis. Osteopaths use a wide range of gentle hands-on techniques, focusing on releasing tension, stretching muscles and improving mobility.
Advice as you get older
Although aches and pains may be a common element of ageing, they don’t have to get in the way of any lifestyle. Here are some tips to keep you healthy and active:
- 150 minutes of exercise per week, in blocks of ten minutes or more (enough to make you warmer and breathe harder, while still being able to have a conversation) can help reduce the risk of circulation problems and falls. This might include activities such as dancing or brisk walking. It can also help to improve your mood and levels of confidence
- Make sure you eat a healthy, varied diet
- Doing some form of balance exercises twice a week (for example, Tai Chi) is also recommended to help reduce the risk of falling, particularly for the over-65s
- Try to also include exercises that strengthen your arms, legs and body
- The use of trainers or similar footwear can help absorb shocks and take the pressure off knees, hips and spine when walking for longer periods
For more advice on keeping healthy as you get older visit Osteopathy for Health.
What to expect
Although it is natural to worry about symptoms and the cause, an osteopath will always complete a routine examination that checks for more serious diagnoses and will advise and discuss any further action that might be required. After this examination, an osteopath will discuss treatment options to jointly decide an appropriate and suitable treatment plan, along with any likely associated costs.
This plan may involve several visits and, very occasionally, further tests and/or referrals to another appropriate health care professional. Treatment may begin at the first appointment. There may be mild discomfort afterward, but in most cases, this will pass within 24 hours. Any concerns about treatment should be discussed further with your osteopath and you are more than welcome to bring someone with you to your consultation. Growing older doesn’t mean accepting every ache!
Osteopaths are highly trained professionals who are skilled in diagnosing health issues, including those which may require further investigation. When first visiting an osteopath, they will ask about any current symptoms and medical history. All information will be treated as confidential in accordance with the standards of practice set out by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), May 2018.