You’re Never Too Old To Become Young Again!

When I first graduated from Chiropractic College, my dad with his usual helpful wisdom, suggested to me that I should move to Victoria and set up practice. “There’s lots of retired people there, and seniors love Chiropractors”, he proclaimed.

What is it that seniors know that a lot of their younger counterparts seem to miss? And how exactly does regular chiropractic care help them?

A three year study published in Topics in Clinical Chiropractic in 1996 examined senior citizens over the age of 75 years of age and revealed that seniors who receive regular chiropractic care experienced the following:

  •  Chiropractic patients spend 15% less time in nursing homes and 21% less time in hospitals than the non-chiropractic patients
  • Report “better overall health” on quality of life surveys (87% of seniors under chiropractic care described their health as “excellent” or “good”, compared to only 65% of non-chiropractic patients)
  • Have fewer chronic conditions
  • Were less likely to utilize prescription drugs than non-chiropractic patients
  • Were more likely to exercise vigorously and be active in the community

As the population ages, more people more people are consulting doctors of chiropractic, especially in their later years. As we live longer there are growing concerns about over-medication and the side effects of combining various prescription drugs. Safe natural chiropractic care is growing in popularity.  Restoring proper nerve and spinal function can help improve mobility, vitality, and endurance, and therefore the quality of your life.

Is chiropractic care only good for seniors? As I once heard an investment banker speak about savings plans, “the best time to start saving would have been 20 years ago, but the second best time is now.”  The same goes for your health. Experiencing the health benefits of chiropractic care now will also provide benefits for your enjoyment of your life in your later years.

Most Frequent Benefits Regular Chiropractic Care provides for Seniors

1. Pain Relief

Chiropractic care is one of the most effective and safest forms of health care to treat pain due to spinal related conditions. Chiropractic is so effective because most causes of spinal disorders are related to abnormalities of the spine and the surrounding soft tissue structures.

2. Increased Range of Motion of the Spine and Extremities

Chiropractic care has been shown repeatedly to increase not only the range of motion of the spine but also in the extremities. Increasing a person’s range of motion can positively and drastically affect lives in many ways. For some, an increased range of motion means being able to bend down to pick up their grandchildren. For others, it means they can garden without pain or get an extra 40 yards of distance out of their driver on the golf course. In many cases, an increase in range of motion immediately follows chiropractic adjustments. This is one of the reasons why many top professional sporting teams have team chiropractors.

3. Increased Balance and Coordination

Many problems in balance and coordination in the aging population have been shown to come from injury or degenerative changes to the cervical spine (neck region). Structures known as mechanoreceptors are located in the posterior (back) joints of the cervical spine and are responsible for providing the brain with essential information important for balance and coordination.

4. Decreased Joint Degeneration

A subluxated (misaligned) spine is much like a misaligned wheel on an automobile. This misalignment will cause the spine (and the wheel) to wear out prematurely. Since all moving parts will eventually wear down over time, it is very important to get your spine aligned periodically. Chiropractic care decreases spinal degeneration and other arthritic changes by normalizing the spinal alignment and reducing spinal stress.

5. Increased Health and Well-Being

We commonly ask our patients what changes they notice once they are put of pain. Here are some regular responses we hear every day:

I feel great!

I can sleep through the night!

Now I can play in the garden!

I have so much energy!

Life is worth living now!

Yes, chiropractic is far more than mere pain relief. Feeling good, staying healthy and doing the things that make us happy are what keeps us looking forward to each new day. Regular chiropractic care increase the quality of life and increase health and well-being.

6. Decreased Incidence of Falling

Injuries due to falling are extremely common in the elderly population. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are responsible for 90% of the 850,000 bone fractures which occur annually among Americans past the age of 65. Chiropractors reduce the risk of falls by normalizing the mechanoreceptors of the cervical spine by administering chiropractic adjustments. They also prescribe stretching and exercise programs to increase strength, flexibility, mobility, balance and coordination.

Start with calling our office to schedule yourself, or someone you know, in for a check-up appointment to see what treatment options are available to you.

Don’t Be Caught Flat-Footed!

Yaletown Orthotics

Pes Planus is a general medical term used to describe the flat-footed condition. It is also referred to as pesplanovalgus, fallen arches, and over pronation.You may have noticed a family member or friend when they take off their shoes and socks, that their feet may tend to “widen” when standing and bare, as they are no longer supported by a shoe. The medial arch in one or both feet becomes unsupportive, resulting in the affected foot (feet) to be flat, especially during any weight-bearing activity. Adult Pes Planus affects many men and women throughout the world, and can result in foot, ankle, knee, hip, or spinal discomfort as well as increase the chances of injury. This can be corrected with proper foot wear and custom foot orthotics.

What is a “flat foot”?

A true flat foot is very rare with an estimated prevalence of only 1.8% of the adult population. This condition is referred to as rigid pes planus, whereby the foot is completely flat even during non-weight bearing. Rigid pes planus is a pathologic condition and often occurs in conjunction with an underlying disease.

Flexible (or functional) pes planus is a biomechanical problem experienced by a surprisingly high percentage of the population (up to 20% of the population). In this case the arch will appear normal when the person is sitting (i.e. not bearing weight).  However with the person standing upright you will be unable to place an index finger under the arch. The entire bottom of the bare foot is in contact with the floor or ground surface during standing, walking, and other weight bearing activities.

Flexible pes planus can be caused by ligament or tendon laxity, and severe excess subtalar (ankle) joint pronation, which leads to excessive calcaneal (heel bone) eversion during the contact phase of gait. This lack of arch support causes the feet to flatten, creating an unstable position for the ankles, and inward rotation of the knees. This inward rotation can also affect the hip joint, sacroiliac joint, and even change the alignment of the spine. In each of these areas, the resulting improper biomechanics can be silent or commonly result in ankle, knee, hip and lower back pain. I have even seen alignment changes as high as the cervical spine (neck) from improper foot alignment. This is why a proper examination of anyone with spinal, pelvic, hip or knee complaints should always include an assessment of the feet!

If left uncorrected, this condition can lead to other painful foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the bottom of the feet), hallux valgus (bunions) and arthritic changes to various joints.

Although this condition doesn’t cause pain to everyone with flat feet, it can be a problem during exercise, a change in job environment, or when walking. What the literature tells us about the flat foot and how it relates to pathology is telling. Research has shown that an increase in plantar surface contact area, associated with pes planus can be a risk factor for the development of overuse injuries and increase the risk of injuries in sports.

Pediatric pes planus is a normal condition in infancy. The arch develops gradually during childhood. Thus, pes planus is normal in infants, common in children, and often present in adults. Its prevalence decreases with age. Commonly, by the age of 5-6 years old, children should have developed a visible arch.

How do we determine if you have Flat Feet?

A simple test is to put slide your index finger under the medial arch of your foot. You should be able to slide your finger in to at least the first finger joint.

People with flat feet will often also notice that footwear may be worn unevenly.

Click on the Picture to watch a Video on the FootMaxx System

Click on this Picture to Watch a Video on the FootMaxx System

What’s more important is to see how your flat feet affect your biomechanics. At our office we perform a Digital Gait Analysis. This involves walking across a computerized pressure pad which measures the timing of various important biomechanical markers of your feet in speeds up to 60 frames per second, which is much faster than the human eye. It can show us how various bones move, the pressure in various parts of your feet throughout the gait cycle and the appropriate timing of your feet relative to normal. This will help us to discover any biomechanical abnormalities that may be putting undue stresses on your feet and alignment of your spine such as flat feet. The information obtained can also help us to design custom foot orthotics if necessary.

How do we fix Flat Feet?

Doctors can help patients overcome this painful condition with conservative treatment:

Footmaxx Orthotics

Foot orthotics allow the muscles, tendons and bones of the feet and lower legs to function at their highest potential. When appropriately prescribed, orthotics can decrease pain, not only in the foot, but in other parts of the body such as the knee, hip and lower back. They can also increase stability in an unstable joint, prevent a deformed foot from developing additional problems, correct improper biomechanics and improve overall quality of life. For athletes this can mean improvement in performance and decreasing the chance of injury.

The FootMaxx orthotics that are often prescribed are custom-made for your feet, sport-specific to your activities and designed to accommodate for different shoe types.

Often people will have Extended Health Insurance benefits that cover the cost of orthotics. Please check your individual health benefits package.

To learn more about custom-made foot orthotics, please click on the following link.

Adequate Footwear

Footwear is a major player in treatment for patients with flat feet. Flat footwear such as shoes without arch support and flip flops only add to the problem. People with flat feet should wear spacious footwear that is comfortable and provides adequate support from the foot bed.


If you believe that you, or someone you know, may have flat feet, call the office today to schedule a check-up appointment, and foot examination and find out what treatment options are available to you.

~ Dr. Gertz

The information contained in these newsletters is designed to provide general information and to promote greater health. Every individual should seek the advice of their chiropractor or healthcare provider for diagnosis and advice before changing or adding any product or treatment to their health regime.